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Basement Moisture Control

The basement is normally the most humid area in the house. Since many basements are damp, it is not uncommon to find traces of mold and mildew in various parts of the room. Standing water, peeling wall paint, chalk-like stains on the walls or floor, condensation on pipes or windows, rotting wood, and/or rusting appliances (dryer / washer) are sure indications of a moisture problem.

What causes basement moisture?
There are many things that can cause a basement to reach high moisture levels. The most common ones consist of cracks in the foundation (wall or floor), broken pipes, a high degree of outdoor humidity, poor rain drainage system, and poor air circulation. Fortunately, there are methods to help you achieve basement moisture control.

Basement Moisture ControlWays to control basement moisture
To manage the humidity in your basement and prevent mold growth, it is imperative that you find the source of the moisture in order to eliminate it.

The first step to basement moisture control is to turn off any humidifier you may have in the surrounding area and replace it with a dehumidifier. Purchasing a dehumidifier is a practical quick fix to the problem. It requires very little effort and is probably the least expensive solution.

If a dehumidifier does not solve the moisture problem, reducing the accumulation of water around the foundation of the house will significantly decrease the amount of moisture that permeates the basement. Inspect and clean the gutters, then direct the down spouts away from the basement walls. Tightly sealing all windows and installing window wells is recommended.

If you find cracks in the foundation, fill them with water-stopping cement to prevent water from traveling into the basement. Apply a waterproofing masonry sealer.

When water infiltration is significant, many homeowners choose to invest in a sump pump. This usually involves hiring a contractor to tear up the floor in order to install the necessary electrical work and plumbing equipment. Although a costly and challenging project, it may be well-worth the effort.

Hiring a basement moisture control professional to inspect your premises is advised when large cracks in the foundation, major drainage problems, and structural repairs are suspected.

Once the basement humidity has disappeared, remember to get rid of all traces of mold and mildew as it can be hazardous to one’s health. Keep the dehumidifier on during the summer, fall, and spring to prevent potential moisture problems.

 

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