If you’ve ever had a problem with moisture in your basement, you know just how important it is to keep your basement dry. Unfortunately, basement moisture is a problem that many homeowners have experienced. Since basements are known for being dark and damp spaces, it’s important to take measures to ensure that your basement remains free of moisture.
Even a little moisture can be bad news for your basement because it can cause structural damage, which creates an unsafe environment for you and your family. A damp basement provides a perfect environment for the growth of mold and mildew, which is a danger to your health and can attract pests. Basement moisture is a costly problem.
So, how does moisture creep into your basement, and more importantly, what are some of the things you can do to take care of the problem? Keep reading and we’ll give you some tips on how to get rid of dampness in basements.
Know the Signs of Basement Moisture Damage
To treat basement moisture, you need to first determine whether it is present in your basement. This means that you should be familiar with the warning signs and symptoms of basement moisture. It would be easy to identify moisture issues if there was a puddle of water in the middle of your basement floor, but since many of the signs of moisture are subtle, you need to be vigilant and know what the common signs of basement moisture are.
We could recommend periodically inspecting your basement for any moisture issues. Keep an eye out for:
- water trickling down the walls
- a ring of dampness on basement walls or stained walls
- condensation in basement (on the walls or the floor of your basement)
- humid air
- rotting wood or a deteriorating carpet
- a damp odour
If you notice any of these signs, you have a moisture problem in your basement. Now that you know this, it’s important that you take swift action to determine what the source of the moisture is so you can rectify it as soon as possible before it balloons into a huge problem. Here are a few steps you can take to get rid of moisture in basements.
Seal Your Walls and Floor
Cracks in your foundation are an open invitation for moisture. So, it’s important that you make sure that any cracks, no matter how small, in your basement walls or floors are sealed. The thing about cracks in your foundation is that water will always find its way to them. In fact, many times the very cause of the cracks in your basement walls or floor is water.
Cracks in foundation walls can be caused when floor joists are improperly connected to the walls, allowing the walls to shift over time. This eventually creates cracks in the foundation walls.
If there is poor drainage in the soil surrounding your basement, water that is not directed away from your foundation can accumulate around the foundation walls and create cracks in your foundation. Regardless of how the cracks formed, they pose a danger to your basement and need to be sealed quickly.
Try a Dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers are designed to eliminate moisture from the air. This, in turn, reduces condensation. Using a dehumidifier is a great way to combat basement moisture, particularly during months of the year when humidity tends to be high i.e., during the summer. While a dehumidifier is a great way to fight basement moisture, running a dehumidifier 24/7 can lead to high energy bills. Therefore, you should view your dehumidifier as a tool and not a permanent solution to a damp basement. It’s critical that you get to the root of your moisture problem.
Insulate Pipes and Walls
Insulating your basement will keep the inside of your basement warmer and create a thermal barrier between the cold air outside and the warm air inside. You need to create a tight air seal along the mudsills and rim joists. These are the wood frames along the foundation walls of your basement. The joist cavities need to be insulated with a foam insulation board.
In addition to insulating walls, you also need to insulate the pipes and ducts in your basement. This will prevent warm air from coming into contact with cold surfaces and significantly reduce the chances of any condensation in your basement. Many people apply foam insulation over their hot-water pipes to save energy. Doing the same on your cold-water pipes goes a long way in preventing condensation.
Keep Gutters Clean
Homes have gutters to help drain rainwater and snow runoff away from the home. For your gutter system to work effectively, you need to ensure that you clean them out regularly. Leaves and other debris from nearby trees can fall into your gutter system and create blockages that prevent water from flowing away easily.
Make it a habit to inspect your gutters regularly to ensure that they are clean and clear of any debris. Fall is the most common time of the year when leaves accumulate in gutters. This can clog them throughout the winter and spring seasons and force water to pool up and flow into areas around your home that it shouldn’t.
Look Out for Critters
Basement spaces attract insects because of their dark and damp nature. To survive, insects need to have access to food, water and shelter. If you noticed any critters in your basement, it’s because they have found access to all three. Since it’s impossible for an insect to live without water, the mere presence of critters in your basement tells you that there is a source of water somewhere in your basement that keeps them there. You need to find it and fix it.
The best way to keep pests out of your basement is to remove what attracts them. If you must store food in your basement, keep it in tightly sealed containers.
If you notice any of these signs in your basement, you probably have a moisture issue in your basement. Harmony Basements is here to help you keep your basement moisture-free and safe for you and your family. Give us a call today for damp basement solutions that are sure to work!