Basement Moisture in Franklin IN
Most of the basements are connected directly to the home. Some basements are furnished as living and bedroom spaces. In these cases, basement moisture can be uncomfortable, annoying, and a potential health risk. Identifying the cause for basement moisture is the first step in resolving the problem.
Symptoms of Basement Moisture
Following are the symptoms of basement moisture.
- Damp and humid air.
- Water seeping/trickling out of the basement walls.
- A visible ring of dampness on the concrete block walls.
- Mildew and mold on the walls, and their peculiar odor.
- Deterioration of wood and carpet.
- Stained and blistered wall covers.
- Decayed wood headers, sill plates, columns, and joists.
- Standing water on the floor.
Basement Moisture Sources
Following are the three sources of moisture.
- Groundwater and rain – If a house does not have proper gutters, grading, and downspouts, rainwater will flow into the basement. The groundwater can also rise due to a flood, which will cause the water to flow into the basement.
- Interior sources – Moisture is generated inside a basement as a result of various human activities as well, like cooking, showering, using humidifiers, and using a ventless clothes dryer. Another possible source is the moisture contained in the new concrete (right after construction).
- Humid outside air – Most of the people will keep the basement window open during summertime. This will cause the warm and humid outside air to condense on the cool basement floor surfaces and basement walls, to form moisture.
Moisture is transferred from the outside to the basement interior by four mechanisms – water flow, capillary suction, vapor diffusion, and air movement.
Causes of Basement Moisture
Following are the main causes of basement moisture:
- Inadequate grading – Water will be directed into the basement if the ground around the home is level or the ground slopes towards the home. The soil near the home is often back-filled without adequate compaction.
- Missing or defective gutters – Rainwater will be straightaway directed towards the foundation perimeter in case of missing gutters and downspouts. However, it is better to have no gutters at all than having defective gutters or gutters with missing splash-block or extender. They will cause a large volume of water to be deposited at a single location near the basement.
- Structural cracks – Concrete block foundations eventually develop some cracks. Moisture can seep in through the cracks.
- Improperly built window wells – An improperly built window well will direct water towards the foundation, rather than away from it.
- Absence of subsurface drainage system – Many of the existing houses do not have a subsurface drainage system, to drain the water collected.
It is always better to seek professional help to identify the correct source of moisture in your basement, and to take care of the issue, properly and permanently.