There are all kinds of water problems that might occur in your basement. And it’s really no surprise that such issues are prevalent in the lowest floor in your home, considering water runs downhill. Pipes that burst, even in upper floors, could lead to basement leaks. If your vapor barrier is defunct, inadequate, damaged, or missing, you could have dampness seeping in through the walls and flooring. And if your yard is improperly graded or your gutters and downspouts are clogged, you could be looking at some pretty leaky conditions downstairs. The worst part is not even the water itself, but the damage it can cause, including cosmetic issues like staining, structural issues like rot, and potential hazards to your home and your health such as mold and mildew. But there are ways to prevent such problems. Here are a few tips to help you stave off basement water problems in your home.
A good place to start is by checking for moisture in your basement to see if you already have a problem on your hands. Whether or not you think your basement feels dank, damp, and clammy, it’s probably best to get a hygrometer to measure the moisture in the environment. Generally speaking, home humidity levels should be around 30-40%, although they may be slightly lower in colder climates. If they’re over 50% when you take your measurements, you will soon have a problem, if you don’t already, namely with mold and potentially with rot. In other words, you need to nip moisture in the bud.
The moisture in your basement is coming from somewhere and you need to find out where. Two main culprits could be the cause. Either your vapor barrier isn’t working properly or you are experiencing some kind of leak from the outside (barring more obvious leaks from the inside). You should start by sealing up potential points of ingress for outside air and moisture, such as windows, doors, vents, pipes, and so on. You can also use caulk, foam, or other types of sealant around seams in walls and so on. If this doesn’t seem to solve your problem, you may have to call in professionals to inspect and/or replace your vapor barrier, which stops moisture from seeping in through the concrete walls.
From there, you can also think about installing a whole-home dehumidification system, especially if you happen to be dealing with moisture issues on other floors of your home. This is common for homeowners living in humid climates. A whole-home unit hooks into your existing HVAC system in order to draw moisture from the air throughout your home. But if your problem is only in the basement, you could also try portable dehumidifiers on a room-by-room basis.
Now, if you have yet to experience problems with moisture in your basement but you want to do your best to prevent them from occurring, it’s not a bad idea to set up an appointment with experts like the professionals at Stay Dry Basements of CT. Whether you’ve experienced a massive leak, serious moisture issues, or you simply want a preventive consultation, hiring a company of this caliber can help you to deal with the problem at hand and/or prepare for a future free of moisture and the many problems it can cause.