Usually, it’s the smell that hits you first when there’s moisture in your basement.
The smell of mold, mildew, and stale air. You notice the difference when you open the door to the basement and walk down the stairs.
There may be other signs as well:
- Standing water on the floor
- Water trickling through cracks in the walls
- Wet concrete around the perimeter where the walls and floor meet
- White mineral deposits on the walls(known as “efflorescence”)
- Condensation in warmer months on the walls and floor
- In a finished basement, you may notice your wall coverings getting stained or the carpet and wood aging faster than normal
Obviously, if you’ve spent a lot of time and money finishing your basement or are planning on it, the last thing you want is for it to be ruined by moisture.
Is A Damp Basement A Health Concern?
Also, a damp basement can lead to significant health problems. Exposure to mold and mildew can have detrimental effects on us. Do you spend a good amount of time in your basement?
Even if we don’t, and our basement is unfinished, we can still be affected. Did you know that up to 50% of the air we breathe in our homes comes from the basement?
The good news is that you’re not alone. The American Society of Home Inspectors has reported that 60% of U.S. homes have wet basements and that 38% run the risk of mold.
But where is all this moisture coming from anyway?
It could be:
1) From inside your house
- we create moisture in our homes every day
- we shower, we cook and boil water, we dry our clothes-all of these actions create moisture
2) Water from outside
- rain and melting snow, as well as a high water table underneath the foundation, can saturate the soil surrounding your home
- this water or vapor can find its way into your basement in a variety of ways
3) Humid air from outside
- Summer air in many climates is humid
- Through an open window or through doors and bulkheads
- This hot, humid air condenses on the cooler surfaces of the basement (the walls and floor of a basement are cooler because the soil temperature is at 60 degrees or less-a contrast to the 80s or 90s outside)
So wherever the moisture is coming from, you have good reason to be concerned about a damp basement. It can affect your health and ruin your dreams of a finished basement that you and your whole family can enjoy.
Still, some questions remain; How does water come in from the outside?
Contact us if you need help determining the source of your damp basement.