The basement can be great for some extra storage or living space. However, without adequate precautionary measures, the basement can easily flood or feel damp and grow mould. Not only will a wet basement devalue your house significantly, but growing mould will also create an unsafe living environment.
Stopping flooding and keeping away humidity is crucial to keeping your basement usable. Here are three possible causes of a damp basement and ways you can combat them this rainy or snowy season.
Are your basement walls sweating? Are there wet spots on the floors and walls? There’s likely condensation in your basement, which happens when moist, warm air comes into contact with cold surfaces, such as foundation walls or cold-water pipes. Trapped humidity encourages mould growth and causes that notorious musty smell a lot of basements have.
Airing the basement out could be an easy fix. You can open the windows, use a fan or a dehumidifier. You can also install waterproof wall panelling and flooring to combat condensation. A great bonus of basement flooring is that it creates a barrier between you and the cold concrete slab underneath to give a warmer and more attractive floor surface.
Runoff problems are incredibly common during heavy rainfall or snow. If water is not routed away from the house, it can seep into the basement through gaps or cracks in walls. If you notice wet basement walls right after a storm or when snow is melting, then you know that you have a runoff problem on your hands.
To prevent runoff, the ground should be sloping away from the house to direct water away from the foundation. You should also check the gutters to make sure they’re not clogged with debris, like leaves and sticks, which can block the escape route for water. Patching walls and sealing any visible cracks will also help prevent water from seeping in.
If your basement is constantly wet, regardless of storms, or if you can see water bubbling up on edges where the floor and wall meet, then there’s probably a subsurface runoff problem. Possible solutions include:
Inject clay into the soil to absorb water
Install a sump pump
You may consider contacting a professional to diagnose and solve the problem correctly, as long-term solutions for subsurface water problems can get expensive.
If you’re dealing with a damp basement or would like more tips on how to keep your basement dry, contact Aslan Plumbing, Winnipeg’s top plumbing and drainage services company. Trust our team of highly trained and experienced plumbers to fix your plumbing issue today!