Before trying to solve the wet basement problem, you have to know when you have moisture in your basement and what causes it to slip in. Through this, you can be able to deal with it early before a lot of damage is done.
Moisture can be visible in different ways such as;
- Water dripping from the walls
- Some dampness on the concrete walls
- Stained walls
- Paint or wallpaper peeling off
- Humid air
- Formation and odor of mold
- Rotting wood
Sources of Moisture in your Basement
Many factors can contribute to ground or rainwater making its way into the basement.
- Poor grading.
During construction, your foundation should slope away from the building and not vice versa. If the ground slopes towards your house, water accumulates on the foundation and eventually flows inside.
- Ineffective gutters and downspouts.
They are responsible for directing rainwater away from the construction. If they are not effective, water will flow toward the foundation. Cracks in your foundation will act as passages for water to get back in. Water could also cause cracks if the floor joists are not well connected to the walls of the construction making the soil have poor drainage.
- Improperly designed window wells.
Window wells are designed to be used as drainage next to the basement wall. If they are defective they will let the water drain into the basement instead of away from it. To prevent this, the wells should be filled from the ground to the window sill with coarse aggregate.
- Defective drain tile and sump pit.
Most old houses do not have an underground drainage system since the basements were not used as habitats. Sometimes the system may not work due to other reasons like the pipe collapsing, silt blocking the pipe, or interference with the connection to the sump which contains a pump that lifts the water to the normal ground surface.
- Underslab ducts not draining water properly.
Heating ducts are to be installed at a higher level than the duct. They should also be insulated and no water should be able to get to them. If not installed properly, water may accumulate within the heating duct, and this may cause a health hazard from mold.
- Internal sources.
Moisture can be made by the people living in the house. These sources are humidifiers, moisture from cooking or from bathrooms, and ventless cloth dryers. If you have a bathroom and kitchen in your basement, it is advisable that you install an exhaust fan. When the moisture gets trapped in the basement, it causes condensation.
- Exterior humid air.
This mostly happens during the summer. Residents often open their basement windows during the summer. If the air coming in is humid, it condenses when it gets into the basement.
- Capillary suction
Water moves up through pores in the concrete and also through walls. This causes visible patches of water on the walls of the basement. The type of soil will determine how far and fast the water will rise.
Why should the presence of moisture in your basement be dealt with?
Dampness damages furniture and also electronics. The presence of mold and mildew also cause musty odors in your home making it less comfortable to live in. The molds can also cause problems for people living with respiratory conditions such as asthma.
Moisture in your basement also reduces the value of a home especially when you are planning on selling.
How to dry out basements and prevent basement dampness
Ensure your gutters are clean.
Your gutters and downspouts are prone to clogging by leaves or twigs. Clogging causes groundwater and rainwater to flow against and stagnate against the foundation.
Make sure your driveway slopes away from the house
If the driveway slopes towards the house, it causes water to flow toward the foundation. If not, surround the basement with rocks and gravel because they easily absorb water but do not retent it.
Use a bleaching solution
Mildew and mold accumulate due to moisture that has made its way to the basement. You can control them by using a bleach solution. A bleach solution attracts and traps moisture, which eliminates odors and mold. You can check for the best solutions that last up to six months.
Use a dehumidifier
If the exhaust is not effective in reducing humidity, you can install a dehumidifier and connect it to the floor drain. Regularly check the drain and prevent it from clogging. Unfortunately, the use of a dehumidifier is not a permanent solution. The use of a dehumidifier in the basement may cause more humid air to be drawn into it which causes efflorescence and concrete scaling and cause more damage.
Install a sump pump
The major concern for people with basements, especially those living in areas that experience more rain and snow. A sump pump installation would be just what you need though you will require the help of a professional. It pumps water excess water that could cause flooding along the foundation. You will also need to connect it to a drainage system.
Vent your clothes dryer
If your clothes dryer is not vented, it may emit moist air which will encourage the presence of mold and mildew. It may also lead to other structural problems. Ensure your dryer is vented to the outside.
Seal your concrete floors
Unsealed concrete floors are common in most basements. It may be a way to prevent moisture from entering the basement through absorption. If the moisture doesn’t fully dry, it creates mildew and mold. Sealing your concrete floors will create a barrier to water and moisture.
Seal the rim joists
Insulating your rim joists is quite easy and does not require professional help. You can seal them with rigid insulation. Cut strips that are equal to the depth of your joists. Use a utility knife or any other cutting material to cut the strips to length. Fill the small gaps with caulk and for the larger gaps use expanding spray foam.
Basement Humidity Level
You should keep your basement’s humidity level below 50%. The humidity level could be measured by a meter. The weather in the area you live in is an important factor when addressing the moisture issue. The more humid the area, the more the chances of condensation and dampness. Your climate area will guide you on the best solutions to use. It is also important to seek medical advice on this.
Contact a Basement Waterproofing Professional
The process of waterproofing a basement is vital to protecting your home. If you discover wet spots or pooling water in your basement, take note of these preventative tips to ensure that your property stays clean and dry. Consider the process of foundation repair and maintenance to ensure that your property is protected through all seasons, and know that you’re taking a proactive step toward protecting your most valuable investment–your home.
Crackmasters team has over 20+ years of professional experience with cutting-edge basement waterproofing, basement crack repair, and foundation crack repair systems. A lifetime guarantee backs our foundation repair services. For a free estimate and inspection, contact us today.
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