There are several factors that contribute to moisture in your basement and the crawl spaces in your home. For one thing, these areas tend to be unfinished, lacking the insulation that helps you manage and maintain the temperature and humidity levels in the rest of your structure. The basement, in particular, is below ground, making it subject to any moisture retained by the soil around your foundation. If your home doesn’t have an adequate vapor barrier in place or that barrier has been compromised in some way, you can definitely experience serious moisture problems. And of course, the heat in your home rises to upper levels, eliminating the drying features that might help to eliminate moisture. As a result, excess moisture can lead to a slew of other problems in areas where it permeates and persists. Here are just a few common issues you may face if moisture levels are high in your basement and crawl spaces.
The first thing you’re likely to notice if you happen to spend any time in your basement or you poke your head into crawl spaces is a feeling of dampness. This may not seem like a big issue, in and of itself, more of a discomfort and inconvenience than anything else. But if dampness persists in these areas, it can lead to much more serious and potentially costly problems. Dampness is often the first sign of moisture problems in unfinished spaces in your home, so it pays to take action when you begin to sense dampness in the air.
Another common side effect of excess moisture is staining, and this indicates a higher level of water in the air than mere dampness. Certainly, high humidity can coalesce into water droplets on walls and other surfaces, particularly in areas where temperature disparities are frequent occurrences and there is little or no insulation to separate outside air from that inside your structure. But staining could also signal a leak, either from plumbing or from points of ingress like windows and doors, just for example. And this, of course, can be costly to repair.
But these symptoms aren’t even the biggest issues that might occur if you have excess moisture in your basement and crawl spaces. You could also find yourself dealing with mold. A lot of fuss has been made of late concerning mold, so that even the mere mention of the word strikes fear into the hearts of homeowners. And mold can certainly cause an unsightly mess, not to mention health issues. But this is only really a problem when mold colonies grow out of control. Unfortunately, moisture is a prerequisite for mold growth, so if you have both moisture and mold, you’ll need to take steps to remove existing mold, as well as employ preventive measures to reduce moisture and stave off future mold growth.
In extreme cases, you might also find yourself dealing with rot, which can compromise the integrity of your structure. And like mold, this can be costly to repair. The point is that you want to nip moisture in the bud when you find it in your basement and/or crawl spaces. This could mean sealing up leaks, installing a dehumidifying system, and finishing out spaces to include proper insulation. And if moisture problems persist, you might want to call in specialists like Stay Dry Basement Waterproofing to correct issues and prevent further problems.