water leaking into basement

Battling Basement Humidity

Indoor humidity is not something any homeowner wants to deal with since a comfortable home is not desirable, especially when experiencing hot summer weather. By mid-April, the heat tends to increase and humidity usually follows close behind. Your basement is not the space you want to be affected by humidity, but when it happens, it’s good to know how to resolve the issue. A humid basement is usually a stuffy one, and if it’s in excess, it can cause mildew and mold to develop, which could lead to bigger problems for your entire home. Here’s what you should know about battling basement humidity.

Healthy Basement Humidity Level

A healthy basement humidity level is absent surface condensation, mildew and mold growth, and rot. When your basement is comfortable to spend time in, its humidity level is usually healthy. Humidity levels can jump during the summer and maybe dependent on location, building age, and insulation type. According to the Basement Health Association, “all basements—finished or unfinished—should be kept at or below 50% relative humidity.”

If your basement’s relative humidity level is 70% or higher, it becomes the ideal breeding ground for the development of mold. 

Causes of Basement Humidity

What’s the source of the humidity in your basement? It’s crucial that you figure this out early on to prevent a bad situation from causing other problems. Water evaporation in the atmosphere is the cause of humidity,  and if your basement has leaks or water settled on the floor, that could be the source of your humid basement. Some common reasons for basement humidity include: 

  • Wet foundation walls
  • Incorrectly positioned gutter downspouts
  • Water underneath your foundation
  • Basement near a water table
  • Untreated basement floor cause dampness to seep through
  • Reside in a humid location
  • Malfunctioning HVAC system
  • Poor or no basement ventilation

Signs of High Basement Humidity

Signs of high levels of humidity in your basement could manifest in several ways including:

  • Musty basement odor
  • Visible signs of mildew and mold growth
  • Condensation on appliances, walls, and windows
  • Basement dampness
  • Pooling water
  • Water damage and stains
  • Wood rot
  • Family has increased allergy and asthma symptoms

Controlling in Humidity in Your Basement

Once you’ve identified the source of your basement humidity, you should be proactive and remedy the situation. You can control your basement humidity in a few different ways.

  • Try a Dehumidifier: Your basement size and the level of humidity may help you to determine the type of dehumidifier that you get- portable or commercial. It’s doesn’t hurt to try a dehumidifier and see how best it works to minimize your basement humidity. The aim is to maintain humidity levels at or just below 50% You’ll have to measure humidity levels to know how the dehumidifier is performing.
  • Keep Windows and Doors Shut on Hot Days: When the days are hot and humid, it’s best to keep basement doors and windows shut. This will help to minimize the risk of letting in more humid air that will increase humidity levels inside your basement. The last thing you want is to make a bad situation worse for yourself. 
  • Opt For a Ventilation System: Stuffiness and humidity in your basement can be controlled if the air in the atmosphere is allowed to circulate. You can achieve ventilation in your basement using a few different methods, including linking your basement to the primary HVAC system in your home, establishing a separate mini-split A/C unit, or with the help of fans to get the air moving in the room.
  • Insulate Your Basement: An insulated basement is far better than one that’s exposed. If your basement isn’t properly insulated, warmer outside air and water vapor can penetrate your basement via cracks and space around pipes and vents. Opt to insulate cold and hot water pipes. Cold-water pipes are prone to sweating during the warmer months and hot-water pipes can freeze during the cold season.  

If you are having trouble keeping your basement humidity at healthy levels, let B-dry Systems help you fix our humidity problem. B-dry Systems can help to keep your basement and foundation dry. Reach out to us today and learn how we can help.

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