Tip of the week: When dry means: feels dry, smells dry, and looks dry in your basement...

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016 by Rosie Graves

leaking basement

 

When dry means: feels dry, smells dry, and looks dry in your basement...

Just because you have a waterproofing system, doesn’t mean you have a dry basement. Confusing, we know. Bear with us, this is important:

There are 4 ways basements become wet or damp:

 

  1. Groundwater leakage.
  2. Capillary action. It means wicking. For example, a block wall may not leak, but it feels damp because its wicking the water inside it to the surface like a sponge.
  3. Water vapor coming through your walls and floor. (By installing one of the wall systems and our ThermalDry floor matting, we don’t have to worry about wicking and have slowed water vapor transmission down considerably.)
  4. The last way water gets in to your basement is form exterior air leaking into your basement. This is not a problem as long as the outside is cooler than the basement. It is is warmer, summertime air that moves lots of water into our basement.

Whenever the outside air is warmer than the inside air, and especially when its humid outside air, we are likely to have a condensation problem in our subterranean levels. This is because the Relative Humidity of air goes up 2.2% for each one-degree(Fahrenheit) you cool it. Our basements are always cool because they are below ground. And we know that a house is like a chimney- air flows upward, allowing air to escape the upper levels, with new air being sucked in at the lower levels.

If it’s an 80 degree (F) day with RH of 80%, and we suck this air into our basements and cool it to 68 (F) degrees, the RH goes up by 26.4% (12 degrees (f) x 2.2%). But wait a minute, 80% plus 26.4% is more than 100%, and we can’t have more than 100%. So instead, as the air becomes saturate it gives up its moisture on your cold basement walls, floor, water tank, pipes, and other cold things. This is called condensation.

Even without condensation, we still get high relative humidity levels, which allows mold to grow and cause “stinky basement syndrome.” And dust mites are having a party.

In order to eliminate condensation you need to either heat the basement (ridiculous in summer), or take water out of it (easy to do).

Correction; take the water out of it efficiently and effectively (not so easy unless you have the right equipment to do it with).

 

So what is the answer?

 

An excerpt from: Dry Basement Science by Larry Janesky

 

 

Read on about flooding that occurs in basements and why. 

About the author
Rosie Graves joined the Redeemers Group, Inc. team in February 2012 in a marketing capacity. Since that time she has served in several different capacities of the business, and was named Chief Operating Officer in April 2019. As COO, she oversees all business operations working alongside the executive leadership team.

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