Spotting Moisture Sources In Your Basement

If you've been struggling with moisture problems in your basement, narrowing down the source can be challenging. There are many different places where moisture can be introduced, and sometimes it's hard to know where to check. Here's a look at a few common sources of basement moisture and tips to deal with them.

Is Your Sump Basin Covered?

If you have a sump pump in your basement, the sump basin could be part of your moisture problem. When the sump basin is uncovered, the water inside will evaporate, releasing moisture into the air. You can combat this easily by investing in a cover to seal the basin. Make sure you choose one that screws into place so that you get a tight seal, otherwise evaporation will still occur and seep past the seams of the cap.

Do You Have A Leak In Your Plumbing?

Since most of the plumbing system in your house is likely behind walls and down in the basement, it's easy to overlook it as a potential source of a problem. Make a point to inspect your entire plumbing system on a regular basis, looking at all of the visible pipes and checking the walls around where the pipes run for any signs of moisture. You should also test the shutoff valves and drain pipes. Turn the shutoff valves to the off position, then check for water flow in the fixtures. If there's still water flowing, that's a sign that the valve has failed or you have a leak.

Where Does Your Dryer Vent?

If the dryer vent line runs into the basement, you should check the vent line regularly. Sometimes it can come loose from the vent structure, discharging all of the moist air from the dryer into your basement. You can fix leaks in the dryer vent with foil tape. Also, make sure the clamp on the vent line is secure to keep it from coming loose in the house.

Is Water Seeping Into Your Basement?

Take a walk around the basement looking for any signs of moisture seeping in the walls or the floor. Sometimes even small cracks in the foundation can allow moisture in. If you find that water is seeping in from outside, you'll want to treat the entire basement, inside and out, with waterproofing material. Call a local waterproofing contractor to ensure that the work is done right. That way, you can be confident that your basement will stay as dry as possible. You can also add a dehumidifier to the basement for more moisture control.