Condensation: Why Waterproofing Your Basement Before Winter Is Crucial

Home & Garden Blog

Many homeowners prepare their homes for winter by cleaning their furnaces and stocking up on canned goods and other perishable items. But a number of homeowners forget to prepare their basements for the upcoming cold weather. If you use your basement as a storage room for your furnace and goods, it's crucial that you waterproof it soon. Even the smallest amount of condensation can damage your basement and the things stored in it. Here's why it's crucial to waterproof your basement before winter. 

How Can Condensation Affect the Items In Your Basement?

If you're familiar with science or chemistry, you may know something about condensation and how it forms. When warm air touches a cool or cold surface, small water droplets (condensation) form. Condensation can form on your basement's cold walls, windows, plumbing pipes, ceiling, and flooring. Water droplets may also show up on the surfaces of your furnace's gas lines, flues, and other pertinent structures. 

Condensation can eventually rust or break down the metal structures inside your basement. If the damage occurs in your furnace or its structures, fumes and other dangerous odors can escape into the environment and travel into the rooms above your basement.

Fungi like mildew can also develop inside your basement. Fungi not only destroy organic things, such as your perishable foods and clothing, but the organisms can also damage the moist organic materials inside or on your concrete walls and flooring inside your basement. Without stable concrete walls, flooring, and footings, your basement could become unsafe.

Now that you know how condensation affects your basement and the items store inside it, take steps to waterproof the room. 

How Do You Go About Waterproofing Your Basement?

You can follow several steps to waterproof your basement. The easiest thing you can do is seal up your basement windows. Cool air can seep past cracks in your window frames and panes and mingle with the warm air produced by your furnace. Condensation can also form on the windows' glass panes. If you apply caulk along the frames and panes, you can keep cold air from entering the room.

Also, insulate the plumbing fixtures and pipes in your basement, including structures running through the ceiling. Even if the pipes don't develop condensation this cold season, they can still potentially freeze and burst. Busted pipes can allow water to flood the basement and leak into the rest of your home.

After you complete the steps mentioned above, check your furnace's lines to see if they require insulation or repairs. As mentioned previously, condensation can rust the lines over time. If carbon monoxide and other gases leak into your home, you might not note it in time to protect your family. 

Finally, contact a home waterproofing contractor and ask them to inspect the basement's walls and other structures. A contractor can look for tiny hairline cracks, crumbling concrete, and other problems that can allow cold air and moisture inside the basement. If a contractor detects these types of issues, they can repair and waterproof them.

A contractor may place a waterproof sheet or barrier over your basement walls and flooring to keep moisture to a minimum. Some contractors use caulk and other adhesives to fill in damaged concrete. The adhesives may prevent melting snow and ice from penetrating the basement. 

The cove joints, footings, and floor joints may also require attention. These structures can shift out of place over the years or allow water to slowly leak into the basement's foundation. The basement may become too weak to support the home's weight. 

For more details about waterproofing your home against condensation and other moisture problems, contact a waterproofing contractor today.


25 September 2018

Creating A Gorgeous Home

After struggling for years, I finally scored my dream job and started to focus on redecorating my home. At first, I wasn't sure how much of an impact I was going to be able to make, but after sitting down and really focusing on the different areas of my house, it was clear to me that the main living spaces were where I needed to focus. I started working room by room to renovate the space, and it was absolutely amazing to see what we were able to accomplish. This blog is all about creating a gorgeous home--even if you are on a tight budget.