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Condensation

Humidity doesn’t belong in your basement, but when it gets in there, condensation can devastate walls and carpets. Plus, it indicates that a larger problem is occurring. 

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Condensation is something we see every day whether on drinking glasses or open coolers. Anywhere that moist air mixes with cold air creates condensation. Despite its regular occurrence, it doesn’t belong in your basement and could lead to damage. Thankfully, Mount Valley has the solutions and services to stop condensation from forming below your home. 

What Causes Condensation in Your Basement?

internal plumbing leak

Leaking Pipes

Many basements hold plumbing and additional appliances such as washers or toilets. If any of these spring a leak, water is quickly going to flood your basement. As the water evaporates, humidity is going to mix with the cool air of your basement and cause water droplets to coat surfaces within the space. Always perform regular maintenance on appliances that deal with water in your basement. Not only can these leaks cause condensation to form, but the rising humidity can also lead to mold growth or efflorescence – two unsightly and potentially unhealthy problem signs.

Cracked Basement Walls 

Due to the force known as hydrostatic pressure, basement walls are often pushed on by soil and water. Over time, this stress can cause basement walls to bow outward and crack. This exposes your basement to outside air and groundwater – both of which can leak into the space and cause humidity to rise. Once again, rising humidity will lead to condensation forming in your basement. Cracked basement walls can also lead to extensive structural damage in your home, potentially leading to uneven floors or separating baseboards. No matter what, a cracked basement wall always gives condensation a chance to form. 

Clogged Footing Drains

Basements are usually built with footing drains. These drains are designed to remove water from your basement’s perimeter. Unfortunately, footing drains can become clogged by debris, eventually overflowing and leaking water into your basement. For that reason, these drains must be cleaned and evaluated for damage or leakage regularly. Although, more effective solutions exist that work better. When these footing drains flood water into your basement, humidity rises once again and causes condensation to form on walls, carpets, and the ceiling.

FAQs

Depending on the environment, air can only hold a certain amount of moisture. In fact, cold air holds less moisture than warm air. Since basements generally contain cooler air, the amount of moisture the air can hold is lower than the outside air. 

When humidity rises in a generally cool space, the water content is going to become greater than what can be held by the surrounding air. At this point, the water has no choice but to form into droplets that sit on surfaces around your basement. Essentially, allowing outside air or humidity to get into your basement will quickly cause condensation. 

Condensation also causes efflorescence, an unsightly chemical reaction that happens when water evaporates and leaves sodium particles on your wall. Lastly, condensation might also cause floors in your home to sag as structures in your basement break down due to water damage. 

Yes, condensation indicates that a moisture issue is present in your basement. First of all, condensation can be absorbed into carpeting or walls, triggering water damage on those surfaces. Next, condensation can lead to mold growth as moisture levels rise and decay wood and other organic substances in your basement. Mold and mildew can become a health hazard to anyone in your home if left unchecked. 

Condensation also causes efflorescence, an unsightly chemical reaction that happens when water evaporates and leaves sodium particles on your wall. Lastly, condensation might also cause floors in your home to sag as structures in your basement break down due to water damage. 

Most homeowners, understandably, prefer to do their own house maintenance.  However, we recommend that basement moisture problems be left to the professionals. DIY options might cause more damage if things go wrong during the process. Your local home improvement store is likely to provide a variety of basement waterproofing options.  

Although they may appear to be effective solutions at first sight, they are typically not long-lasting and fail to solve your problem permanently. Instead, you’ll find yourself repeating the same project over and over, never fixing the issue at the source. As a result, moisture will continue to enter your basement. 

Call Us for a Free Inspection 

Your basement’s health affects your entire home and living space. If condensation is given the chance to damage important structures in your basement, your home is eventually going to suffer as well.  At Mount Valley, we’re always ready to provide basement waterproofing services to homeowners in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, and Savannah. Contact us to learn even more about basement waterproofing and schedule a free inspection so we can determine the best course of action for your individual home! 

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