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.
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.
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.
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.
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.