Posted on: 3 November 2016
Water in the basement represents a potentially serious problem, one that can lead to everything from rot, to mildew, to outright flooding. Fortunately, it may not be as difficult as you assume to eliminate some common causes of unwanted moisture. If you have a wet basement that has been causing you anxiety, read on. This article will discuss two common causes—and solutions.
The land around your home plays what may be the single largest role in your basement's relationship with moisture intrusion. The problem here is quite simple: unless the ground slopes away form your home, precipitation will cause water to be retained by the soil. This water soon finds its way into the basement, either through weak points, cracks, or the process of migration known as hydrostatic pressure.
It is often easy to diagnose landscape runoff issues, since your basement will always be at its wettest during or just after periods of heavy precipitation. If you've noticed such a correlation, head outside to take a closer look at your landscaping. Assess the direction in which the soil around your home slopes. The best case scenario should involve at least a 6" drop in height within the initial ten feet as you move away from your home. Consider hiring a landscape company to regrade your yard appropriately.
Downspouts often play an unwitting role in basement wetness—either because they have become detached, or because they have developed leaks that are allowing water to pool up too close to your foundation. This can lead to problems even if your soil is properly graded. It's also a good idea to give your gutters a thorough cleaning; clogs will cause water to spill over the side and straight down along the walls of your foundation.
Sweating refers to the formation of water droplets along both walls and floor. The issue here is that the temperature difference between the cold walls and floors of your basement and the relatively warmer air leads to the condensation of water vapor. Unlike landscaping runoff, sweating does not usually result in the appearance of rivulets or pools of water. Yet it is still quite capable of causing mold and mildew growth, not to mention wood rot and rusting.
There's an easy way to determine if condensation is the cause of your basement wetness. All you have to do is tape all four sides of a piece of tin foil to the wall. Allow it to remain there overnight, then carefully peel it off the next day. If water has appeared on the back of the foil, your problem more likely has to do with hydrostatic pressure--in other words, water coming in from outside. If the water is on the front of the foil, chances are condensation is the culprit. Contact a professional waterproofing company, such as Fire & Flood Services Inc, about ways to eliminate the problem.Share