Moisture in basements – consequences and remedies

Moisture in basements – consequences and remedies

August 28, 2020 Off By Helen Olsson

Basements are bow becoming a common deal with many of the household owners. They provide extra utility and space and are a major part of your home. They are mostly constructed to play the role of extra space or backup room for your out-of-the-general usages. However, they are more likely to be affected by external and internal conditions than the other parts of your home simply because they are the most isolated and unattended part of the home. 

Most of the basement problems are often neglected, or in many cases, completely misunderstood, which leads to improper treatments. There are two main scenarios in this regard. If your basement isolated from the living space above and is used quite infrequently or just for storage visits, many of the basement problems can be treated with less care and expenditure. However, basements are now becoming a proper place for living purposes with the extra utility of more rooms.

The only way this basement living situation is made applicable is by linking the ducts and water pipes of the basement to the rest of the house. Hence any problem which is identified in your below storage can cause serious harm to the whole structure altogether. Bottom line is that in many cases, basement problems can be quite tough to handle and proper inspection is required for an effective solution.

The symptoms:

Having basement problems lead to various consequences that ultimately damage your home. Some of them are listed here:

  • Water drops form walls
  • Water standing on the floor
  • Dampness and humid air
  • Condensation on walls
  • Odor, molds, and mildew
  • Carpets and woods get damaged
  • Columns and plates are heavily damaged
  • Concrete spalling or masonry

Apart from these problems, dampness and moisture in the basement can lead to molds and mildew that are like cancer to your home. Not only they deteriorate your home walls and roofs and damage your furniture but also they are seriously injurious to your health leading to breathing problems and skin anomalies. Especially for asthma patients, they can ignite the course of the disease and cause serious problems. 

Understanding the problem:

Understanding what type of problem your basement has is of utmost necessity in order to arrive at the best possible solution with minimum cost. As we all know, basement moisture could lead to complete foundation failures which can result in a steep amount of money for its repair. Hence knowing the source and transfer method of the water is the necessary pre-requisite to a thorough moisture control application for your home. 

The three major sources of water intake and water inflow for your home are here:

  • Groundwater that is nor cleaned and cleared properly on time
  • External storms and rainfall that can seep into the basement if not properly sealed
  • Humid air current and condensation that subsequently follows
  • Internal sources such as humidifiers, unvented dryers for clothes, heaters, bathrooms, and kitchens through capillary action or vapor diffusion. 

The generally found causes of these basement problems involving water are cracking walls due to poor construction, poor settling of the foundations, improper water drainage, lack of strategically placed gutters, no downspout systems, subsurface drainage system either missing or not built in the first place, and negligible waterproofing used for rainy days. Now that we have learned what type of problems can arise and what conditions are behind igniting these problems, we can arrive at a general method of solving your all absent problems. 

General solution and steps to follow:

The proper way of tacking most of the problems is to adopt the least costly and most effective , method and then moving to more expenditure with greater positive results. With basements problems, however, the proper step is always to remove the sources of moisture or block the passage or way of transfer of water into the structural elements. We recommend hiring well-trained basement waterproofing fitters for completely sailing off water transfer into your basement and eradicating the issue effectively.  Trying to stop water inflow as a last line of defense will never work, this is the reason dehumidification is only a temporary solution to these basement problems. Keep in mind that

  1. Go for least expensive methods to clear off excessive moisture from walls and dehumidifiers, and ventilate the other sources properly.
  2. In summers, to avoid condensation, use an air-conditioning procedure to ventilate the walls and do not opt for warm air or other sources. 
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