The American Society of Home Inspectors estimates that 60 percent of U.S. homes have wet basements. That means that more than half of American homes could have indoor environmental issues brought on by too much moisture. Whether it’s from subsurface seepage, rain-related or excess humidity, there are a number of clues that let you know you have a problem.

Time to play detective? Take a walk around your basement and note if you can see any of the following:

  • water stains or dampness on the walls or floor?
  • condensation on the windows?
  • a musty smell?
  • peeling or bubbling paint on the walls?
  • rot in the corner boards?
  • rusty baseboard nails?
  • rust around a steel support column?
  • curling or loose floor tiles?
  • efflorescence - white powdery substance on brick walls?
  • rusting water heater, dryer, washer, or other appliance platforms?

Excess moisture in your basement can lead to a number of problems including structural damage, mold & mildew, and health issues. While it may not be your main living area, it also impacts the quality of air in the rest of your home.

Simple steps to reduce basement moisture

One of the first steps you should take is to diagnose where the excess moisture is coming from and take preventative steps to reduce it.

1. Check for leaks in the foundation walls. Fill any cracks. Regrade soil around foundation walls to prevent water from moving toward the foundation. Direct downspouts far away from basement walls with downspout extensions and clean gutters.

2. Insulate exterior walls to prevent condensation. In colder climates, insulating basement walls will save energy and reduce your heating bill. (Don't cover the walls with insulation if water is leaking in from outside as it will create a potential mold problem.

3. Insulate pipes - condensation dripping from cold pipes can contribute to basement water problems.

4. Seal leaky dryer vents with foil tape (not duct tape) to prevent unwanted humid air from entering your basement.

5. If you have a basement bathroom, ensure it has a vent and turn it on during showers.

6. Keep your basement windows closed during humid weather.

7. Install an effective humidity control system or dehumidifier

How Humidex helps solve the problem

Once you get rid of the preventable sources of moisture, you have taken a big step towards improving the overall air quality of your home and protecting your investment.

The next step is adding an energy efficient moisture control and ventilation system like Humidex that will cost-effectively keep your basement at the optimum moisture level and replenish your home with healthier, cleaner air all year round.

Once you solve the problem of a wet basement, not only will you find the air in your upstairs easier to breath, you will have a whole new area of usable space in your home.