The hot summer weather hit us in the middle of April this year, bringing the warmth we so craved, as well as humidity we’ve been dreading.
At Basement Solutions, we know that one of the places affected by humidity the most is your basement. While the rest of your home just feels stuffy, the basement can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew when the humidity is too high.
We’ve put together some information and tips about the basement’s humidity and how to fight it during the hot summer (and now spring) months, without emptying your pockets.
Step 1: Measure Humidity
First, you need to know what you are dealing with. How humid is it in your basement and where are the signs? If you notice condensation on your basement walls, floor and other surfaces, the humidity is likely too high. That basement has become the perfect breeding ground for mold containing toxins.
What’s a healthy basement humidity level?
A healthy humidity level is achieved when you feel comfortable in a room. There is no condensation on the surfaces and no evident mold growth or rot. Your optimal basement humidity level during summer will depend on many factors, such as where you live, the age of the building, type of basement insulation, etc.
Of course, humidity is also going to vary depending on day to day weather.
Step 2: Control Humidity
Once you know you need your basement to be less humid, it’s time to take some actions. But before you start to fix the problem, it’s important to understand why it’s humid in your basement in order to properly diagnose a cure. Humidity is caused by evaporation of water into the air. If there are no apparent leaks or puddles of water in your basement, here are some of the common reasons why your basement is humid:
– Wet foundation walls. When the soil around your basement gets oversaturated with water, the water will start making its way into the basement. It seeps through the porous concrete walls and is very subtle.
– You have a dryer or other appliance venting into your basement as opposed to out through a ventilation system.
– There is water underneath your foundation.
– Humid air from the outside has access to your basement through imp.
So if you don’t have any apparent leaks, here is how you can control humidity in your basement:
Get a dehumidifier. Depending on the size of your basement and the extent of the problem, you might need multiple. Get one first and see how well it performs. In less severe cases, sometimes this is all the basement needs because of the location of your home or the climate in the area. Other times, this doesn’t even dent the humidity.
Keep the windows shut. When you open basement doors and windows on a hot, humid day, all you are doing is letting more humid air in. This is contrary to what you are trying to achieve.
Consider a ventilation system. Getting the air moving will definitely help with humidity and stuffiness. Your options include connecting your basement to the central HVAC system, setting up a separate mini-split A/C unit or improvising with a few fans here and there.
Insulate. Prevent warmer outside air and water vapor from getting into your basement through cracks and gaps around vents and pipes. You could also insulate pipes: cold water ones to prevent from “sweating” in summer and hot water ones – from freezing in winter.
If you do find leaks, our Basement Solutions waterproofing team will be glad to help you with them. Just give us a call or get in touch online.