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5 Ways Humidity Damages Your Basement

Living in the South, we know summers do two things very well: intense heat and high humidity.

You don’t want these things in your basement—especially humidity. When the air in your basement has a high moisture content, it leads to many uncomfortable side effects. After reading this article, you’ll understand the dangers caused by high basement humidity; and you’ll know how to stop humidity from causing any more trouble.

Why is There Humidity in My Basement?

Humidity doesn’t just appear out of nowhere in your basement. There has to be a source. Moisture can get into your basement in a number of ways:

No matter the cause, when water gets into your basement, it leads to high humidity. This is because water evaporates over time. If a puddle of water forms on your basement floor and it’s ignored, the water will turn into vapor. If water leaks through a damaged window, it will turn into vapor over time. Any and all moisture will lead to a humid basement.

5 Ways Humidity Leads to Basement Damage

Once humidity is in your basement, it’s only a matter of time before problems start to arise. Your basement may start to feel uncomfortable and it won’t be enjoyable (or in some cases, safe) to spend time there.

If left unchecked, high humidity in your basement leads to the following issues:

1. Mold & Mildew

Any humidity over 55% in your basement allows mold to rapidly breed and spread. When mold starts to form on surfaces below your home, it will feed on organic compounds like paper or wood. Over time, this can actually cause structural damage or property loss.

Not to mention, most mold is harmful to humans and pets. You could end up dealing with irritated eyes, respiratory issues, or increased allergies. It’s important to deal with basement humidity as soon as possible to avoid the problems associated with mold.

2. Musty Odors

Ever left a wet towel out for too long? It starts to smell, well, not great. The same thing happens when you have a humid basement. Humid air in your basement causes the entire space to become damp with moisture. Any objects in the basement absorb this moisture (or become covered in condensation) and emit the same kind of musty odors as they break down.

3. The Stack Effect

The stack effect is a cycle that happens in all buildings, especially those with a basement. Think back to your middle school science class; your teacher probably taught you that warm air always rises. This is the basis of the stack effect.

When the air in your basement becomes humid, it also tends to rise in temperature. Since warm air always rises, it will work its way up into the other areas of your home until it finally escapes out the roof. If your basement is moldy or smells musty, the rising air will carry those symptoms up into your living space.

All of a sudden, your living room or bedroom will start to smell strange and you might notice your allergies acting up more often. You might even deal with higher energy bills. Ignoring basement humidity allows this cycle to repeat over and over again.

4. Invasive Pests

Pests are drawn to humid basements for their warmth and moisture. You’re more likely to see bugs, snakes, rodents, and other creatures crawling around your basement if humidity isn’t dealt with.

Besides just being creepy, pests leave behind harmful waste and may damage your personal items. They might even damage structures in your basement such as wooden support beams.

5. Rusty Water Pipes and Appliances

Since humidity increases the total moisture in your basement, it will damage certain metals. Older homes might have water pipes or appliances made with iron. If that’s the case in your home, you’ll likely see these items become rusty.

Obviously, this is a risk to your safety and your home’s condition. Rusty pipes are more likely to burst and spew water all over your basement, while rusty appliances will break down and potentially leak as well.

AquaGuard Can Prevent High Humidity in Your Basement

Having a high amount of humidity in your basement isn’t something to take lightly. It’s important to act as soon as possible so you can avoid damage to your health and home. AquaGuard Foundation Solutions has industry-leading tools designed to stop humidity in its tracks.

We offer various waterproofing solutions that work together to create a comprehensive fix to basement moisture. These include:

With these systems installed in your basement, you’ll have maximum protection from more than just humidity. Leaks and flooding will be a thing of the past. We’ve been helping homeowners keep their basements dry since 1995, and we can do the same for you. Contact us today to learn more about our services and schedule a free inspection!

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