Basement Moisture – How to Keep it to a Minimum

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

*Free inspection for homeowners

Humidex System

Basement Dehumidifier – Why Humidex is a Good Alternative

Basement Dehumidifier – Why Humidex is a Good Alternative

First of all, why use a basement dehumidifier in the first place?  Its no secret that excessive basement moisture, if left unchecked, can cause a slew of problems.  For example, basement moisture can contribute to mold growth, musty smells, poor air quality in the home, and even structural problems.  However, it is not difficult to keep moisture under control with proper ventilation.  For this reason, many homeowners will utilize a basement dehumidifier.  While this is undoubtedly better than nothing at all and can certainly help to keep moisture under control, it is not the only option out there.

What is Humidex and How Does it Work?

Humidex is a patented moisture control and ventilation system.  The system works in three steps:

Step 1 – Expel

Moisture naturally seeps in through the foundation and accumulates from normal daily activities.  This heavy, moisture-laden air settles at the floor level of the basement and crawl space.  The Humidex system draws in this stagnant, damp, contaminated air to the bottom vents of the unit by a powerful, yet quiet, ventilation fan.  The air is then expelled to the outside of the house through a dedicated duct.

Step 2 – Replenish

This flushed-out, contaminated air is then replaced with a flow of relatively drier, warmer and fresher air drawn downward from the upper levels. The warmer air will lower the relative humidity and reduce the condensation on the basement surface. The interior upstairs air is then replaced with cleaner, fresher outdoor air entering the home naturally through windows, doors, and cracks.

Step 3 – Ventilate

The Humidex system is automatically controlled by an adjustable humidistat that regulates the flow of air.  The fan will adjust according to the humidity level.  At a high rate, which is only at peak times, it will be equivalent to two bathroom fans. In maintenance mode it’s a fraction of that, enough to meet the minimum air exchange required.

basement dehumidifier

Humidex vs. Dehumidifiers

Consider some of the advantages of Humidex:

  • Cheaper to run.  The average monthly cost for electricity is $3.  Humidex only uses 38 watts, even on the highest setting.  On the other hand, dehumidifier wattage can translate to $40 to $70 per month.
  • Maintenance free.  Unlike a dehumidifier, there are no filters to clean or replace.  Moreover, there are no buckets to empty.
  • Provides ventilation.  Dehumidifiers recirculate the same air, over and over.  Humidex effectively expels all types of contaminants and pollutants in the entire house and replenishes it with fresher and healthier air.
  • Covers a larger area.  A dehumidifier has a limited range.  In fact, multiple units may be required to effectively control moisture in a large area.  One Humidex provides moisture control for the entire basement, crawl space, and the upper levels as well.

If you would like to learn more, you can do so by clicking here to visit the Humidex website.  You may also contact us for a free* estimate.

*Free estimate for homeowners for basement dehumidifier