Twila E. Palmer's Blog
There is nothing worse in a home than a wet basement. Not only can it deter potential home buyers it can also present health problems, and permanent damage to your home. Tackling the problem of a damp or wet basement is no easy task. Here are some ideas to getting and keeping your basement dry. Find the source The source of the problem could be a water leak or high humidity. Both can lead to mold, mildew, or other biological growth. They can even lead to rot, structural damage, premature paint failure, and a variety of health problems. Check for water seepage. Look for leaks in the foundation, or small gaps around windows or doors. Water can also come from inside your house from a leaking water pipe, toilet, shower or bathtub. Indoor humidity is often caused by normal activities of everyday living, such as showering, cooking, and drying clothes. Damp basements are usually caused by moisture migrating through a concrete foundation. Other common causes are condensation on cold concrete walls and floors during humid months. Stop water leaks Standing water on the floor after a heavy rain is usually the result of a leaky foundation. Make sure all rain gutters are cleared and downspout runoff away from the foundation. The ground around the house should slope down and away from the foundation. If necessary, re-grade around the house. If you have a sump pump, make sure it is working properly. Water stains on the ceiling or wall under or near a bathroom could be a leak from a water pipe, toilet, bathtub or shower. This will require a plumber to repair the leak. Water damage or mold should be handled by a contractor who specializes in mold remediation and water damage repairs. Reducing indoor humidity Dirt floors in the basement should be covered completely with plastic to slow down water vapor coming through the soil. Install ventilation fans in kitchens and baths to control moisture. Make sure they are venting directly outside. Clothes dryer should be vented directly to the outside. Consult the Consumer Products Safety Commission additional safety tips for dryer vents . Check the heating and cooling system to make sure it is sized and operating properly to remove humidity. Have all duct air leaks sealed. Use a dehumidifier in the basement can reduce condensation. A dry basement will not only lead to a healthier home it will lead to a more profitable sale when the time comes.