Extensive mold and mildew damage related to a cold joint and water proofing failure.

A damp basement is commonly caused by moisture migrating through a concrete foundation. There may not be a sign of any leak or standing water, but the moisture evaporates, increasing indoor humidity. Sealing air leaks and sealing duct air leaks can help to prevent high humidity levels in your home. During hot humid months, using a dehumidifier in the basement can reduce condensation on the walls. This may work better after you’ve sealed air and duct leaks to reduce the amount of humid outdoor air you are bringing into the basement. Too much moisture in a home can lead to mold, mildew, and other biological growth. This in turn can lead to a variety of health effects ranging from more common allergic reactions to asthma attacks. Excess moisture can be in the form of high relative humidity, including humidity generated by people and their activities such as showers, cooking, or drying clothes. Moisture can travel with infiltrating outdoor air through the building shell, including the foundation. It is best to keep all basement windows and vents closed during the humid summer months and run a dehumidifier as well as a fan to circulate the air within. Many homes leave the basement windows open during the summer months to vent the basement of musty odors. The fact is that musty odors become more noticeable during the summer months due to the rise in relative humidity. Allowing humid air to circulate in the basement of newer homes constructed with today’s energy-efficient windows, doors and insulation R-values poses a huge threat to the structural integrity. When the outside temperatures rise and the climate control systems are used to cool the indoor living environment, moisture is drawn up through the sub-floor and floor coverings. This can lead to cupping of the wood floors and the insulation becoming saturated as it collects water vapor as it passes through. Many homes can be set up with a simple system to maintain a constant relative humidity level in the basement that will provide a trouble-free healthy environment under your home. Please contact us to schedule an appointment to review your specific needs so that we may provide you with some simple solutions that will turn your basement into a useable area.