Controlling a Basement Moisture Problem

May 21, 2015

If moisture in your basement is not under control, the potential consequences are very serious. For one, mold can harm the health of you and your family. Rot and deterioration can also threaten the structural integrity of your entire home. Here’s how to identify a basement moisture problem and some steps to control it:

Identify the Source

You can’t control a basement moisture problem until you learn where the moisture is coming from. There are three common sources of basement moisture:

  • Outside Water. Rainwater, ground water, or water from melting snow can enter your basement through the outside. Water can seep in through foundation cracks, leaky basement windows, and so on.
  • Inside the Home. There are lots of things in the home that produce moisture. Everything from a tea kettle to a hot shower creates moisture that can find its way to the basement if improperly ventilated. There may also be leaky pipes or a poorly vented dryer in the basement that cause this problem.
  • Humid Air. Humid air may enter your basement from the outside. When it meets with the cooler indoor air, it can condense and form moisture in your basement.

Signs of Trouble

Keep an eye out for these signs of a basement moisture problem:

  • Standing water on the basement floor
  • Trickling water on your basement walls
  • Air in the basement that feels humid and damp
  • Damp and musty smell in the basement
  • Mold or mildew growth
  • Wall coverings that are stained, peeling, blistered, or cracking
  • A damp ring at the base of concrete posts
  • Rotting wood (beams, posts, joists etc.)
  • Ruined basement carpets

Solving the Problem

If you see signs of the problem and have identified the source, it’s time to solve the problem:

  • Improve ventilation to prevent condensation and moisture build-up. Contact a professional to install or fix ventilating fans in the basement. Open the windows during mild and dry weather to help dehumidify the space.
  • Place a dehumidifier in the basement to pull excess moisture from the air and prevent condensation.
  • Use insulating tape or foam insulation sleeves on your basement pipes to prevent condensation from forming on them.
  • Make sure your rainwater routing system is working in peak condition. This means fixing or replacing gutters and downspouts and keeping them clear of debris.

These steps should help you identify and control any basement moisture problem. If the problem recurs, contact us today for help.



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