Flood Insurance Programs
Protecting your Basement with Humidity
basement is an important space in your home that is all too often neglected.
Regardless of what you use your basement area for, be it storage or a
living area, this lower level of your house is susceptible to damage from
humidity that can eventually lead to problems with mold and mildew.
The humidity levels in your
home should be anywhere between 30% and 50%. Humidity control is the key
to creating a healthy and livable basement space and can be obtained by
taking certain precautionary measures.
The source of your moisture problem
There are a number of possible moisture sources, one of which could
be a water leak. Water can seep in through cracks in the foundation, a
small gap around a window or door, or from a leaky water pipe, toilet
or bathtub. During the winter months, too much humidity is obvious when
condensation appears on the cold concrete walls and floors of your basement.
A humidity problem in the house can also occur from ordinary daily activities
such as showering, drying clothes and cooking.
How to create a humidity-controlled environment
For effective humidity control in your home, follow these key preventative
- Ensure that the exterior of your home has a sloped grade.
- Protect the exterior of your home with a good quality damp-proofing
or water-proofing application.
- Stop convection from occurring behind your interior insulation by
utilizing air sealing methods.
- Make sure that air circulates behind storage areas.
Ways to eliminate excess moisture
- The cheapest and easiest way to control humidity is by removing all
sources of moisture from the basement. This may include getting rid
of a humidifier.
- If you have a washroom or a laundry area, create a ventilation system
that will increase air flow when these areas are in use. This may include
opening a window. However, during the summer months, opening a window
will actually let in excessive moisture. Control humidity in these months
with an air-conditioning system.
- Use a dehumidifier
to help control moisture levels.
- Install an effective interior drainage system in the form of a perforated
pipe inside the perimeter of the footing. To do this you will need to
remove and replace concrete at the slab edge and place the drain pipe
beneath the slab so that it can drain to a lower level. This pipe will
then be connected to a sump that should have a childproof cover. Finally,
there must be a dimpled plastic sheeting placed at the base of the wall,
beneath the slab.
- Installing an electric floor heater will control the moisture that
seeps in through the basement concrete floor.