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Repair options for basements that are damp

A basement is a great space, and amazingly versatile. I’ve seen some fantastic basement conversions. Man caves. Children’s play rooms. Party areas. Spare rooms for visitors. Maybe the best I saw was a cinema and games room. Now that was cool. I’ve also seen a lot of basement leaks. Each leak is unique, and must be treated differently.

Why basement leaks matter so much

Leaks in basements can be costly. They can affect the whole house. If you don’t make a good basement leak repair, you could find yourself with an infestation of mold. This could cause health problems and cost a lot to clean up – as we described in our article “What to do if you find mold in your basement.”

Water in your basement undermines its use. Your best buddies aren’t going to thank you for letting them stay in damp conditions.

If you discover a leak in your basement, you should deal with it immediately. It will only get worse if you don’t.

Uncover the source of the problem

Water in basements usually comes from one of three sources:

  1. Water leaking from internal pipework
  2. Humidity
  3. Water coming in from outside

If the first is the problem, then you’ll need to repair the pipe that is leaking. The second and third causes of moisture in a basement are much more common.

There’s a simple test to discover the source of moisture in a basement:

  1. Cut a piece of aluminum foil a foot square.
  2. Tape it to a wall in your basement.
  3. Leave for a few days.

When you inspect it after a few days, if there is condensation on the outside surface, then humidity is your problem. If there is moisture on the inside of the foil, then your basement is leaking water from the outside.

Basement leak repair for humidity

If your basement is suffering with high humidity, you’ll need to figure out why. Sources might include:

  • Dryer vents that are leaking
  • Steam and hot air from your basement bathroom
  • Cold water pipes condensing
  • Humidity from outside

These are all relatively easy to fix:

  • Put foil over leaky vents
  • Install an extractor fan in the bathroom
  • Insulate cold water pipes
  • Close windows when the weather is humid

If the problem is cold basement walls condensing in the heat of your basement, then you should consider insulating those walls. However, if the problem is caused by water leaking in through the walls from outside, then wall insulation could cause a mold problem within your walls. When this finally surfaces, it could be a tough and expensive job to remove the mold. This leads us to dealing with leaks from outside.

Basement leak repair for water coming from outside

Often, basement leaks occur after a period of heavy rain. If this is the case, you’ll need to make sure the water runs away from your basement. Here are the things you should do:

Make your basement leak repair permanent

The most effective way to make a permanent leak repair in your basement is by installing underfloor drainage. You’ll need to break the concrete floor, place tubing, and then replace the floor. The drainage tubes should be connected to a sump and pump. This should ensure that any water seeping into the walls and below the floor is extracted away from the basement, keeping the internal dry and mold free.

For peace of mind and a conscientious ‘can-do’ approach to all basement leak issues, contact Porter's Cleaning in NJ. We’ll provide a free, no-obligation quote, and you’ll get your basement back to its fantastic best.

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