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Basement Moisture – How to Keep it to a Minimum

Keeping basement moisture under control is important for several reasons.  First of all, too much moisture over an extended period of time can lead to structural issues.  Secondly, moisture can cause mold growth, musty smells, and other problems.   Basements naturally have a higher humidity level than the rest of the house.  Concrete is porous and will not prevent outside moisture from seeping through.  Additionally, normal everyday activities, such as cooking, showering, etc. can cause an increase in moisture as well.  While some moisture is natural, it is good to examine your house from time to time for preventable sources of excess moisture.

Possible Causes of Moisture

Plumbing Leaks:

It is easy for small plumbing leaks to go unnoticed for long periods of time.  This is especially true since pipes are usually hidden in walls, under vanities, or behind appliances.  If you notice one particular area of the basement that is always damp, check the plumbing around that area.  It could be that there is a slow leak in one of the pipes.

Dryer Vent:

When a dryer vent is functioning properly, it should discharge the moist air from the dryer to the outside of the home.  If a dryer vent comes loose or unattached, there is no way for that damp air to escape.  Check to make sure that your vent is securely attached and functioning properly.

Leaking Gutters:

A leaky gutter can cause water to settle around the foundation which will seep in and cause excess moisture or dampness.  Make sure that gutters are not clogged and are directing water away from the home.

Improper Grading Around Foundation:

If the ground around your foundation is sloped toward the house, rainwater cannot drain to the proper location and may contribute to basement moisture and dampness.  Even if the pitch is just slightly off, it can cause excessive dampness in the basement.

HVAC System:

Have a heating and cooling contractor check your system to make sure that it is ventilating properly and that the unit is the correct size for your home.

In addition to making sure that all of the above issues are in order, you can use a dehumidifier to keep moisture in check.  You may also want to consider a Humidex system, which you can learn more about by clicking here.

Persistent Dampness

What if you have examined all of the above possibilities and still have dampness?  If you are experiencing persistent dampness that is not reduced by following the above steps, you may need to have your basement evaluated by a basement waterproofing contractor.  Pioneer Basement Solutions has been in business since 1979.  We are locally owned and operated, licensed, bonded, and insured.  We can perform a free* inspection of your basement to determine what the cause is of any basement moisture or dampness.  Click here to contact us!

basement moisture

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Author: Ron Lee

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