Basement Moisture Control
Basement moisture is a persistent problem most homeowners face. In order to keep your home and its inhabitants healthy, you need to maintain control over this moisture. Here are some things you need to know about controlling your basement’s moisture.
Basement Moisture Is Bad for Your Health
The musty smell that greets you when you open the basement door isn’t just an annoyance. It’s the sign of a major problem that could adversely affect your health and the health of your family members. Contractors aren’t lying to you when they tell you a moist basement can cause health problems.
A humid basement is the perfect breeding ground for mold. When you have a basement mold infestation, its spores can become airborne and travel throughout the house. These spores can cause not only allergies or cold-like symptoms but can also lead to much more serious health problems, especially in children and the elderly.
More Than Just Rainy Days
You don’t have moisture problems only during rainy weather. Moisture that’s in the soil, even during sunny weather, can find its way into your basement. Water in the soil is pushed against your home’s foundation through a force called hydrostatic pressure. This is a tremendous amount of pressure that pushes it through even the smallest cracks in your foundation. This is why you can have serious basement moisture even in clear weather.
Ventilation Isn’t Your Basement’s Friend
It seems like a good idea to ventilate the basement but ventilation can actually make the problem worse. If your basement is sealed from the elements, it’s more likely to stay dry. When you open up the windows and move air through it, you’re only bringing humid air from outside into your home.
Crawl Spaces Need Waterproofing Too
You may know that your basement needs waterproofing but what about your crawl space? Crawl spaces are perfect breeding grounds for not only mold and mildew, but also for pests and insects. Many people have standing water or moist conditions in their crawl spaces without realizing it. The air in there, just like the air in your basement, comes straight up into your house.
Easy Solutions Aren’t Always the Best
There are many products on the market that are supposed to offer an easy way to do your own basement waterproofing. These include things like DIY kits, which are pretty much useless if you don’t already have some waterproofing experience, and waterproofing paint, which can actually make the problem worse.
The truth is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The solution to your basement waterproofing problems could be something as simple as lengthening exterior drain pipes or installing a sump pump. Or it could be a combined attack that includes French drains, vapor barrier encapsulation, dehumidifiers and foundation repair.
Keeping basements dry and homes healthy is a constant battle, but it’s a very important one to fight. With the right waterproofing solutions in place, you won’t have to worry about your basement and how it affects your home’s indoor air quality.
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