9 of the Most Common Basement Problems (and How You Can Fix Them)

basementIf you’re a homeowner and have a basement, you probably have run into a problem or two firsthand in the lower level of your home. Whether it’s an unfinished placed used as storage or it’s a finished area that is used as a family area, problems can always arise when it comes to basements, ranging from minor issues to glaring problems.

Luckily, there are ways to fix all basement problems, big and small! Read on to learn about the most common issues that happen with basements and what you can do to fix or prevent them!

There’s Mold and Mildew – If this is you, don’t fret! This is actually the most common issue of all when it comes to basements. Keeping your basement mold-free is essential, especially because breathing in moldy air can cause headaches, breathing problems, allergic reactions, and more. Prevent mold and mildew from happening by keeping a trusty dehumidifier in the basement – this will help wick away the moisture in the air.

The Walls Are Caving In – Well, okay, the walls are more likely bowing, not caving in. When cracks go without being fixed, walls can start buckling or bowing. The best fix for this is to employ a wall anchor system for your walls to stay sturdy.

The Floors are Sinking – Have you been noticing that your floor is dipping or sinking over time? This can happen when the soil underneath the floor starts to erode, thanks to water. Unfortunately, this leaves little support for your home’s foundation. Let the professionals come out and handle this issue for you to keep your house standing strong for years to come!

The Sump Pump Failed – You know your sump pump is out of commission when water backs up (which can cause flooding in the basement). The best way to stop your sump pump from failing is to have a professional provide regular checkups to make sure that it’s still functioning properly – otherwise, you could have a real mess on your hands!

There Are Cracks Everywhere! Your basement takes a beating sometimes. When the soil outside absorbs a great deal of rainwater, the ground will expand. This puts a lot of pressure on your foundation’s walls, which can then create cracks in the walls. Don’t leave these cracks alone! Get them filled in to help keep your foundation strong.

The Basement Is Leaking – Speaking of water and cracks, if those cracks in your basement’s walls aren’t taken care of, you could have some wall leaks to deal with. Water can enter your basement and cause a lot of other problems if this is left unattended. Just get those cracks filled in, and you should have nothing to worry about!

The Basement Has Flooded – There are several causes to basement flooding including backed up drainage, bad leaks, or pipes bursting. Whatever the reason, your basement will need to be dried once you remove the water, and the issue will need to be fixed as soon as possible. Remember, a wet basement can lead to a host of other issues!

What’s That Smell? Basements can (but shouldn’t) have, well, interesting smells. When it becomes humid, it’s quite easy for odors to develop. The usual culprits to this usually include mold, rot, or dust mites. This is pretty easy to fix, though! Just get a trusty dehumidifier and air out your basement to get rid of that odor.

It Looks Just Terrible – Basements can look pretty creepy, but they don’t need to get that way! Water can wreak havoc on finished and unfinished basements – the floors get nasty, walls can get chipped and cracked, and the whole space can start to smell. If you seal any entry points so that water stays out, the problem can pretty much be prevented before it can even start!

So what’s the best way to make sure your basement never faces these problems? Take good care of it. Make sure that your systems get regular checkups from the professionals, keep a dehumidifier down there, and make sure that water never gets in (and if it does, take care of it ASAP). A clean and dry basement means a safe and healthy environment for many years!

If you’re in the hunt for a place to call your own (with or without the basement), we’re the experts for you! Call The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to get started! You can even go online and check out all of our current listings at www.dianamasseyhomes.com.

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9 Crucial Steps to Take Before Listing Your Home on the Market

selling your homeWhen you decide that you want to put your home on the market, it can be both very exciting and also very stressful. There are several factors that go into successfully selling a home, including pricing, visual appeal, and location, just to name a few. Even though the process is much easier with a trusty real estate agent by your side, it can be quite overwhelming if you’re not sure what to do.

No need to stress! Just read the following 9 items below to help you have a good idea about what you need to do before putting your house on the market.

Find the Right Agent – Before putting your house on the market, you will want to find a trustworthy real estate agent to help you through the process. Your agent will help you figure out the necessary steps to take (they can even do a walk-through of your house to give you suggestions for repairs or improvements to help you sell faster), so be sure to find a reliable agent first!

Have a Down Payment Ready – Whether you’re paying a 20% down payment or something lower or higher, you will want to make sure that you have some money set aside for the new home you will be purchasing. If you have equity in your current home, you can access that once you’ve found a buyer.

Get Your Financing Together – When it comes to getting your financial house in order, finding a reputable lender to get pre-approved for your next purchase is the way to go. Research what banks, brokers, credit unions, and other qualified lenders are offering to see which would be the best for you.

Understand Your Local Market – That’s right, when you put your house on the market, you need to know what’s going on in your local real estate market! Are houses selling like hotcakes, or have they been on the market for a long time, even for reasonable prices? Read up on what’s going on around you and keep open lines of communication with your real estate agent.

Do Necessary Repairs – Now that you have the monetary parts of the plan in place, it’s time to do some repairs to make your home look the best it can. Even minor repairs and upgrades can help make your home look stunning to a potential homebuyer! Consider replacing old worn-out doorknobs, upgrading boring bathroom fixtures, patching and painting any walls that may require it, and sprucing up your curb appeal with beautiful, easy-maintenance plants and flowers to make your home look irresistible!

De-Clutter – No one likes walking through a home with too much stuff lying around. Make your home neat and tidy by de-cluttering your rooms and closets. Put away the knick-knacks, the overflowing stacks of DVDs and video games, and mountains of papers to give your home a clean, inviting look. Consider putting some of your things and furniture in a storage unit for the time begin in order to stage your home perfectly for the potential buyers!

Maintain Good Curb Appeal – We mentioned curb appeal a few points back, and we’re mentioning it here again because it is that important! The first impression is always the most important, and that’s why you’ll want to make sure that your lawn is looking lively and elegant. Touch up any peeling exterior paint, put away any lawn tools or toys that may be lying in the middle of the yard, and make sure that your plants are pruned and well-maintained. Good curb appeal will make buyers want to come inside to see more!

Take Yourself Out of the Equation – Look around when you walk into your home, and we mean really look around. Do you see a lot of your personality in your home? Chances are you might, and while that’s great for you, it’s not the best for your prospective buyer. They will have a harder time seeing themselves living in your home if you have lots of personal photos and knickknacks lying around. Do your best to box up your personal things to help provide a neutral, elegant setting for your potential homebuyer to browse.

Clean, Clean, Clean (and Keep It That Way!) – Before you announce that your home is for sale, you’d better make sure that your home is spotless! Don’t just dust and vacuum – deep clean your home! The potential buyers will be looking around everywhere, and a clean home is much more appealing than a dirty, cob-webby home. The work doesn’t stop once you’ve cleaned your home. You will want to make sure that you keep it clean while it’s on the market. You never know when someone will want to look at your home!

Remember our first big task that we mentioned at the beginning of this post? The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties can help with that! Check us out online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com or call us to get started at either (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298.