Damp basements are a perennial problem for homeowners in the Midwest, especially in the springtime. Basement moisture can adversely affect the structural integrity of a foundation and house. And, if the humidity prompts the growth of mold or mildew, as it frequently does, this poses a threat to you and your family’s health. That is why you need damp basement solutions.
The presence of mold or mildew in a home can exacerbate allergies, cause respiratory problems, and cause or worsen infections. Those without sensitivities to mold or mildew may still experience stuffy noses, throat irritation, and coughing, even if the growths are in the basement.
Unchecked water exposure to your home’s basement can also have severe long-term impacts on its overall structural health. Leaks can exacerbate cracks in basement walls and floors, bow or shift the walls of a basement or foundation, and cause uneven floors as the foundation shifts and sinks.
Don’t ignore a damp basement! It’s a problem that won’t go away and one that could do untold damage if neglected. Depending on the type and cause of moisture, there are many damp basement solutions. An expert can help you choose which solution is best for your home and family.
How Do I Know If I Need Damp Basement Solutions?
Depending on the source and scope of the problem, a damp basement might not immediately be apparent. You might smell mold or mildew before even realizing water is invading your home. For this reason, it’s a good idea to know the signs of a damp basement and perform periodic checks to see if yours exhibits any.
Common signs of a damp basement include:
- Standing water on the floor
- Water trickling down the walls or ceiling cracks
- Excessive humidity
- Rotting or deteriorating wood or carpeting
- Dampness rings or lines along the base of walls
- Pockets appearing behind your wall or wall covering
What Are The Causes of Damp Basements?
There are several ways moisture can enter a basement. A foundation repair specialist will work with you to determine where the moisture is coming from, but it can help to understand the basics before even bringing an expert out to your house.
There are two general causes of basement moisture: rain and groundwater, and interior humidity. It’s essential to understand how these differ from each other, as the solution to your basement moisture will depend on the source of the issue.
Rain and Groundwater
Often, when people purchase a home, they aren’t aware of the potential problems they are inheriting until it’s too late, and their basement transforms into an impromptu swimming pool. Improper construction and design in a house is most often the issue when it comes to water from rain or the ground. Additionally, improperly graded roofs or incorrectly installed gutters mean precipitation could end up running into the basement instead of away from the house. Soil and rainwater can also become an issue if there is no damp basement solutions around the walls of the basement or foundation.
Interior moisture stems from activities taking place inside the basement or the house. Main indoor activities, like showering or cooking, can generate interior moisture that can wreak havoc on walls, flooring, or a foundation. Additionally, having a large number of people in a space, especially improperly ventilated spaces, can also lead to condensation. Unlike with rain or groundwater issues, you can sometimes eliminate interior by merely stopping certain activities (like showering for 30 minutes) or installing better ventilation.
What Are Damp Basement Solutions?
Firstly, damp basement solutions depend on the cause of the moisture. Construction of the house and foundation, as well as other factors like weather, soil type, and building material also contribute.
Urethane injections are simple, cost-effective solutions for damp basements. Moisture often enters basements through wall or floor cracks and pipe condensation. Urethane is a durable polyurethane compound that’s safe to use inside your home. Sometimes, experts use urethane injections in conjunction with other remedies.
Safe Edge Waterproofing System
The design of a safe edge waterproofing system covers a large surface area. You can install this system in conjunction with a wall encapsulation system or sealed pump pit, which prevents gases in soil from entering your home. Safe Edge offers an efficient method for capturing water that is coming over a large surface area, usually a wall and diverting it to a sump pump to evacuate the water from the basement. Additionally, this system is especially helpful when moisture is coming through a wall or seeping through the cove joints, the seam where a wall joins the floor.
Safe Drain Waterproofing System
Like Safe Edge, this system collects water and divert it to a sump pump. However, unlike the Safe Edge system, you’ll install Safe Drain in the floor. It’s unobtrusive and efficient design and allows you to pour the concrete floor back over the drainage system. This keeps it thoroughly out of sight. Additionally, depending on the nature of the leak and the wall material, you can also use Safe Drain to treat seepage.
Sump pumps are a common feature in many homes and one of the most common solutions for damp basements. They are mechanized devices that expel water that has collected in a basement. Sump pumps require regular maintenance and updates. If your basement has a sump pump, monitor the pump to make sure it’s working at full capacity.
A dehumidifier can be a simple solution to basement moisture issues. As for humidity, either from weather patterns or inside activities, a dehumidifier can eliminate moisture from the air. There are a large number of dehumidifiers on the market. A basement repair specialist can help you decide on the best dehumidifier for your home.
A basement repair expert will offer all of these solutions and more, with a free assessment and consultation, precise cost estimates, and a timetable. With your expert’s help, you can keep your basement safe and dry!
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