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Top Causes of Basement Moisture

Top Causes of Basement Moisture
Top Causes of Basement Moisture

Basement moisture is extremely common. However, it is not always easy to identify what the cause of it is and how to fix it. For a deeper look at the top causes of basement moisture, continue reading. Hopefully, this information will help you identify whether these issues are causing the dampness or moisture in your basement.

7 Signs You Have Moisture In Your Basement

Below are seven signs you have moisture in your basement.

  1. Mold/Mildew – If you have moisture in your basement, chances are you will notice black, white, or green mold growth.
  2. Wood rot – Moisture can cause your wooden floor joists above your basement to rot and fall apart.
  3. Musty odors – Moisture can cause your basement to smell. You may also notice the floor above your basement smells as well. That’s because you breathe the air from the floor below you.
  4. Condensation – Check your basement walls to see if they are collecting dew.
  5. Buckled hardwood floors – Moisture can cause your hardwood floors to buckle, warp, or bend.
  6. High humidity – Moisture build-up can increase the humidity in your basement. If you live in a southern climate already, that can already be a nuisance.\
  7. Insect infestations – Bugs like fruit flies, love to set up homes in puddles. Look out for any unwelcome creatures.

Top Causes of Basement Moisture

Why does moisture penetrate your basement?

1. Abundance of Rain and Groundwater

When it rains so much that drainage systems become overwhelmed, the water has to find somewhere else to go. Often this results in water getting into your basement. It just depends on how much rain falls and in what amount of time it does so. However, when water enters the basement, moisture occurs and begins to cause issues.

2. Defective Waterproofing Elements

If you don’t have waterproofing methods in your home or if the ones you have are defective and broken, water and moisture can enter your basement. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to discover these issues right away. This is exactly why you should keep a close eye on your drainage systems and be observant of all elements of your home on a regular basis. Not finding this issue or broken element until it is too late can allow for an abundance of moisture to build up in the area.

3. Foundation or Structural Issues

Any cracks in your foundation will lead to water making its way into your basement. If this water accumulates in your foundation walls, it can directly cause moisture in the space. This issue can be even more detrimental than just introducing moisture into your house. Cracks and leaks in your foundation can lead to severe structural issues for your home if you don’t take care of them.

4. Interior Moisture Sources

At times, moisture can even originate from inside the basement, whether from the people or activities that take place in that space. Humidifiers, showering, cooking, and unvented clothes dryers are some of the many sources of moisture caused from within the space.

The top sources of basement moisture are:

  • Foundation Cracks
  • Cove Joint Seepage
  • Improper Gutter Extensions
  • Window Wells
  • Faulty or non-existent Sump Pumps

Keep an eye out and be observant as a homeowner to see if any of these occur in your basement. Being proactive is definitely better than being reactive.

How To Stop Moisture From Ruining Your Basement

There are a few different ways to remove and prevent moisture from building up in your basement. These methods include interior and exterior drain tile systems, vapor barriers, sump pumps, french drains, and more. Read more about waterproofing your basement.

The Real Seal

Speaking of being proactive, reach out to our team at The Real Seal LLC for all your basement waterproofing needs in Chicago. We want to do our part to keep moisture out of your basement in any way we can!


Austin Werner

Austin Werner is the Owner of The Real Seal LLC, a basement waterproofing and foundation repair company. Austin believes that having a highly trained and happy team is the key to success. This is reflected through hundreds of 5 star customer reviews his company has received online.

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