Increased humidity levels in the basement can cause all sorts of problems. Unfortunately, some homeowners in Colorado consider these issues insignificant since they do not spend a lot of time in the basement. If you have an unfinished basement and you use it just for storage, you may even ignore the signs of moisture presence. However, this is not the best idea. In fact, increased moisture levels in your basement can impact your entire home and even compromise its structural stability.
First of all, moisture creates the perfect environment for mold growth. Mold releases airborne spores that can spread through your home, contaminating the air you breathe. These spores often lead to respiratory problems, especially if a person already has asthma.
Second of all, moisture causes wood to rot. If your basement is damp, do not be surprised if your support beams or your floor joists begin to deteriorate. Of course, anything else in your basement made of wood, such as an old crib, will begin to rot as well. Also, moisture can attract various pests who are looking for a dark, quiet, and damp place to make their nests.
But if your pipes are in mint condition and you don’t have any other leaks, how does water get into your basement when it is surrounded by thick concrete walls? What you might not know is that concrete is porous. In fact, about 18% of concrete is pores. The problem with these pores is that they can let moisture into your basement and make it damp. Since these capillary pores are microscopic they are invisible to us, which is why a lot of homeowners are not aware of this problem.
Why Is Concrete Porous?
There is a lot of water in the concrete mix and when the concrete is poured and it begins to cure, that water begins to evaporate. During this process, it leaves a trail of capillary pores in the concrete. These pores are invisible to us, but they are larger than water molecules. This means that water vapor can pass through them.
In time, the volume of water infiltrating your walls will increase. Why is that, you wonder? Well, cement paste that is in the concrete contains calcium that dissolves in water. Therefore, when water gets into the pores they slowly get larger and larger. In the end, you will struggle to remove the moisture from your basement.
Waterproofing the Basement
Installing waterproofing measures is always a step in the right direction. Even if you do not have any moisture issues at the moment, that doesn’t mean that these problems won’t pop up in the future. Here are some ways you can keep your basement dry even with those porous walls.
Interior Drainage System
To maintain a dry basement, you should consider installing an interior drainage system. BasementGutter™ is a high-quality system that runs along the perimeter of the basement and collects excess water that seeps through the porous walls before it gets a chance to damage the interior. It is installed without any soil excavation, which makes it a much better solution than an exterior drainage system. It can also be installed much faster and is more affordable.
BasementGutter™ goes below the floor, so it is barely visible once it is in place. This makes it ideal for both finished and unfinished basements. It has a clog-free design and it won’t get blocked by debris over time. With this solution, you can turn your damp basement into a comfortable area that can then be converted into a living space for you and your loved ones. BasementGutter™ comes with an admirable warranty, so you can be at ease knowing that it will serve you for years to come.
A sump pump can quickly and easily discharge large volumes of water from your basement. SafeDri™ Sump Pump Systems come in various sizes and configurations, so you will surely find one that completely suits your home and your demands. It is recommended to invest in a battery backup sump pump as well. This way you can be at ease in case of a blackout knowing that your pump will still work. The interior drainage system will direct excess water to the sump pump, which will direct it away from your home.
If the pores in your concrete basement walls have become wide and they are letting large amounts of water into your basement, covering them with a vapor barrier is a good option. This thick and durable barrier is not just useful for encapsulation. It can also be used for covering basement walls with excessive leaking. The WallSeal™ system can be easily attached to the wall so that any leaks will run behind it and end up in the interior drainage system. With this system, your basement will stay nice and dry.
If with all of these waterproofing measures there are still increased humidity levels in your basement, a dehumidifier can solve this problem for good. While it cannot keep your basement dry on its own, it works amazingly well with other waterproofing solutions. This device will regulate humidity levels in the basement and keep them under control.
Although you can find standard dehumidifiers in various stores, contacting your contractor and asking for recommendations is a much better solution. They can install a professional dehumidifier that has a lot more strength than ordinary ones.
A great thing about this appliance is that it will not only keep your basement dry but it will also improve the air quality in your home and eliminate allergy triggers. Combining a sump pump with a dehumidifier is a great solution since all the water from the dehumidifier will be directed into the sump pit and not the container which you will have to empty every day.
Waterproofing your basement can even lower your heating and cooling bills. If you wish to learn more about these solutions, contact Complete Basement Systems and schedule a free assessment and quote.