Controlling Basement Humidity for Whole Home Health

By:    |   Published September 6, 2022
Basement humidity shown with moisture droplets on the wall and ceiling

If walking in your basement is best done with an umbrella, you have a problem! Water condensation drops on your basement ceiling is a sure sign you are in need of help in controlling basement humidity. Not all basement humidity issues are as obvious as “rain” in your basement, but controlling basement humidity is important for your home’s foundational health as well as the health of you and your family.

What Causes High Basement Humidity?

High humidity levels in a basement can have many potential causes. Knowing which ones affect you are best determined with a free inspection from Team EverDry!

Some of the most common situations that can impact basement humidity levels that you may encounter include:

  • Drainage Issues
    • If the grading around your home is sloping towards your basement, moisture is being directed that way which means added humidity or even leaks in your foundation.
    • Even a small leak from a pipe in your basement can add moisture that will increase basement humidity levels and can lead to a myriad of problems.
  • Cracks in your foundation
    • A cracked foundation can allow excess moisture in causing elevated basement humidity levels. It’s important to keep an eye on your foundation.
    • While it’s possible to fix some small cracks yourself, not all cracks are equal. It’s important to have them inspected to make sure moisture isn’t finding its way into your basement.
    • Depending on the severity of the damage to your foundation, basement waterproofing may be the best solution to controlling basement humidity and preventing worse damage like water in your basement or even flooding.
  • Lack of Ventilation
    • When ventilation is lacking in the basement, humidity gets trapped inside.
    • Addressing the lack of airflow can help control basement humidity and keep your foundation and family healthy. Simply turning a fan on in the basement can be a place to start to help get air moving around rather than stagnating.

What Level of Humidity Should My Basement Have?

One of the most common questions when it comes to basement humidity is, “What’s the right level?” The ideal humidity for a basement is around 30-50%. When humidity levels are outside of this range, problems can occur. When humidity levels are too high, your basement is at risk for mold.

Mold can pose dangers to people and pets. No one wants to suffer mold-related health issues when controlling basement humidity is the simple way to prevent problems. Even if direct health risks aren’t a factor, unpleasant odors and other issues can stem from mold growth in your basement.

On the other end of the spectrum, too little humidity puts you at risk for issues related to dry air. Dry skin or frequent nose bleeds can be caused by low humidity levels. Even worse, dry air increases the risk of viruses and cold-weather illness.

How to Control Basement Humidity

The best avenue for controlling basement humidity involves directly responding to the specific issues affecting your home. Since not every home will have humidity issues for the same reason, getting to the root cause of your humidity problems will help identify the solutions.

Some solutions are generally useful to anyone experiencing issues with controlling basement humidity. There are others more specific to your home’s needs and can be easily identified by a free home inspection.

Increase Ventilation in Your Basement

The better the ventilation you have in your basement, the easier it is to control the environment and ultimately control basement humidity. Getting fresh air moving throughout your basement and your entire home helps reduce high humidity, musty smells, and increase the overall air quality all throughout your home.

A better solution than just moving humid air around in your basement by running a fan is the E-Z Breathe® system from EverDry. It is a great solution for basement air control and ventilation, creating a fresh air exchange and helping control basement humidity and reduce allergens.

Repair Pipe Leaks

It may surprise you that water from leaky pipes is a common source of high humidity in basements. It’s not just flooding from frozen pipes that causes damage. Even a little water dripping from pipes can contribute to mold growth. It’s important not only to the integrity of your foundation but mold prevention and the health hazards it can cause to make repairing leaky pipes a high priority. Furthermore, you could be on the hook for water damage down the road if you have leaky pipes that are not addressed. Since it’s a preventable damage that was let go, it could invalidate your insurance policy.

Fix Foundation Cracks

Any home can experience cracks in the foundation wall. Chances of cracks increase with the age of the foundation. Cracks in your foundation allow in moisture and the biggest risk of humidity when any exterior moisture finds its way into your basement. Fixing cracks keeps your basement dryer because it keeps moisture out. There are DIY methods for small cracks, but for larger cracks it’s best to call in a professional.

Buy a Dehumidifier

One of the best methods of defense against moisture is a dehumidifier. They are designed to reduce high humidity, especially in basements. If you have an older dehumidifier, you may have to do a little trial and error to control basement humidity without overdoing it and drying it out. More modern dehumidifiers can be set to target that ideal percentage range of humidity to make sure you pull enough humidity out of the air without overdoing it.

Protect Your Home – Schedule a FREE Estimate for Your Waterproofing System

If your basement is leaking when it rains, EverDry Toledo can help with a FREE waterproofing estimate! We’ll help you find out if your home is at risk for water damage and which solutions will best serve you.

Contact us online to schedule an appointment or give us a call at (419) 469-5833 and schedule your inspection today!

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