Dampness in your basement can affect the comfort level throughout your home. If your home feels humid, it's a good idea to check if there is a problem with dampness in the basement. Here is a simple test you can do to check what is causing the dampness in your basement that is affecting the rest of your home and several things you can do to reduce the moisture.
Testing for Dampness
Take a piece of foil and tape it to one of the walls in your basement. Wait a day or two and check the foil for moisture. If you find condensation on the outside of the foil, the side facing the interior of the basement, this is a sign that there is excessive moisture in the basement, such as from a clothes dryer or a leak somewhere in your interior plumbing.
If you find moisture underneath the foil on the side facing the foundation wall, this is an indication that the moisture is coming from groundwater seeping through the concrete. If you find condensation on the interior side and moisture on the exterior side, you likely have more than one problem with water and moisture infiltrating your basement.
Decreasing Moisture & Humidity
If the exterior portion of the foil was dry, concentrate your efforts on finding and fixing plumbing leaks and making sure your clothes dryer vent is clean and securely attached. Install insulation in your basement around areas where moisture accumulates, such as around plumbing. Increasing the air circulation in your basement can also help reduce condensation.
If the exterior portion of the foil was moist, your efforts will need to be concentrated on reducing the amount of moisture that comes through the concrete foundation walls. This can be done in several ways, but it's a good idea to hire a home inspection service first to determine whether or not a more extensive problem exists with the structural integrity of your foundation. If repairs are necessary, take care of them first before moving forward with basement waterproofing.
To waterproof your basement, several options can be done alone or combined for a more thorough effort:
- extend downspouts to direct water away from the foundation
- install a French drain around the perimeter of your home
- install a sump pump to remove water
- seal your foundation walls and floors
Speak with a basement waterproofing service for more information on how to rid your basement of moisture and dampness.