Fighting Moisture in Your Basement?
No one wants a wet basement. Moisture can easily ruin the carpeting and drywall of your basement. It can also become hazardous to your health by allowing toxic mold to develop or can cause structural damage to your home.
But why are basements likely to have high humidity levels? Basements are underground, surrounded by concrete, and oftentimes have very few windows or ventilation; factors which all contribute to high levels of moisture and humidity.
The Superior Solution
Modern construction methods have resulted in tighter, more energy-efficient homes that require planning for the control of humidity and condensation. Weaver Superior Walls wall panels do a great job at keeping water out of your basement by preventing the free flow of moisture through the wall panel due to their high-performance concrete mix construction that is lined with closed-cell foam insulation.
However, this also means that moisture vapor usually stays inside the house. This is where condensation control comes into play.
Moisture Management: Controlling Humidity and Condensation
Managing the moisture in your basement becomes an easier task when you understand the causes of humidity and condensation as well as the methods to control condensation.
In certain conditions of high interior humidity and low exterior temperatures, it is possible that condensation may form on the interior surface of the Superior Walls panel. Condensation can occur anytime moist air contacts a surface that has a temperature less than the dew-point of the air.
How to Control Condensation in your Basement:
- Reduce the amount of moisture in the air.
- Tip: Limit moisture-producing sources or activities like non-vented clothes dryers or hot tubs.
- Tip: Use a dehumidifier.
- Prevent moisture from reaching the cold wall surface.
- Tip: Use an exhaust fan or other ventilation system to remove moist air.
- Increase the temperature of the room.
- Tip: By increasing the room temperature, you also increase the temperature of the wall surface.
- Add heat and the air will hold more moisture (rather than condensing on the walls).
Pro Tip: To effectively control condensation and humidity in your basement, consider using more than one of these methods. This combination will help make your basement a more comfortable and moisture-free place.
Moisture management isn’t just something you need to think about on the inside of your home. Talk with your contractor about how you can maintain your home’s exterior to further minimize moisture from coming into your basement.
We recommend making improvements to the grade around your home, gutters, and downspouts, assessing shrinkage cracks and sealant in addition to the methods listed above for a comprehensive moisture prevention plan.
- Grade – Slope the ground away from the home a minimum of 6 inches within the first 10 feet from the wall (additional slope may be required by your local building code). You may need to re-grade if the soil settles over time.
- Gutters and Downspouts – Use splash blocks or downspout extensions to divert water away from the foundation. Keep your gutters and downspouts free of leaves and debris.
- Shrinkage Cracks – Shrinkage cracks are fairly common in concrete products. Shrinkage cracks pose no threat of structural damage or potential for leakage. This type of crack typically occurs during the curing process, is generally less than 1/16″ in width, and is limited to the surface of the wall. This type of crack does not need any type of repair. However, cosmetic treatments may be performed using a stucco-type material or masonry paint if desired.
- Sealant – Sealant below ground level that is not exposed to UV light will not require maintenance. Sealant in panel joints exposed to UV light above the level of the ground may experience surface discoloration or cracking. If UV damage has occurred, joints can be resealed with a quality one-part polyurethane masonry sealant.
By redirecting water away from the outside of your basement walls and using moisture management methods to prevent condensation on the inside of your home, you’re well on your way to having a place to safely store or comfortably entertain and relax in your basement. Pair that with Weaver’s Superior wall systems and you won’t have to worry about a wet basement again.
For more information, check out the Homeowner Guide section of the Superior Walls’ Builder Booklet.
If you’re considering using precast concrete walls for your basement and have questions or concerns, we would love to speak with you. Call 717-470-0773 or contact us.