Property Damage Services in Maryland, Virginia & Washington DC
The Damaging Effects of a Humid Basement & Prevention Tips

The Damaging Effects of a Humid Basement & Prevention Tips

Your basement can be turned into many things. It can be where you go to workout the stress after a long day of work. It can be where you escape with your friends on the weekends to watch sports or your favorite television shows. However, it’s also important to be aware of the fact that your basement is more susceptible to moisture and humidity than any other part of your home. Worse, as moist conditions persist, it can create the perfect environment for mold and mildew to grow.

At Property Solutions LLC, our Prince George’s County mold remediation specialists have compiled a list of tips to help you better control humidity and moisture levels in your basement. And, if you do happen to have a mold or mildew issue, we’ve got you covered.

Why Basements Are More Prone to Humidity & Moisture

If you think about it, your basement is located in a place that isn’t as well insulated as the rest of your home. This means that any outside conditions, whether they’re hot or cold, will affect both the interior temperature of your basement as well as the humidity levels. Additionally, because it is closer to the foundation of your property, any incidence of a slab or pipe leak will contribute to increased humidity and moisture levels.

Optimal Basement Humidity Levels

It’s been suggested that optimal basement humidity ranges between 30 and 50 percent, depending on the outside climate.

In Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C., we experience high humidity levels in the summertime. This means that the humidity in your basement can get as high as 60%. Due to this, you will need to work hard to ensure that you are able to bring the levels back down to an acceptable range to prevent hazardous mold and mildew growth.

In the winter, the cold air can actually cause humidity levels to drop and can affect the efficiency of your heater. Much like high humidity can pose threats to your health, low humidity can as well. The dryness can cause nosebleeds, dry skin, and can make you susceptible to common wintertime illnesses.

How You Can Adjust Your Basement Humidity

One of the most important things you can do as a homeowner is monitor your basement’s humidity levels and adjust them accordingly.

Fortunately, there are a variety of ways you can go about this, including:

  • Install a dehumidifier: A dehumidifier draws in air and runs it over cooled coils that work to remove the moisture and deposit it into a tank or drain.
  • Repair pipe leaks and cracks at the first sign of them: A plumbing problem, such as a leaking pipe will contribute to excess moisture in your basement. Having it repaired as soon as you notice it will help eliminate any further excess moisture and prevent the possibility for mold and mildew to grow. As an added bonus, the repair will also help prevent your pipes from freezing during the cold winter months.
  • Make use of basement windows: If your basement has any windows that you can open to increase ventilation, we recommend propping one open especially when the temperature outside is cooler than it is inside. Just make sure you close the window whenever it rains.
  • Install an exhaust fan: If you have a basement bathroom, the hot showers you and your family members take contribute to excess moisture and humid conditions. An exhaust fan simply pushes this moist air out of the basement area.

The Adverse Effects of Humidity Problems

It’s no surprise that excess humidity contributes to mold and mildew growth, which can pose a serious threat to your health. However, it also can damage the structural integrity of your home.

In a basement with a humidity problem, mold and mildew have the potential to deteriorate any organic material, including wood, paper, and carpet.

Additionally, the excess moisture can make any wood swell, which makes opening or closing doors and windows difficult.

Lastly, you don’t want awful, musty smells to develop that are hard to get rid of and soon permeate throughout your entire home.

Ensuring that you control the moisture and humidity levels in your basement is just one step toward preventing harmful mold and mildew growth.

Should you need any assistance, you can always reach out to our Prince George County mold remediation specialists by calling (571) 526-0075 or contacting us online.

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