After ripping out some rubber baseboard, I discovered random holes all over the place. What would be the logical reasoning that these exist (if any)?

Edit: Hopefully I don't get completely flamed for this, but I'm asking because the basement that has this has been flooding recently and I'm wondering if these holes could be some poor attempt to "drain" water from the wall by the previous owner. The holes cover basically the entire room like this. Sorry for the misinformation I wanted to see what users thought without knowing this edited piece first.

random holes behind baseboard

higher resolution image
higher resolution and closer image of the same baseboard

  • 1
    Are they clean (drilled) or rough (hammered)? It looks like someone may've been looking for something, perhaps a stud or wire?
    – Drew
    May 27 '16 at 0:40
  • @drew - Most of them pretty clearly were created with a spade bit due to the obvious tip in the center. So, drilled.
    – dpollitt
    May 27 '16 at 0:42
  • Picture is a bit low-res for that to be obvious to anyone but you. Either looking for something, or running something and not wanting to repaint, so keeping the damage behind the baseboard. Might have been looking for where to cut that rectangle.
    – Ecnerwal
    May 27 '16 at 0:46
  • @Ecnerwal - The SE mobile app only supports this res. Here is a higher res and closer image i.imgur.com/xY8GB8m.jpg
    – dpollitt
    May 27 '16 at 0:46
  • It's usually best to provide as much information as possible up front. Withholding information is a good way to get a bunch of junk answers. If you want good, helpful answers. It's best to supply as much info as possible.
    – Tester101
    May 27 '16 at 3:05

Yeah, I'd agree with you. Likely a water draining or ventilation attempt. The drywall's on the floor, the holes are too high, wrong insulation installed poorly & the stud's bottom plate isn't pressure treated would lead me to believe it was a weekend warrior project.

It looks great, held up this long & no-one's gotten sick yet. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a lot of mold back there. I'd go with a 2-piece replacement baseboard. 1/4" flat stock for the bottom & a bottom drilled-out at the holes molding on top to let it breathe better than ever, invisibly.


I know this is an old post but maybe my response can help someone in the future. We had a water leak in our bathroom that saturated a few baseboards. A water mitigation team came out, removed the baseboards and drooled holes exactly like this around the perimeter. They have set up multiple fans and dehumidifiers to dry everything up and will then put a mold treatment down to prevent any mold from forming. I was told new baseboards can just be put up. So, looks like a past leak and hopefully it was treated properly before putting those boards back up.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer; keep 'em coming! Jun 5 '19 at 15:24

This basement has has a small flood in the past (~1" - 2" deep water). These are venting holes drilled by a flood remediation team after the baseboard was removed. Fans are then placed around the room aimed at the holes to circulate air behind the drywall to dry out the insulation, drywall, and baseplate. Coupled with an industrial dehumidifier in the room, this was how they dried the basement over the course of a few days.


They look like they were cored with a drill and not just made with a hammer, so they're likely from fishing the wire to that outlet.

They're either optical locating holes (to find the studs or the fish tape), or 'I need to get my fingers in there' holes, especially that large one.

It doesn't really mater. Patch them or not, and put the baseboard back.

  • 1
    The reason I disagree is because OP states there are holes like that all the way around the room. The large one may have been for electrical work, but not the hundreds of circular holes. May 28 '16 at 3:15

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