Basement / Cellar Damp Proofing – How to Tips & Solutions

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Having a damp basement is not just uncomfortable; it can also be dangerous to your property. A damp basement may lead to mould build-up along the walls and even to cracks in the foundation, in extreme cases. Excess dampness makes enjoying your space difficult if not impossible, and should be addressed as soon as possible, and especially if you’re considering any type of construction or remodelling in your basement areas.

Why Dampness is Common in Basements and Cellars

Because foundations are made of solid cement, it’s easy to wonder why basements and cellars get damp and uncomfortable. It doesn’t seem likely that moisture would be able to seep through cement, but it does happen. The moisture may also seep into the home from any number of areas, and then typically settle in basements and cellars. When the air is moist and humid, that humidity needs to go somewhere and water falls downward, so it will collect in the basement and lower levels.

This is why waterproofing a basement is so vital; the moisture from the rest of the home will settle in this lowest of areas and then stay there, as it has nowhere else to go. Basements and cellars typically lack regular ventilation and areas around which the moisture may escape, such as windows, so it will settle along the walls and floors.

Basements and cellars are also perfect environments for dampness to settle. Light will evaporate moisture but basements and cellars get little if any sunlight, and may be without other light for most of the day. Think of how dark and dreary your basement or cellar is throughout the day and you may realise immediately why moisture collects in that area. As water falls and collects to a lower level, heat rises, so basements and cellars are without heat that also wicks away hydration and moisture. This makes it a perfect place for the moisture of the home to settle and to remain; basements and cellars are cool and dark, which is why they’re also typically moist and damp. If you’re concerned with how to damp proof a cellar or basement, there are a few solutions you might consider.

Basement and Cellar Damp Proofing Solutions

A professional contractor may offer a few solutions if you notice that your have a lot of moisture in the basement or cellar. They may install what is called a membrane system behind the wall, which gives the moisture a place to collect outside the wall rather than inside. This membrane system will also collect air behind the walls which in turn dries the moisture. They also provide protection against salt and other contaminants in the basement or cellar, are easy to install, and typically very affordable.

How to Damp Proof a Basement or Cellar Yourself

There are a few different ways you can eliminate much of the moisture in a basement or cellar by basement damp proofing on your own. A dehumidifier may be a good choice in many areas, and a sump pump should be used if you have basement flooding. These are simple ways of waterproofing a basement for everyday dampness and common moisture problems.

Other damp cellar solutions include damp proof paint which provides an environment that is unfriendly to moisture. This type of paint discourages moisture from collecting around its surface so that it cannot simply sit.

For severe cases of moisture build-up, call a professional for basement damp proofing. He or she can assess your area and determine the best solution for your building materials and for your level of moisture as well.