What Basement Moisture Can Indicate: Problems & Solutions
May 3, 2022
Basements are common in many states, but not in every region. This is due to many reasons, including homes being built too close to sea level or homes built in high-risk tornado areas. Regardless of where your home is located, basement moisture problems are not out of the ordinary, especially during rainier seasons like the one we’re now entering. Mold and mildew can grow under the carpet, wood flooring, or wall coverings—all of which can lead to significant health problems for you and your family.
People use their basement spaces in all kinds of ways. In fact, it’s commonly used as a living room space or even as an extra bedroom. Yet, some people live with incomplete basements! Finishing a basement without handling a moisture situation is not only bad for the structure of a home: It also carries the risk of negatively affecting the health of those living in the home.
What Causes Basement Moisture
Did you know there are three main reasons why moisture can creep into your home?
- Water from natural water sources, like rain or groundwater, enters into your home from the outside. This becomes an even more prevalent issue during rainier seasons. Increased rainfall leads to a higher chance of moisture to enter into (and cause issues) in your home. Other ways moisture can come in from the outside include capillary suction, vapor diffusion, and natural air movement.
- Interior moisture sources can get trapped in the home, which prevents moisture from escaping.
- Living in high-humidity areas can cause basement moisture when air enters a basement and condenses on cooler surfaces.
Treatments for Excess Moisture
When home builders fail to slope the ground opposite of a home’s foundation, moisture is destined to build up. When homes are lacking sufficient drainage systems, moisture will often also be the end result. However, this doesn’t mean you’re out of options.
Here are a few solutions to basement moisture problems:
#1: Natural Water Sources
Water easily creeps in from the outside, especially if you live in an area with lots of rain or on a plot of land susceptible to heavy groundwater. Even if you live in an area with relatively mild rainfall throughout most of the year, home moisture can become exacerbated during rainy seasons, when rainfall is more frequent. That’s why drain tiles are good to have installed in your home, regardless of whether your home is surrounded by sand, gravel, or clay soils. Additionally, consider upgrading your gutters in a way that water flows far enough off that there is no chance it can leak into your basement.
#2: Interior Moisture Sources
Interior moisture can be caused by various sources, including humidifiers, dryers, washing machines, sinks, bathtubs, dishwashers, and more. The easiest way to eliminate this specific issue is to install a dehumidifier in your home. Learn more about our dehumidifiers here.
#3: High Humidity Areas
If you live in high humidity areas, especially in the summertime, it can get stuffy or suffocating if the air isn’t cranked up on high or if windows are closed. But, when the warm and humid air from the outside comes into a cooler basement, the water condenses to various surfaces. Besides closing your windows on those hot and humid days, install a dehumidifier in your home!
Ridding this Problem for Good
Home remedies help reduce basement moisture problems and, while these are beneficial for a quick fix, they are often short-term solutions. If you have installed a dehumidifier or a sump pump, it may be time for an upgrade! The Shipshape App offers enhanced leak detection, sump pump power monitoring, and sump pump performance for your home—to help ensure water damage (and ensuing costs) don’t wreak havoc on your home and its value. The ideal way to prevent significant damage is proper, periodic maintenance—something our app is particularly poised to help you with. Download our app to manage all of your Shipshape solutions!