What Causes Basement Moisture?
Basement moisture is an issue no homeowner wants to have to deal with, but one that’s all too common. Despite your best efforts to protect your basement, you may still encounter damp air and a musty smell when you head down there. What causes basement moisture? More importantly, how can you prevent it?
How do you know if you’ve got excess moisture in your basement? Look for these warning signs:
- Mold, Mildew, or a Musty Smell
- A Ring of Dampness on the Base of Concrete Walls
- Walls that are Stained or Blistering
- Air that Feels Damp or Humid
- Water Trickling Out of the Walls
- Deteriorating Carpet or Wood
- Water on the Floor
- Efflorescence on Concrete or Masonry
- Columns, Headers, or Joists that Seem to be Rotting
If you spot any of those signs, it’s time to do something about the moisture in your basement. In order to know how to prevent basement moisture, though, you need to know where the moisture is coming from. Here are some typical causes of basement moisture:
- Water may be leaking somewhere inside. If this is the problem, it’s relatively easy to fix. It could be an appliance, a shower, sink, or toilet, or a pipe, but once you’ve identified it you can call someone to fix it.
- Your landscaping may be to blame. If your yard is improperly graded, and slopes towards the house, it can cause water to accumulate against the foundation and seep into your house. Fixing it is a matter of changing the slope.
- It may be a problem with your gutters. Missing, clogged, or defective gutters can cause rainwater to accumulate in the soil around your foundation, and from there it will travel into the basement. Add, unclog, repair, or replace your gutters or downspouts to fix this problem.
- Your foundation may be cracked. This can happen because of water seepage, hydrostatic pressure, or the foundation settling, but no matter how it happens, cracks will let water into your basement. You may need foundation or basement repair to fix this problem.
- You may need a subsurface drainage system. Sometimes the drainage system needs to be repaired, but in many older houses, there isn’t a drainage system. In that case, you’ll need to call in the professionals. A basement waterproofing company can install a drainage system under your floor, put in a sump pump, and install basement water barriers to keep your basement dry.
If you need basement waterproofing, Reliable Basement Services can help. A family-owned and operated company, we’ve served the greater Chicagoland area for more than ten years. We offer a full spectrum of basement services, charging reasonable rates for work that includes crack repairs, sump pump systems, basement waterproofing, basement windows, and floor repair. Our consistently high standards have made us an award-winning Chicago basement waterproofing contractor and earned us thousands of satisfied customers all over Chicago. For more information, call (630) 777-0539 or visit our website for a free quote.