Moisture In Basements Causes And Solutions University Of Minnesota Pdf

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Mold is a type of fungus.

Mold prevention is a conservation activity that is performed in libraries to protect books and other materials from deterioration caused by mold growth. Mold prevention consists of different methods, such as chemical treatments, careful environmental control, and manual cleaning. Preservationists use one or a combination of these methods to combat mold spores in library collections. Due to the resilient nature of mold and its potential for damage to library collections, mold prevention has become an important activity among preservation librarians.

Condensation

Then, a step-by-step process for addressing each problem is presented along with several detailed approaches to solving the problem.

Moisture problems in existing basements are very common, but often are not understood or properly treated. In a basement that is seldom used and separate from the living spaces above, this may not present a great problem.

However, most basements in Minnesota are connected to the rest of the house through ductwork or other openings.

In addition, basements are increasingly used as finished living and bedroom spaces. In these cases, moisture problems are not only annoying and uncomfortable, but can lead to significant health problems. Molds and mildew can grow in damp carpets and beneath wall coverings. Finishing a basement without first dealing with the moisture problems can result in making health conditions worse and lead to significant damage as well. Basement water problems are solvable, but there is a cost to doing it right.

There are just three sources of moisture:. Moisture is transferred from the outside of the building to the basement interior by four mechanisms:. Sometimes problems are traced to poor construction with cracking, settling foundations. In many cases, however, houses and basements can be structurally sound but are often not properly built to handle water drainage. Failure to slope the ground surface away from the foundation or lack of a good gutter and downspout system is common.

Missing or nonfunctioning subsurface drainage systems are also found relatively frequently. These problems can all be addressed and corrected if a systematic approach is used. In a 1-inch rain, 1, gallons of water fall on the roof of a 2,square-foot house. The below-grade water table can also rise due to flooding or seasonal site conditions. This is why drain tile systems are recommended around basement walls even in sandy or gravel soils.

Moisture is generated inside of basements from people and their activities. When basements are finished, these activities increase. Another source that can be thought of as internal is the moisture contained in new concrete after construction. In a typical house, this can amount to 0. It may take many months or even years for a new house to come into equilibrium with its environment.

In the summertime, basement windows may be opened for fresh air. If the outside air is warm and humid, it will condense on the cool basement wall and floor surfaces. Many homeowners see this moisture and believe they are experiencing basement wall leakage, when in fact the accumulated moisture is from condensation. Capillary suction moves moisture through porous materials. The water can be drawn upward through small pores in the concrete footing and slab and laterally through walls.

This effect creates the ring of dampness seen at the base of many basement walls. This is very common at cold joints. Water can rise by capillary draw significantly as shown below:. In most houses, a stack effect is created because warm air rises. This induces a negative pressure on the basement and draws moist air in through any cracks or openings in the foundation including open sump pits. For this reason, sumps should have an airtight cover. With a concrete block foundation, moist air is drawn through the block cores, especially if they are left open at the top course.

Vapor diffusion is the movement of moisture in the vapor state through a material. In a basement, vapor can diffuse from the wetter ground through concrete walls and floors toward the dryer basement interior.

Vapor retarders such as foundation waterproofing and polyethylene slow down this process. The soil next to the house is often backfilled without proper compaction and later settles. This is especially true under stoops where water can collect next to the basement wall. A downspout without an extender or splashblock is worse than no downspout at all.

It is depositing the huge volume of rainwater from the roof in a single concentrated location near the basement. Extensions should discharge water at least 4 feet beyond the wall. Sloped concrete sidewalks around basements are very effective in directing rain runoff. Often they are improperly built so that any water is directed toward, rather than away from the foundation. A supplemental drain tile extension should extend from the footing to the base of the window well.

This comes from a time when basements were not used as habitable space. The sump pit usually contains a pump designed to lift the water to the ground surface outside the foundation wall. This pump can fail. In effect, the duct becomes the drainage system. A drain tile and coarse aggregate can be placed under the ductwork. They can be severe if floor joists are not properly connected to the foundation wall, thus permitting the wall to move. Also, soil settling causes cracking. Places where walls meet rigid structures like the fireplace often crack as well.

Usually, drainage removes the water from cracks, but repair may be necessary. The best way to approach any building problem is to first do the things that are easy and low cost.

Then proceed in a logical order doing the next least costly technique with the most positive likely result. With moisture problems, the best approach is almost always to remove or control the source of the moisture, not to try to stop it at the last line of defense.

