Moisture in Basements: Causes and Solutions

Basements are usually dark but if you observe closely they are often dump as well. Dampness in the basement is a common occurrence that it is deemed normal.

Caution, moisture in the basement is not your friend! You ought to keep an eye out on the moisture levels in your basement lest you want to risk the hazards associated with it.

Let’s discuss on the common causes of dampness in your basement and more fundamentally, how you can Fix the situation. Let’s dive right in!

How do I know That I have a Moisture Problem?

Before getting to the root cause of moisture in your basement, the big question is, ‘How do you know there is a moisture problem in your basement?’

The answer to this is not always simple because more often, there are no visible paddle of water down there.

So how do you tell if the amount of moisture is getting out of hand? Moisture manifests in different ways including:

  • Smell of rot and heavy dump air
  • Water paddles on the floor
  • Destroyed carpets
  • Presence of dampness rings on the walls and floor
  • Wet walls especially to the touch.

Having mentioned that, let’s get into what’s causing dampness in your basement.

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Causes of dampness in your basement

Water leak

Well, this appears like an everyday occurrence. It is vital to remember that indoor water leaks are in fact the leading cause of basement dampness in many households.

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Leaks essentially originate from broken pipes and your everyday appliances for instance dishwashers or even a sink. You should always be on the lookout for leaks and fix them immediately.

Identifying the source of the leak is usually a no brainer, simply look for a paddle of water and the faulty appliance or pipe is usually nearby.

If you are good with your hands, repair the leak or better yet call in your plumber and get it fixed. If properly fixed, then the problem is as good as gone.

Condensation and humid air outside

If you leave your basement window open during summers, you may have noticed moisture on the walls. To an unexperienced eye, it may seem like a wall leakage which is not usually the case.

Let me explain, when warm air outside gets into your basement, it condenses on the cooler basement walls. If you have experience this before then you are in luck because fixing it rather easy.

This usually happens since there is no escape route for the warm air. Get yourself an exhaust fan that should get the air out. Another option is installing a fan or two in your basement which will have the same effect.

If the condensation is concentrated on a particular area you could insulate those spots to ensure condensation doesn’t occur there. Generally, increasing circulation in your basement will solve most of the minor condensation problems.

Grading flaws

Grading usually serves to direct rain water away from your house by creating a slope facing outwards. In the event that grading was insufficient, rainwater accumulates on your walls and finally seeps its way to your basement.

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This usually happens when the soil around your house wasn’t compacted allowing the soil to settle creating this particular flaw.

For this case there are two ways you can get around the situation.

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