Moisture in a finished basement is never a good thing. It can lead to mold, mildew, and even structural problems. Most moisture problems can be addressed fairly easily. But never let a moisture problem in the basement go for too long. The American Society of Home Inspectors says that about 60% of homes have wet basements, which leads to mold. In fact, an astounding 38% of those homeowners run the risk of developing mold in the basement.
What Causes a Wet Basement?
Your basement is built primarily underground. Cement blocks and the mortar which holds them together are porous, meaning water can seep through them. The most common causes of basement moisture are rainfall and melting snow. Here in the Philadelphia area, we see a lot of rain through spring and summer, and a lot of snow during the winter. Our chances of developing a wet basement are high!
Sealants are used on the concrete blocks which make up the walls of your basement. The sealant provides a waterproof barrier to help protect the interior of your basement from water damage. Unfortunately sometimes the sealant develops a leak. This isn't a manufacturer defect or anything that was done wrong during the application. It just happens on occasion.
Condensation is another reason for moisture in the basement. It may be confused with runoff or subsurface water, so I'm going to share a little trick with you to test for a proper diagnosis. Tape foil over the damp spots and check it every day for moisture. If moisture forms on the foil, your moisture problem is in the air.
You may well be able to fix your condensation-related moisture problem with a dehumidifier. During the winter months, you can combat moisture with heat. A fireplace or wood burning stove will dry the air and reduce the amount of moisture that collects.
Don't let any obvious moisture linger and become a health hazard for your family. Mold is not easy to combat, and it thrives in dark, moist areas. You also need to call in a professional masonry contractor to service your foundation problem. A damp, musty smell is discernible to most people. Don't just dismiss a musty smelling basement as a musty smelling basement. It smells that way for a reason and that reason is usually moisture.
We are available to answer your basement related questions any time, just call us at 215-342-0397 or contact us through out website by clicking here.