Dehumidification can be used as a means of reducing the symptoms of humidity and odor in a basement, but it is not a permanent or complete solution. In fact, if a dehumidifier is used in a basement with moisture problems, it may cause greater damage. By drying out the basement air, moisture is drawn into the basement more rapidly causing efflorescence and spalling of concrete and further damage to interior finishes.

It is appealing to solve a basement moisture problem with a membrane or coating on the inside. The water is still there, however, and eventually these systems deteriorate or simply move the water to another pathway into the basement. These should be corrected first and may solve the problem. All of these techniques are described below. If your goal is to finish a basement that has water problems, it is recommended to first deal with the water problem.

This draws moist air from beneath the slab and may help to reduce the amount of moisture vapor that enters the home through openings in the slab. It also assists in controlling radon and other soil gases. Sumps and other open connections to the soil outside the foundation and below the slab should be blocked and sealed.

Reed Herman. Charlotte Hilton Andersen Because civilization is built on neighbors being civilized to each other. You have lived in your home for many years now you are thinking of selling your home. Do you Selecting the correct type of Furnace Filter is important Routinely changing the air filters for your furnace is an important Wacky Home Inspection Finds 1 Every week we stumble upon some interesting discoveries.

In this picture the home owner used Interior moisture sources Interior moisture sources Moisture is generated inside of basements from people and their activities.

Ventilation with humid outside air Ventilation with humid outside air In the summertime, basement windows may be opened for fresh air. Moisture movement mechanisms Capillary suction Capillary suction Capillary suction moves moisture through porous materials. Water can rise by capillary draw significantly as shown below: Soil type and amount of capillary rise: Gravel — Less than a few inches.

Sand — 1 to 8 feet. Silt — 12 to 16 feet. Clay — 12 to 20 feet. Air leakage through walls and floor Air leakage through walls and floor In most houses, a stack effect is created because warm air rises. Vapor diffusion through foundation walls Vapor diffusion through foundation walls Vapor diffusion is the movement of moisture in the vapor state through a material. An overview of solutions to basement moisture problems The best way to approach any building problem is to first do the things that are easy and low cost.

First, the simplest and least costly techniques are to remove excessive internal moisture sources in the basement humidifiers, cooking and ventilate other sources clothes dryer, bathroom. Second, if condensation in the summer is the problem, do not ventilate the basement directly with warm, humid air. Ventilation through an air conditioning system or with a dessicant-type heat exchanger is recommended. Dehumidification is not a permanent solution Dehumidification can be used as a means of reducing the symptoms of humidity and odor in a basement, but it is not a permanent or complete solution.

Interior membrane or coating is a temporary solution It is appealing to solve a basement moisture problem with a membrane or coating on the inside. Step by step process Control interior moisture sources. Correct grading, gutter and downspout system. Provide an interior or exterior drainage system.

Walls must be dry before insulating. Slabs must be warm and dry before carpeting. Related Posts 28 Jul July 28, All Rights Reserved.

Mold control and prevention in libraries

Then, a step-by-step process for addressing each problem is presented along with several detailed approaches to solving the problem. Moisture problems in existing basements are very common, but often are not understood or properly treated. In a basement that is seldom used and separate from the living spaces above, this may not present a great problem. However, most basements in Minnesota are connected to the rest of the house through ductwork or other openings. In addition, basements are increasingly used as finished living and bedroom spaces. In these cases, moisture problems are not only annoying and uncomfortable, but can lead to significant health problems. Molds and mildew can grow in damp carpets and beneath wall coverings.

Basement Moisture Problems

Buildings used to be constructed over cellars. Cellars were dank, dark places where coal was stored. People never intended to live in cellars. Now we have things called basements that have pool tables, media centers and play rooms. Cellars were easy to construct — rubble, stone, bricks and sometimes block.

The best way to approach any building problem is to first do the things that are easy and low cost. Then proceed in a logical order doing the next least costly technique with the most positive likely result. With moisture problems, the best approach is almost always to remove or control the source of the moisture, not to try to stop it at the last line of defense. First, the simplest and least costly techniques are to remove excessive internal moisture sources in the basement humidifiers, cooking and ventilate other sources clothes dryer, bathroom.

A dry, healthy home starts here. Contact your local dealer or call Researching basement waterproofing can be an overwhelming process.

Mold and Moisture

Water or frost on windows is condensation. The inside or outside of your window can sweat or fog because of temperature differentials. Faulty windows do not cause condensation.

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2 Comments

  1. Amelio N. 24.05.2021 at 06:38

    Typical causes of basement moisture problems · Inadequate grading · Defective or missing gutters and downspouts · Improperly designed window wells · Ineffective.

  2. Merces C. 26.05.2021 at 06:15

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