There are possible reasons for a damp basement. It can be a water leak or high humidity but either one of them can lead to mold and mildew. If water can find a way to get into your house, it can create big problems like rot, structural damage or premature paint failure.
- The place where the problem occurs can offer you indications about the cause of the problem. If you can see a spot somewhere on a wall or ceiling, the problem can be a water leak. If something is wrong in a entire room or area, than the humidity can be the reason for this.
- If you intend to do some changes in the basement, the moisture should be your first priority. Most of the times corrective actions are not so complicated but there may be severe problems that can make them difficult and expensive.
- If there is a leak somewhere, get it fixed right away.
- If you find water on the floor after a heavy rain then you might take into consideration a leak in the foundation.The rain gutter must be kept clean and the downspout runoff has to be redirected as far as it can be from the foundation.
The ground around the house should have a slope down that will take all the water away from the foundation.
If you are using a sump pump then check it to be sure it works properly.
If a water stain is visible on the ceiling or wall that is connected with the bathroom than the problem can be a water pipe, toilet, bathtub or shower. A plumber can fix that for you.
- If the water managed to cause real damages then you will need the help of a contractor that is specialized in mold remediation and also water damage.
- Basements that have a dirt floor need to be covered with plastic so that water vapors from the soil could be stopped.
- Kitchens and baths should have ventilation fans in order to keep moisture at a low level. The venting has to be done outside and not in the attic or somewhere else because there is the possibility of getting blocked.
- In case a clothes dryer is in the basement, the vent duct should be checked in order to be attached correctly. Also look for obstructions, leaks of air or any damage that should require replacement. To function properly, the vent duct needs to be cleaned at least once a year.
- A heating and cooling contractor should be hired to check the system in your house and make sure it has the right size for removing the necessary humidity. If it’s too big, the air conditioner will not remove humidity correctly. The duct system should also be verified for any air leaks and proper size.
- High humidity levels can easily be prevented by sealing any air leaks and duct air leaks.
- When there is very hot outside, the basement will fill with condensation. This problem can be fixed by using a dehumidifier and sealing air and duct leaks to reduce as much as possible the amount of humid outdoor air from outside.