The American Society of Home Inspectors, based in Des Plaines, IL, estimates 60 percent of U.S. homes have wet basements, and 38 percent run the risk of basement mold.

Basement Moisture Remedies and fixes

It is key to determine which of three major problems are contributing your to basement moisture: condensation, runoff, or subsurface seepage.

We then can determine what to do about it.

Remedies can vary from de-humidification, using a masonry sealing product like DryLok, insulating cold water pipes, venting properly, addressing outside water entry points, repairing or adding a drainage system if needed or basement reconstruction.

What Are The Causes of Basement Moisture?

This seems a simple question at first and sometimes it has a simple response, and sometimes the reasons for damp basements are complicated.  Not to be funny, but the problem is simply too much water!

What the source of that water is, and where it is coming from and why gets us closer to providing a solution.  That, of course, is to dry it out!  Then the old adage of implementing “An once of prevention is worth a pound of cure” could be our wise guide!

It’s important to recall that in a typical house, it can take many months or even years after the construction is completed to dry out the internal moisture contained in the new cement. The moisture in the cement of an average basement is approx. 0.2 gallons per square foot of wall and 0.1 gallons per square foot of floor.  There is more to a new construction settling than is after thought of.

The key is to understand the source of the water, whether it’s moving through the soil and into the basement or finds its way through some other mechanism.  In other words, which of the three mechanisms permits the water to come in.

Three Sources of Water That Potentially Cause Damp Basements

  1. Liquid water: run off from rain or ground-water
  2. Moisture from interior sources such as, clothes dryers that are not vented correctly, humidifiers, bathrooms, kitchen & cooking, and finally the moisture left in concrete construction
  3. Humidity from external atmosphere that migrates to the basement and condenses on the cooler surface available in the concrete

Excessive moisture that travels to the inside from the outside of the building is either liquid water flow, vapor diffusion, capillary suction and air movement.

This is the service we provide in part; we conduct tests in order to get to the source of your problem.  It can only be one of the three mentioned; it’s either condensation, runoff, or subsurface seepage.

When we stated above that the problem of too much damp in a basement is sometimes caused by a simple reason and sometimes a more complicated one is due to the occasional faulty building construction. The foundation can be riddled with cracking and settling.  In many cases, however, the building can be sound but was not carefully designed and structurally engineered to handle mother nature’s water drainage.

That can be due to a failure to slope the ground surface away from the walls. Excessive damp can be caused from something as simple as inadequate rain gutters and downspouts. Below is a list of damp basement symptoms – some of which you may have:

  • Trickling water from the walls
  • Damp and humid air
  • Mildew, odor and mold
  • Rotten and decaying joists, sill plates, wood headers and columns
  • Blistering and staining of the wall covering
  • Carpet and wood deterioration
  • Saturation at the base of the concrete blocks

Below are some of the typical problems and solutions we access when we conduct our surveys and tests specific to basement moisture:

Problem: Inadequate grading: the land around the foundation is either level or slopes toward the walls and was not correctly compacted so it latter settles. This is very often found under porches and stoops.

Solution: We move earth around the house so that it has a proper slope allowing water to drain away

Problem: Inadequate or defective rain guttering and down spouts

Solution: We know how important it is to know that a downspout without an extender or splash block causes more problems than no downspout at all!

A very concentrated amount of water is draining into a small area of the basement and this is not necessarily something you can be aware of until it’s too late and you have an overgrowth of mold spores

Problem: Improperly designed and or installed windows

Solution: We thoroughly access this and do what is necessary to bring it up to acceptable building code standards

There are many more problems that can be the source of too much water in your basement and we have a solution for every one of them. We hope you give us a call should you run into any of the problems we’ve discussed here.

We are your ‘one stop shop’ beginning with either your emergency call for urgent assistance or your wanting to improve your home by being pro active in your management.

Please Contact Us For a Free Estimate.