Wet Basements: Causes and Solutions
For homeowners that enjoy the benefit of a basement, most likely it is an essential living space or a storage area for valuable possessions. Whether you use your basement for enjoyment or necessity finding that it has moisture issues and musty odors is no fun. Due to the structural makeup of a basement, it is somewhat prone to a certain degree of moisture, especially if the soil is saturated from heavy rains or a long winter thaw. However, other issues including overhead leaking pipes, hot water heater, moisture in the air can cause wet basements as well.
Here are common causes and solutions for wet basements.
Foundation Cracks: If cracks are detected in the floor or concrete basement walls, water or moisture may occur. Not all cracks are obvious; some will have noticeable water leaks while others may have calcium efflorescence stains from water evaporation.
Solution: There is a product called hydraulic cement that is available to repair such cracks. You will actually need to widen the cracks for application to ensure it adheres and does the job intended. Just follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Interior Leaks: Occasionally moisture does not come from the exterior and the culprits are inside of the house.
Improperly Sealed Windows: Windows in basement provide natural light but if not properly installed and sealed they can become sources of water leakage around the frames.
Solution: Check for any cracks and be sure to seal them. Another solutions is installing window well liners and covers that will help prevent both dirt and moisture.
Sources of Humidity: Humidity can easily build up in the basement area because it is already prone to moisture.
Solution: Leaky dryer vents can cause moisture buildup in the basement and an easy fix is to seal the joints of the dryer vent with aluminum tape. Also, if you have a shower in the basement, install a ventilation system in the bathroom and be sure it is used during showers. If there are no specific causes for humidity in your basement, running a dehumidifier will sometimes take care of the problem.
Preventative measures can be taken as well by installing a gutter system that properly routes rainwater and melting snow or ice from your roof away from the house. Also, if you have landscaping or gravel along the foundation of your home, be sure it slopes downward by at least 4 inches away from the house to prevent water buildup and over saturation of the surrounding soil.
The Author Schenectady NY Home Inspections LLC is a locally owned and family operated Home Inspection Company. Schenectady NY Home Inspections is located in Schenectady NY and has performed over 6500 Inspections Book online