Moisture is a common problem in basements. Often, this dampness is associated with storm activity. When it rains, basements tend to flood. However, in some households, basement dampness is seasonal and unassociated with storm activity. Knowing why your basement gets damp in the summer can help you take care of the problem.
What causes the walls of your basement to be wet in summer?
Although it's possible that the walls of your basement are wet because of a leak from the outside, often basements are wet in summer as a result of condensation. Condensation happens when warm, humid air cools rapidly after touching a cold surface, like the walls of your basement. This is the same phenomenon that causes a glass of iced tea to become damp on a hot summer day. Condensation is a common problem in basements during the hottest months of the year.
You can check the reason for the dampness by taping a sheet of plastic to the walls of your basement. Do this in a location where dampness is common. Leave the plastic in place for about a day. If water forms on the side of the plastic facing your walls, then the problem is occurring because water is leaking into the basement through the walls. If this is the case, then you will need to call a reputable basement waterproofing company for help. If the moisture forms on the side of the plastic facing the room, then this problem is occurring because of condensation.
How can you stop the condensation from forming?
Start by dehumidifying your basement. Here are a few suggestions:
- Run your home's climate control. Air conditioners help remove moisture from the air. Running the air conditioner, even if you're not uncomfortably hot in the house, can help remove moisture that can prevent condensation.
- Run a dehumidifier. Running a portable dehumidifier in the basement can help you avoid problems like excess humidity.
- Avoid activities that create moisture in the basement. Hanging wet clothes to dry, running hot showers, boiling water and other moisture-producing activities can add to the humidity of the room. Ceasing all activity of this nature should help control the condensation.
If taking these steps doesn't help solve the problem, then you will need to contact a basement waterproofing company. It may be that your basement needs to be vented in some way, or there could be a larger problem at work. For more information about how you can prevent your basement from becoming damp in summer, contact a basement waterproofing company in your area, like Central Penn Waterproofing.