Humid basements or “wet” basements can be caused by several factors in Jackson. One reason would be a high-water table whereas the water pushes up through the foundation and or the walls. This is called hydraulic pressure.
Cinder block walls have cavities. When water penetrates the walls either through water running down the walls from the surface for from a high-water table, the cinder blocks will fill up with water. Each block can hold several gallons of water. This can cause spalling and or efflorescence.
When inspecting a home in Howell for a leaky, wet, humid basement, water entry, or mold problem, you can save mold testing costs by learning how to recognize other contaminants that is not mold related such as minerals. Make no mistake about it, if you see an issue that may be mold, do not take it lightly because you do not want to mistake it for more serious condition.
It is important to recognize spalling and efflorescence as an indicator of the moisture or water flooding or a pre-existing leak history of a basement/crawlspace. Because these conditions can easily cause costly damage, mold contamination, or other unhealthy conditions in a short amount of time. If you have these conditions, it is best to have them remedied without delay to mitigate further damage.
There are a few good ways to correct these issues. If your Millstone basement already has a properly working French-Drain, you are already ahead of the problem. If you do not have a French Drain System, now is the time do have a skilled contractor install a properly engineered French Drain System.
Since the walls may have spalling and/or efflorescence, this issue needs to be corrected as well. This condition can cause your cinder block walls to thin-out and cause a major structural issue. One this happens, the repairs are now major and very expensive.
If deem it not to need a French Drain System, you can have your basement walls properly prepared and have them sealed with a quality product. I personally have not seen any luck with the Home Depot and Lowes DIY products. They typically flake in a short amount of time and or moisture penetrates right though the sealer. When this happens, the only way to get the product off is to have a skilled media blaster come in. It’s a messy and costly job. Remember when getting quotes, it may seem high to you when reviewing the cost but to properly prepare the walls and apply the quality sealer, it takes great time an preparation to do the job correctly.
Finally, once you have the moisture and water under control, the last step is controlling the amount of moisture in the air. Microbial growth will start at 60% humidity. Its best to keep the humidity in the basement at or below 50%. While dehumidifiers can remove humidity, they very often aren’t enough for medium to large basements. Many basements may need four or more dehumidifiers. It wouldn’t be cost effective as well as the units being energy hogs.
The most practical way to solve and keep the humidity under control after all other perimeters have been met is to install an “air circulation” system. Tis system works by drawing low humidity, conditioned air from the above living space, drawing it into the basement and outside. When designed and installed properly, this system is the most effective and efficient on the market.
The benefit is not limited just to the basement. The air in the entire home can be turned over keeping the air fresh throughout. There is even a unit designed for crawlspaces. Air Solutions Environmental has been installing this device for over a decade with great success.
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About the author: Michael Glaser is a leading expert in the flood and mold industry and has written many articles on the topics of flood and mold. Mr. Glaser has traveled the county investigating complex mold issues. Mr. Glaser also had provided expert court testimony in this field. Mr. Glaser holds the highest certification in the mold industry, Certified Mold Professional (CMP) as well as other certifications. Mr. Glaser is an approved New York State Mold Instructor.