Moisture in Basements – Causes and Solutions

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Increased humidity in the basement can become a huge problem for homeowners, who live in a humid climate. In most cases, moisture accumulates because of poorly-designed basement waterproofing and inefficient thermal insulation. Other times, condensation appears due to the absence of a decent ventilation system. The higher the humidity level in the basement, the more condensate there is piled up on the ceiling and walls.

Here’s a list of some of the most common causes of moisture in basements:

Defective waterproofing

Poor quality waterproofing leads to capillary seepage of groundwater or meltwater through the concrete foundation of the house. It’s simple to identify whether you have problems with waterproofing – the walls of the basement are equally moist and condensate spots are always formed in different places.

Cracks in the walls

Sometimes, humidity in the basement rises due to a physical break in the base of the house. If cracks appear, water can seep through them into the basement. In this case, condensate would always accumulate in the same spots. Often these cracks are visible to the naked eye.

Ineffective ventilation

One of the most common causes of high humidity in the basement is a faulty ventilation system. Considering a relative depth of a socle, no ductwork means there’s no natural air exchange. Carbon dioxide accumulates and the air in the basement stagnates, the humidity rises, and if the temperature drops, condensate falls out.

Leaking utility systems

If there are pipes of hot and cold water supply located in the basement, it is recommended to check their integrity. Often, a leaking pipeline causes increased humidity.

 

Here’s a list of the most common solutions to this problem:

 

Candle

The easiest yet slowest method only involves one item – a simple candle. All you have to do is light it up and place under the ventilation exhaust. This trick will increase the draft of air and dry up the basement gradually.

Brazier

Brazier, barbeque or any other small coal oven can quickly kick out the humidity out of the basement by filling it with dry and hot air. This method is pretty straightforward but is not recommended to everyone, especially to people sensitive to smoke or for those who have fire alarms in their basement.

Dehumidifier

This is probably the most efficient method of dealing with moisture in a large basement. Unlike other short-term solutions listed above, dehumidifiers can be kept in your basement at all times to sustain a set normal humidity level and dry the air periodically.

 

Before you begin drying up the basement, it’s recommended you temporarily take out all wooden furniture, such as shelves and racks. To prevent mold and fungi, all the wooden items kept in the humid basement need to be thoroughly washed, dried and covered with wood antiseptic before you bring them back in.

These are just some of the most common situations. If you need an expert’s opinion or have unique circumstances, request our services and we’ll get rid of condensate in your basement once and for all.