The Most Common Causes of Moisture in the Basement and Their Solutions

Dry Tech Waterproofing Solutions is a licensed waterproofing contractor with over 25 years in business. Our team of experienced professionals can solve any problem with moisture in the basement.

When our basement waterproofing specialists receive an urgent call, it is usually for moisture in the basement which had been undetected for a while and now became a serious problem. Homeowners find their drywall bulging, the furniture damaged, and an unpleasant smell of damp and mold. Unfortunately, basement moisture problems can quickly spread to the rest of the house through walls and through the circulation of air carrying mold spores.

For this reason, you should check your basement on a regular basis, even if you did not turn it into a living space. Before you notice damp basement walls, you can observe other telltale signs of moisture, starting with the first damp patch. The sooner you call waterproofing specialists to identify and fix the problem, the simpler and less expensive the repair works will be.

What Are the Reasons for Basement Moisture Problems?

Before we explain how to fix a damp basement, let us first look at the most common causes of moisture in the basement. In some cases, the issue is as old as your house, being a construction fault. In other cases, regular wear and tear may be responsible for the problem.

Whatever the reason may be, please remember that there is always a solution to get rid of dampness in the basement and reclaim this space to use it as you see fit. A professional waterproofing company can solve any problem, no matter how big it may seem to you.

This being said, here are the causes of basement moisture problems.

An Interior Water Leak

The simplest explanation of moisture in the basement is a water leak. It can originate anywhere:

  • A pipe
  • The kitchen sink
  • The shower/bathtub
  • The toilet

Thus, start by inspecting every area where a leak could occur. Once you find it, turn off the water main and call waterproofing specialists. Remember to document the damage by taking photos with your phone – you will need them when you prepare your insurance claim.

Next, remove all the items that may be salvaged from the basement: carpets, furniture, various decorations, tools, etc. Unfortunately, damp basement walls covered with drywall usually cannot be salvaged and will have to be replaced. 

A plumber can easily fix the leak and the waterproofing team will make your basement as good as new.

Ineffective Grading

As we explained above, some basement moisture problems start when the house was built. Ineffective grading of the land around your house may be the culprit if you have moisture on the basement walls. 

If the grading angle is too small, then rainwater does not fully drain away from your home. Instead, it may pool around the foundation and, in time, find its way inside through tiny cracks. Over the years, these cracks get larger, and one day you realize you have moisture in the basement.

The basement moisture solutions in this case involve calling a team of builders to create a slope of at least one inch per foot for at least 6 feet away from your home. At the same time, waterproofing specialists can fix the damage in the basement and make it watertight. 

Missing or Defective Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters and downspouts play a crucial role in keeping your house dry. Their role is to divert rainwater and melting snow away from the foundations in your home. However, in many cases, our waterproofing specialists found out that the cause of moisture in the basement was one or several clogged gutters. In some cases, gutters or downspouts were completely missing from one part of the building.

One of the simplest basement moisture solutions in this particular situation is to check your gutters every fall and spring. They tend to get clogged with dirt, dead leaves, tree branches, and other types of debris. This should be part of your winterization ritual. It takes under an hour to inspect all your gutters and downspouts, but it can save you thousands of dollars.

Cracks in Your Foundation

Damp basement walls can be caused by cracks in the foundation. This issue is more frequent in older houses which have been constantly working for decades. However, we found moisture in the basement in fairly new houses that were poorly built.

In this case, the basement moisture solutions can be quite complex: you may have to call a team of builders to dig earth away from the foundation and repair the cracks. If the structure of the building is affected, they may have to place straps or anchor bolts to secure it. The good news is that the team of builders and waterproofing specialists can work in parallel to fix the moisture on the basement floor. 

Poor (or Missing) Drain Tile and Sump Pit

This is one of the basement moisture problems mostly found in older homes. In the 50s and 60s, a basement was not considered a living space. This is why the builders did not bother to create a drainage system underneath it. Nobody worried if there was moisture in the basement because nobody went down there.

The bad news does not stop here. The basement moisture solutions in this case are the most expensive of all previous situations. You will have to call waterproofing specialists to break the flooring and create a sump pit and drainage system under the foundation of the house. This is a complex project which takes a lot of time and money and creates a significant disturbance in your home.


Finally, damp basement walls can be caused by condensation – when warm and humid air gets in contact with the cold walls. If this is the case of dampness in the basement, you are lucky. It is one of the simplest problems to fix. You can either insulate the area in your basement which allows warm air to get inside or check your air conditioner air filters for clogging.

Proper air circulation and insulation are easy to achieve and represent the best basement moisture solutions in case of condensation.

We Are Ready to Fix Any Basement Moisture Problems You May Have!

Dry Tech Waterproofing has over 25 years of experience as a licensed waterproofing company. We can quickly find the cause of moisture in the basement and fix it in our entire service area covering:

  • Horsham
  • Jenkintown
  • Fort Washington
  • Wyndmoor
  • Berwyn
  • West Chester
  • Springfield
  • Glenolden
  • Havertown
  • Ardmore
  • Media
  • Philadelphia
  • Pottstown
  • Drexel Hill
  • Downington
  • Norristown
  • King of Prussia
  • Wayne

If you can’t figure out how to fix a basement on your own, call us now at 888-537-9832!


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