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Why is my Basement Damp and Humid? - Boston, MA

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, July 05, 2016

This is a common problem this time of year and it can cause big health problems and problems if you are trying to sell your home.

What is the cause of a damp and humid basement?

There are four basic reasons. The first is water infiltration. You may wonder that how can this be because it has been hot and dry. It can still come in because of the water table, irrigation systems, or rain. Water can enter the basement through cracks in the foundation wall, voids where the floor and wall meet, basement floor cracks, pipe penetrations, leaking tie rods, or bulkheads that may be leaking

The second way a water can enter the basement is by pipes. In the basement you see the hot water tank with pipes coming in and out of it and pipes going to the bathrooms upstairs. These pipes carry cold water. We all know that when cold surfaces with humidity in the air cause condensation. You want to stop the condensation as much as you can.

The third reason for humid basements are the walls themselves. Basements wall are below grade, below the soil, which makes the walls colder than the inside air, causing condensation.

The fourth reason is one people never think about. The clothes dryer is in the basement. When you dry a load of clothes the water that comes out in water vapor is about 1 and ½ gallons of water into the air. This can cause humidity.

If you find on or more of these problems, what do you do?

With water infiltration, see if you have any cracks or leaks around tie rods and pipe penetrations. If you see one of those consult a water proofing company.

For sweating pipes, go to a big box store and buy pipe insulation.  This will help stop pipes from sweating.

You can’t stop walls from condensing, but you can control it with humidifiers. Humidifiers help dry the air.

Dryer vents should not  be too long. They should be less than 10 feet from the outside. Also, be sure that it is not pulled away or has a hole in it, and that it actually does vent to the outside.

These are all things you can do to prevent damp and humid basements. For more information on basement waterproofing, contact A1 Foundation Crack Repair.

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