How to Manage a Very Humid Basement
If your basement is very wet, it’s more than a nuisance, because a real nightmare could manifest not long in the future. Seasonal rainfall or thawing snow could make the underside of your home to become wetter. In some cases, it’s not only damp, but flooding could also happen. Chronic basement leakage will destroy appliances, furnishings and even the structural foundation of the home. Excessive moisture could also attract termites and decay the wood frames. If your basement is very humid, check whether you have proper surface drainage. Water may collect around the basement wall if your lawn and backyard are sloped toward the home. You need to re-grade the yard, so it slopes away from the home. Also, try to divert water and prevent it from accumulating near your house.
Other problems may include clogged, poorly positioned or leaking rain gutters. The downspout should be positioned strategically so water is directed away from your house. Problems will happen if water builds up along the basement wall. If the soil is saturated with water, it will find a weak spot in the wall and moisture will seep into your basement. Another problem is if the area has high water table. If the water table is high and remains constant throughout the year, the floor of your basement can become permanently humid. If your basement is too deep, it could actually be submerged in soil water during rainy season. If the basement is too humid, you should check whether it’s leakage or condensation.
Leakage happens when water from the outside finds a way into your basement. While, condensation happens when cool basement wall comes into contact with humid, warm air comes. It’s similar to a cold bottle of soda that’s placed outside during a humid, summer day. Beads of moisture will start dripping down and a small puddle of water will form at the base of the bottle. Leakage usually occurs only a limited area of your basement, while condensation could form on most of the basement wall, especially near the windows or door, where humid air comes into the basement. If the problem is caused by leakage, you should isolate the area where leakage happens. If water collects just outside the basement, solve that problem immediately.
If the problem is caused by humid air, you should know at what times of the year when your area is particularly humid. If summer in your area has more than occasional rains, then the air can be quite warm and humid. In this situation, you should purchase a reliable dehumidifier to make dry up the air in your basement. Make sure that the dehumidifier can cover the entire basement area. If you have a big basement and there are a lot of items inside, you may need to invest on two or more dehumidifiers. When the air is warm and humid, always close the door and windows tightly. An affordable solution is to use waterproofing sealers and paints, to further block any excess moisture. Just be aware that waterproof paint alone can’t solve major leakage problems