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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Basement Water Damage From Condensation

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Basement Water Damage From Condensation You can stop water damage from condensation. Learn how.

Not all basement water damage is caused by runoff from rain, storms, and melting snow. Sometimes your basement water damage is from condensation. Here’s how to diagnose the problem and deal with it.

Water Droplets A Sign of Condensation
Also called sweating, condensation shows up in your basement as water droplets, wet spots, or puddles on your basement floor or basement (foundation) walls. Condensation happens when moist, warm air hits cool basement foundation walls or uninsulated cold-water pipes. The result is often damp carpets, rusting appliances, and an unpleasant clammy climate in your basement. In crawl spaces, condensation encourages wood rot and insect attack, and can buckle and delaminate plywood.

Nonprofessionals can easily confuse a condensation problem with runoff or subsurface water damage. Before you treat your basement for condensation, make sure you have correctly diagnosed the problem.  To identify condensation, tape foil over damp spots and check those spots after a day. If moisture forms on the outer foil face, water is condensing from the air and you have a condensation problem. If moisture forms on the foil underside, water is seeping in from outside and you have either a runoff or a subsurface seepage problem.

If You Have Water Damage Call SERVPRO Of Bloomfield/Enfield At (860) 216-2785

Another way to diagnose a condensation problem is to observe if you have obvious flows of water after each rain. If the problem isn’t worse after a rain but you have a persistent dampness in your basement, your problem may be basement condensation rather than water leaking through the walls. And if the dampness seems to be a hot-weather problem, basement condensation is the likely cause.

Easy Solutions First
Try solving your condensation problem with the simple, inexpensive solutions first. If you have a full basement, air it out by opening windows and running fans. Then consider installing a dehumidifier. You can buy a good heavy-duty one for $250-300. The dehumidifier can process 50 pints in 24 hours. If possible, place the dehumidifier near easy drainage. If there is a basement shower that gets a lot of use, install a basement exhaust fan that draws the damp air out of the house.

During colder months, turn up the heat in the basement. Be sure your clothes dryer vents to the outside with no duct leaks. And don't dry clothes on a line in the basement or store wet firewood in the basement.

When Air Circulation May Be The Problem
If the condensation in your basement is modest, and you have no obvious sources of excess moisture, increasing air circulation may resolve the problem. Some basements don’t have air-conditioning vents. It’s often a simple matter to create a couple of vents. If you already have vents, make sure they are open.

A more expensive and complex solution to a basement condensation problem is to reduce the extent to which moist air contacts cool surfaces where that air can condense. This means insulating exposed duct work, pipes, and walls – anywhere that water tends to condense. If the moist air can’t reach the cool surfaces, it won’t release water as condensation.

Another effective but costlier solution This Old House recommends is to damp-proof your basement walls with a waterproof coating. Or apply a crystalline penetrant that clogs concrete pores.

Solutions like these solve the majority of basement condensation problems. If you continue to see moisture after trying these solutions, then you're probably not dealing with condensation.

If You Have Water Damage Call SERVPRO Of Bloomfield/Enfield At (860) 216-2785

SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield knows of one homeowner who had basement water damage because the property needed a swale. Houses on hilly sites can use a shallow trench with gently sloping sides, a swale to catch and divert runoff away from the house. Once this homeowner created a swale the basement water damage stopped.

More Water Damage Information On Our Blog
You can learn more by reading other posts about water damage and water damage cleanup on this blog:

Dehumidification After Water Damage Cleanup

FEMA’s Take On Restoring Flood Damage In Bloomfield/Enfield

Preventing Water, Plumbing, & Other Disasters During The Holidays

The Surprising Danger In A Flood Or Sewage Backup

Water Damage Dangers

Water Shut Off

Help Is Here
The team at SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield has specialized training and experience in fire restoration services, natural disaster prevention, water damage, and natural disaster cleanup. Call SERVPRO of Bloomfield/Enfield (860.216.2785) anytime. We are proud to serve our local communities including Glastonbury, Marlborough, Portland, Rocky Hill, and Wethersfield

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