Too much moisture is a very common control problem faced by homeowners with a basement, especially here in Springfield, MO. Not only does the damp and musty smell it causes make spending time in your basement unpleasant, it can also be a sign that more serious issues are present.
What Causes Basement Moisture?
Moisture in your basement typically comes from one of three sources:
- Rain or Groundwater – Water can make its way into your home if your lot isn’t graded properly or doesn’t have properly installed downspouts and gutters.
- Plumbing Leaks – Plumbing that runs to our fixtures and appliances can have very small leaks that can cause a buildup of moisture due to the poor ventilation in basements. This leads into the third source of basement moisture.
- Poor Ventilation – Ventilating your basement with humid outdoor air can cause moisture buildup leading to mold. This is especially a problem in Missouri during our humid springs and summers.
Why Should I Be Concerned About Basement Moisture Control?
While it may be normal for basements to have occasional moisture, when the moisture doesn’t go away due to poor ventilation, it is easy to lose control and can cause issues for both you and your family. High moisture levels can lead to mold growth on porous surfaces like drywall, wood trim or framing, and carpeting. These molds not only cause irreparable damage to surfaces, causing them to have to be removed and replaced, but they also release spores into the air which can cause a range of health problems if they are inhaled.
Short Term Effects of Basement Moisture
When moisture is allowed to remain in your basement, even for a short period of time, you are likely to notice some changes in the space. The short-term effects of basement moisture include:
- Increased respiratory issues and allergic sensitivities due to increased dust mites and other allergens, which feed on moisture.
- Bad or musty smells and odors, which may even be noticeable in other areas of your home.
- Small areas of mildew growing on wood, paper, carpet, or drywall.
Long Term Effects of Basement Moisture
For basements that have persistent or long-term issues with moisture, even more serious side effects are going to be seen. These can include:
- Areas of standing water.
- Swollen doors and windows that are hard to open and close.
- Cracks in, or crumbling of, concrete walls or floor.
- Wide-spread mildew and even mold on drywall, carpets, wood, paper, etc.
- Structural issues due to damage to wood or concrete.
Signs of Chronic Basement Moisture Problems
Moisture damage in your basement can start from something as simple as high summer humidity levels but can end up resulting in serious damage to your home if it isn’t addressed. Here are a few things that you can look for in your home that would indicate that your basement has moisture issues.
- Mold & Mildew Stains
One of the first signs of high moisture levels are mildew or mold stains. They often start as gray or white and can become green or black if not treated. The longer you let it grow, the higher the chances of irreparable damage.
- Rotting Wood
While there may not be much wood in your basement, if you have any doors, door frame, trim, or exposed floor joists, high moisture levels can damage them. Over time, the wood will begin to rot, meaning that it is less sturdy and at risk of falling apart.
- Peeling Paint or Damaged Drywall
If you have any painted walls, you may notice the paint flaking or peeling off if the surface behind it is damp. The same goes for drywall – as a very porous material, if it becomes wet, it will soften and typically grow mold.
- Musty Air
One of the easiest signs of excess moisture to identify is a musty or stinky smell in the air. This is the result of mold and mildew growth, and can help alert you to damage in areas that you can’t see, like behind finished walls.
Why Do I Need Basement Moisture Control?
Just as with any other type of unwanted moisture in the main part of your home, having frequent moisture issues in your basement can lead to a slew of serious issues. Just one small leak can lead to catastrophic issues if it isn’t addressed. Not only are you risking the very structural integrity of your home, you are also risking the health and well-being of your family, as inhaling mold spores can lead to serious health problems.
Springfield Basement Moisture Control Services
Do you have moisture issues in your basement that you need to have addressed here in Springfield? Contact us today. We are here to help you to reduce the moisture in your basement with effective moisture barrier treatments. With our years of experience and expertise, you can be assured that everything is done correctly, ensuring that both you and your family are safe from mold and your home safe from foundation issues. Contact us today to learn more about our basement moisture control services.