You know that smell you associate with old basements? That scent is likely mold and mildew caused from seeping water or excess humidity. Surface water--everything from undiverted rainwater to leaky systems--can cause water issues in your basement. (Not to mention other probable causes like overflowing rain gutters and backups in the storm or sewer water systems.)
It may not be as obvious as large sources of water like rain or pipes, but one of the biggest culprits of water seepage is the moisture-filled earth that surrounds your basement. Regardless of the material that was used when building the structure--bricks, concrete, stone--it can be susceptible to seeping water when the ground puts pressure on the walls and forces moisture through tiny cracks and joints.
Any amount of sitting water poses a risk, especially if you don’t realize it’s there for weeks or months. Often the first sign that something is wrong is the smell of mold and mildew. And if you notice those smells throughout
the home but can’t tell where they’re coming from, the basement is a likely source.
But mold and mildew aren’t just a problem for your nose, they can present serious issues for the air quality in your home and the health of you and your family.
Common symptoms caused by mold and mildew:
In addition to health risks, excess moisture in the basement can jeopardize the structural integrity of your home. Sitting water can damage walls, floors, carpeting, woodwork, furniture, and more. Plus, if you use your basement for storage, water can quickly ruin cherished heirlooms, photos, or other irreplaceable items.
Basement waterproofing is the process of locating where water is entering your home and finding the best solutions to prevent it. Each case is different, but an experienced waterproofing specialist can help you decide on the best path for addressing the issues that are specific to your home. Most solutions involve one of four methods, or some combination of the four: interior, exterior, drainage, or sealant.
Along with keeping water out of the basement, you can take steps to remove excess moisture by using an Aprilaire dehumidifier. These units are made specifically for basements and crawl spaces, with a range of sizes to handle different capacities (based on the size of your basement and the amount of moisture that needs to be removed).
Here are just some of the benefits of using an Aprilaire dehumidifier in your basement or crawl space: