Most water heaters last 10 to 15 years. Wet spots on the floor or rust on your tank may signal that you have a problem. Lots of rust flakes in the combustion chamber will also indicate the water heater is near the end of its useful life.
There aren’t many things worse than walking across your basement, and suddenly getting your feet wet. Maybe the kids spilled something on the carpet or Fido had an accident. Then you realize there is a lot more water there than either could produce.
Even if you are not in a flood zone, it is wise to invest in a sump pump. Anyone remember the summer of 2007 when we had about 13 inches of rain in a day?
Most home inspections find that the dampness in basements can usually be traced back to lack of gutters and downspouts and/or poor drainage at the foundation. By correcting above-ground problems you can help to prevent structural damage to your home, as well as dry up those basement damp spots.