Moisture in a basement is a common occurrence, but it often goes undiagnosed and untreated. If you rarely enter your basement you may be unaware of the moisture that has accumulated and the damage that it may be doing to the foundation of your home. If moisture continues to amass, it can cause significant problems that take a considerable amount of time and money to correct.
If there is excess moisture in your basement it can be identified through various symptoms including:
- Water trickling or dripping out of walls
- Standing water on floor
- A ring of dampness or saturated base on concrete walls
- Damp, humid air
- Condensation on cold walls and floor in summer
- Odor, mold, and mildew
- Deterioration of carpet or wood
- Rot and decay of wood headers, joists, sill plates, and columns
- Staining and blistering of wall covering
- Chipping and decay of concrete or masonry
In many cases, standing water cannot be seen but the smell of mold and mildew is a tell-tale sign of excessive moisture and humidity in a basement. Molds and mildew can grow in damp carpets and beneath wall coverings.
Moisture in a basement can be caused by external or internal factors.
Most basement water leakage results from water (often from rain, groundwater or snow) flowing through holes, cracks, and other fractures in the home’s basement walls or from water leaking into the cracks and pores of porous building materials, such as masonry blocks, concrete, or wood. These tiny cracks and pores can absorb water in any direction — even upward. In some cases, missing gutters and downspouts cause rainwater to be directed toward the perimeter of the home’s foundation, resulting in water leakage into the basement.
Often moisture is generated inside the home by people and their activities. Common sources include humidifiers, unvented clothes dryers, showering, and cooking. When basements are finished, these activities occur more often and therefore the possibility of moisture increases.
According to The Department of Energy, “Controlling moisture can make your home more energy-efficient, less costly to heat and cool, more comfortable and it can prevent mold growth. Properly controlling moisture in your home will improve the effectiveness of your air sealing and insulation efforts, and these efforts in turn will help control moisture. The best strategies for controlling moisture in your home depend on your climate and how your home is constructed. Proper ventilation should also be part of a moisture control strategy.”
Moisture problems are not only annoying and uncomfortable, but can lead to significant health problems. If you suspect that your basement (or any room of your home) has an excessive and unhealthy amount of moisture, consult with a professional to conduct the appropriate moisture testing for your home. If water and moisture are detected, you can then make the appropriate adjustments to your home to control it.
Advanced Moisture Testing provides high quality moisture testing to customers throughout New York and the tristate area. If you are concerned about the moisture levels in your home or place of business, call for a consultation today at 631-567-9269 or 631-567-9314.