A basement is used as supplementary living quarters or as storage for a variety of household items, so it’s ideal to keep it dry. A damp or leaky basement will affect people’s health, can affect the condition of the stuff you keep in there, and can also lead to damage to the structure of your home. Many people ask the question “why is my basement damp?” – let’s look closely at the reasons that lead to dampness in the basement, and see what you can do to change this condition.
Why basements become damp
There’s a reason why your basement is damp, and it could be caused by one of different possible sources. Rain and groundwater are always the foremost suspects. If your home does not have the appropriate downspouts, gutters, or grading, then your basement is exposed to water filtering in. The type of soil surrounding your home is also a factor here.
Moisture can also come from inside, depending on what you do in your basement. This can happen if you do laundry in the basement, or use humidifiers, for example. In addition, keep in mind that concrete contains water, too. Because of this, there is moisture contained within the walls.
What you can do
Depending on the problem, there are numerous approaches to fixing dampness or excessive moisture in the basement. For example, making sure there are adequate downspouts to lead rainwater away from critical seepage areas is a good place to start.
Waterproof the basement as best you can—for minor moisture issues, see if waterproof paint can do the trick. If not, you may want to look at more comprehensive waterproofing solutions such as waterproofing material around the exterior walls or a sump system that will flush out excessive water that can otherwise flood your basement.
You can also tweak some of the stuff that goes on inside the basement. For example, check if your dryer has the right amount of ventilation or it could just add to the moisture. You can also look into getting a dehumidifier for your basement—a surefire way of reducing moisture.
A damp basement is no good, so don’t hesitate to take the necessary measures to keep your basement dry and moisture-free.