Damp Basement Walls in Evans City PA
Walls with insulation are fitted with vapor barriers. These are plastic sheets that prevent the penetration of moisture through the wall into the room. If you have noticed condensation on your vapor barrier, you may be dealing with damp basement walls.
Where is the moisture coming from?
It isn’t uncommon to have damp basement walls when it comes to poured concrete foundations that are only a few years old. Condensation on the basement walls forms when the warm, moist air within the basement touches the cooler surface of the basement walls. The moisture in the air condenses on the surface of the basement walls.
This is common during summer when the air is hot and humid. It is also common in new homes with poured concrete foundations. This is because concrete takes some time to cure. The curing process involves the release of moisture from the concrete over time. Like sweating, the release of moisture has a cooling effect on the concrete.
Although the curing and condensation of moisture on the surface of the concrete walls will have no negative effects on the insulation, it can result in a mold infestation.
Eliminating moisture in the basement
Condensation in the basement is a cumulative result of various activities in the home. One of the best ways to reduce the rate of condensation is to reduce the amount of moisture in the air. This is possible by using a dehumidifier.
Dehumidifiers are designed to remove moisture from the air. The air circulating in the basement will therefore be dry. However, it is important to note that you will need to invest in the right sized dehumidifier to achieve optimal drying. You should also keep the doors closed in the basement to avoid introducing more moisture into the basement.
It is also important to completely seal off the insulation from the moist air in the basement. This is possible by using sheathing tape which will help to reduce the amount of air that makes it through the vapor barrier and onto the foundation walls.
Is it a basement leak?
Condensation is often confused for a leak. This is because condensation can also cause puddles of water on basement floors. If you encounter a puddle on the floor of your basement, it is important to investigate it and determine the source of the water. This is easy to do in an unfinished basement as the walls can be easily inspected for cracks or condensation.
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