When you go down to your basement, do you feel the need to put on a pair of rubber boots and a raincoat because it feels wet? Now that might be an exaggeration but a damp basement can be really uncomfortable, especially if it happens to be your recreation room!
And not only is it uncomfortable but thanks to mold and mildew, which thrives in that environment, it can also become a health hazard.
So how do you determine if you have a damp basement? The first answer is obvious – you can see it. If you have moisture pooling on the floor or condensation appearing around windowsills, then you definitely have a problem. The second telltale source is mold or mildew – especially in hidden areas like a crawlspace.
A general feeling of high humidity when you walk down the stairs to the basement is a good indicator that moisture is present and seeping in from somewhere.
There are three main causes for a damp basement:
- External sources – this means you may have a crack or opening in the foundation of your house or improperly sealed windows or doors. If the problem increases after a heavy rainstorm, that’s a sure sign of water penetrating the foundation. This can occur because of a lack of proper drainage around the house.
- Internal sources – you have all sorts of pipes running through the house to carry water to different rooms. Sinks, bathtubs, showers, toilets and the laundry room all have water pipes. A leaky pipe or fixture may be allowing water to seep unseen through the walls, and of course water always runs downhill…right into the basement.
- Lack of proper ventilation – because they are below ground, basements are inherently susceptible to temperature changes. Crawlspaces and other closed areas need proper ventilation so any moisture can evaporate.
Once you’ve identified a problem, you need to correct it as soon as possible in order to avoid other problems that can arise such as wood rot and potential health risks.
If you just can’t locate the problem or suspect you have a crack in the foundation, call a certified RESNET professional for damp basement solutions who has the expertise to locate the problem and advise you on your best course of action.
A RESNET qualified EnergySmart Contractor is well equipped to fix the problem and save you the later added expense of repairing additional damage to your home. If you suspect that you may be suffering from a damp basement, don’t wait! Contact your local RESNET EnergySmart Contractor as soon as possible.