Basement Wall Condensation Problems

Written by thomas king
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Basement Wall Condensation Problems
Musty odours are a sign of mould. (smell image by Connfetti from Fotolia.com)

Many people are familiar with condensation that appears on the windows of your home. But condensation can appear on walls as well. While some condensation is normal, excessive condensation can cause a lot of problems and steps should be taken to control excessive condensation immediately.

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Causes

Condensation, which refers to liquid drops that have formed from water vapour, occurs on walls when the surface temperature of the wall is below the dewpoint of the air which comes in contact with the wall. This problem is common in the wintertime when the air inside your house is heated, and the cold air outside cools the walls of the house.

Problems

Condensation on your walls can cause a host of problems. Condensation damages the wall and ceiling materials and may cause wood to rot. More seriously, condensation can lead to mould and mildew growth, which is a serious problem because mould and mildew can cause health problems, including eye irritation, asthma attacks and other respiratory problems.

Repairs

To remove condensation, use a squeegee or sponge. You can also run a dehumidifier, which is designed to remove moisture from the air and the surfaces in your home. If mould or mildew has begun to grow on your basement walls, you can remove it using a brush and a mixture of detergent and water. Mold and mildew cannot be removed completely from porous materials, such as drywall, and thus these materials should be replaced.

Prevention

To prevent condensation from forming on your basement walls in the future, run a dehumidifier. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends keeping the relative humidity in your home between 30 and 50 per cent to avoid the problems associated with moisture. Many dehumidifiers come equipped with a relative humidity gauge. In addition to running a dehumidifier, fix all leaks, install vapour barriers in the walls, increase ventilation and install storm windows.

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