What Is The Ideal Basement Humidity Level?

Are you interested in finding out more about the humidity level that should be perfect for a basement? If that’s the case, keep reading because this article is going to explain all you need to know about the perfect humidity for a basement.

Basements frequently have a higher relative humidity level than the rest of the house because of their surrounding space.

Because higher levels of humidity are conducive to the formation of mould and mildew, homeowners should make every effort to maintain the optimal amount of humidity in the basement of their homes.

What Is the Optimal Relative Humidity for a Basement?

The recommended amount of humidity for a basement is between 30 and 50 percent. Mould will be more likely to develop in environments with a humidity level that is higher than 50%.

If you are asking whether or not a humidity level of 60% is too high for a basement, the answer is yes. Above fifty percent is too high of a humidity level for a basement.

In the course of the summer

Compared to the air during the other seasons, the air outdoors is warmer and more humid during the summer. When this air enters the basement, the relative humidity level may rise to a point where it is conducive to the formation of Mold.

The humidity level in the basements of many homes is maintained between 30 and 50 percent during the summer with the help of a dehumidifier.

In the course of the winter

Because the humidity level outdoors is lower during the winter, the optimal humidity level for a basement will likewise be lower at this time of year. Between 25 and 40 percent if you reside in a location where the average temperature throughout the winter is consistently below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Why Is There So Much Humidity in Basements?

There are many different reasons why basements are humid, including the following:

Basements have a high level of humidity because soil surrounds them. If there is an excessive amount of water in the soil and inadequate drainage, hydrostatic pressure will build up and press on the foundation wall with enough power to push water through any undetectable gaps in the foundation.

This will cause the basement to be humid. It is also possible for hydrostatic pressure to cause foundation walls to crack and bend inside out, which would compromise the structural integrity of your property.

Is It Possible That Hydrostatic Pressure Is to Blame for Your Damp Basement?

table with chairs near wall in a dark room

You are engaging in activities in the basement that generate moisture, such as using an unvented clothes dryer, preparing food, taking a shower, or any of a number of other activities.

Although it may appear that water is seeping through the foundation wall, what you are actually seeing is condensation as a result of humid, warmer air flowing in from the outside and condensing on cooler surfaces.

New houses may acquire moisture from the concrete itself since there is always a certain amount of moisture present in freshly poured concrete, and this can be a source of moisture in newly constructed homes.

 

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Reasons Why You Should Avoid Having a Damp Basement?

It is not in your best interest to have a basement that is humid because mould and mildew thrive in environments that are humid and because part of the air from the basement travels up into the rest of your house.

Because of this, everyone who lives in the house runs the risk of developing respiratory difficulties since they will be exposed to a variety of allergens.

In addition, damp and humid basements are not suitable for use as dwelling places. Additionally, damp basements are not a favourable environment for storing anything of value.

If your basement is always wet, the best thing you can do with it is turn it into a laundry room. Last but not least, a wet and humid basement will bring down the value of your home.

Symptoms of a High Humidity Level in the Basement

a long hallway with red and white striped walls-humidity

Some of the followings are indications that the humidity level in the basement of your house may be higher than it should be:

  • If water is penetrating one or more of the foundation walls, this is an indication that there is an excessive amount of water in the soil outside the foundation wall, that drainage is inadequate, and that there is a buildup of hydrostatic pressure. The foundation wall has a hole in it, and there is water leaking into the basement from outside.
  • The walls of the basement have a wet appearance and feel; this might be due to condensation or extra moisture outside the foundation wall.
  • The fact that there is water that is not moving around the basement is a glaring warning that something is amiss.
  • There is a ring of moisture around the base of the basement wall. Capillary suction, which draws water up through the concrete, is what causes this.
  • If something seems humid, then it probably is. The basement has a muggy atmosphere. Have you checked the moisture content of the air in the basement using a hygrometer?
  • Condensation forms on the walls, floor, and other surfaces of a basement during the summertime. This occurs when the warmer air from the outside rushes into the basement and comes into contact with the cooler basement surfaces.
  • The basement has a stale and musty odour about it.
  • Mould has grown on the carpet in the basement, and any wooden constructions there are rotting away.
  • There is efflorescence on the walls or floor. Efflorescence is the presence of salt deposits that are left behind after there has been a water intrusion. It gives the impression of being chalky.
  • The walls and floor both have stains that seem like they were caused by water.

How to Decrease the Humidity in a Basement?

During the warm summer months, you should make use of a dehumidifier and/or an air conditioner.

If you notice that the issue only occurs during the summer, the remedy is to take measures to prevent the warmer, more humid air from entering the basement at that time of year.

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You may be able to do this by shutting the windows and running a dehumidifier at the same time. You also have the option of using an air conditioner.

On the other hand, a dehumidifier is the most effective method for removing moisture from the air, and it may be used throughout the home.

Make some holes in the window during the winter.

You may want to switch things up during the winter, when the temperature of the air outdoors is lower. The basement would benefit from having some fresh, dry air brought in, so crack the windows.

Make use of vents as well as exhaust fans.

It is important to determine the source of the excessive humidity in the basement before attempting to reduce the amount of humidity there.

If a clothes dryer that is not vented or a shower is the source of the high humidity level, the problem may be solved by venting the clothes dryer or installing an exhaust fan in the shower.

Put in a system of drainage tiles.

There is only one remedy that is actually successful in the case that your basement is humid due to the fact that there is inadequate drainage around your foundation and hydrostatic pressure is forcing water through the foundation wall, and that solution is a drain tile system.

The Functioning of a Drain Tile System

The ability of a drain tile system to prevent an accumulation of extra water in the soil all around the foundation serves as a measure of its effectiveness. Both the inside and the outside of a building may have drain tile systems installed.

While the internal drain tile system is built below the basement floor, the outside drain tile system is installed around the perimeter of the foundation wall at the footing level.

In either case, an underground pipe with perforations is installed to direct excess moisture to a sump pit, where it is collected by a sump pump and then expelled away from the building’s foundation.

It is not a do-it-yourself job to install a drain tile system. When installing an outside drain tile system, you must excavate all the way down to the footer level. When installing an interior drain tile system, you must use a jackhammer to break up the floor of the basement.

The majority of clients decide to have a foundation repair specialist install a drain tile system. See the section on “How Does a Drain Tile System Work?” for more details.

Additional Methods for Reducing the Amount of Humidity in Your Basement

In addition to installing a drain tile system, there are a few other things you can do to fix the issue if excessive groundwater around the foundation and poor drainage are the root causes of the high humidity level in your basement, such as:

Maintaining clean gutters can prevent water from seeping into the ground adjacent to the foundation of your house as it runs down the side of the structure.

Install extensions to your downspouts so that the water is carried at least ten feet away from the foundation before it is released if your downspouts are already discharging water right adjacent to the foundation.

Your garden needs to have a slope that moves away from the house’s base. If it doesn’t, you should reevaluate it. This is something that calls for the expertise of a landscaping specialist.

Near the house’s structure, you shouldn’t put any plants that need a lot of water. You don’t want to have to hydrate the soil around the foundation unless it’s absolutely necessary.

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