Preventing basement moisture can be an ongoing battle. It doesn’t help that your home is surrounded by moist soil and basement walls do little to keep that moisture out. Usually basements have small windows to help with ventilation, but when do they ever get opened? So what can you do?
If you only compensate for basement moisture by installing a dehumidifier, you may be masking the signs that moisture is damaging the structure of your home. By the time you discover what damage the moisture has been doing, the deterioration may so advanced that your repair bills will be expensive.
The first step toward basement moisture control is to identify the source of the moisture. Once you know where it’s coming from you can eliminate, or at least control it.
5 Steps To Help Control Basement Moisture
Here are steps you can take to eliminate or control sources of basement moisture.
Open sump basin
Moisture inside the basement can come from an open sump basin. If the basin doesn’t have a lid, the water evaporating from inside can be a constant source of basement moisture.
Put a cover on the basin so the water is enclosed in a sealed container. Get a lid that screws down to the basin, sealing the water inside. If you have a clay or metal basin, get a lid that can be screwed to the surrounding concrete, creating a tight seal.
Water leaking in from where the floor meets the wall – through cracks or over the top of the foundation – introduces an astounding amount of moisture into your basement. This moisture creates a damp, musty feel in your basement. The seepage also allows mold spores to thrive and spread.
Waterproofing specialists like Toledo Basement Repair are trained to recognize signs of seepage. Plus, they should be able to offer you ways to permanently eliminate or at least manage that moisture – preventing further damage to your foundation. Some of our repair methods include repairing cracks, installing interior drainage where the floor meets the wall, and preventing top of foundation seepage. If there is a general dampness in your basement, but no identifiable sources of water entry, installing a dehumidifier will help in this case.
One big offender of creating basement moisture is the dryer vent. It’s designed to take the moist air that comes out of your dryer and blow that wetness to the outside. Sometimes the vent pipe or hose taking the moist air outside gets disconnected and all that moisture blows into the basement instead.
Look behind the dryer and make sure the metallic looking hose coming from the back of the dryer is securely fastened. Then run the dryer and make sure there are no leaks from the dryer to the outside. If it does, use foil tape to permanently seal the leaks.
Plumbing pipes are typically out of sight (and out of mind) behind the walls or under sinks. They are also prone to leaks, though. SInce they are out of sight, basement plumbing leaks can exist for a long time, quietly causing wood to rot, drywall to crumble, and mold to thrive before the leaks are discovered.
Make a point to regularly inspect your plumbing pipes, sink shut offs and drain pipes. Run water when you are inspecting them to see if the drain pipes or shut offs leak. Another tip is to push firmly on the bottom of your basement shower walls to see if they are spongy. Plus, it’s a good idea to regularly check pipe connections and the floor below them for signs that they may be leaking.
Dirt / Gravel Crawl Space
Crawl spaces with dirt or gravel floors tend to feel moist because the ground moisture can easily evaporate up into the crawl space. If your crawl space entrance is open to the basement, this gives moisture an easy migration path into your basement or home.
Can you scoop the water in your crawl space into a cup? If that’s true, then a drainage system with pump needs to be installed. If the moisture is just dampness, encapsulate the crawl with a sealed liner to keep the moisture from entering the house.
Never put a dehumidifier in a damp, dirt floor crawl space. It will suck the moisture out of the dirt that’s supporting the foundation and cause it to sink.
These five solutions will make a considerable impact on controlling your basement moisture. However, if you find that you need a drier place to enjoy, schedule a visit with us. We have The Solutions for even the most serious basement moisture problems. Call us TODAY! (419) 297-6138