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6 Reasons Your Basement is Damp in the Summer

As the summer heat rises, so too can the level of dampness in your basement.

Understanding the reasons behind this seasonal occurrence is the first step in maintaining a dry and comfortable living environment. While the region doesn’t receive excessive rainfall during the summer— only around 3 to 5 inches per month— even this modest amount of moisture can wreak havoc when combined with other factors.

1. Clogged Gutters

Your gutters and downspouts are supposed to channel water from your home, but these systems can fail if not maintained. Gunk, leaves, dirt, and twigs can block them. If this happens during rainy weather, water will spill from the sides of the gutter. It will collect on the perimeter of your home before leaching into the soil and through the basement walls. This shouldn’t be the case.

Check your gutters and clean them of debris. If they are old or damaged, replace them with clog-free gutters. Make sure the downspouts extend at least 5 to 10 feet from your perimeter and are all angled down properly.

2. Summer Humidity

When temperatures soar, it’s typical to ask, should I open my basement windows in the summer?

The short answer, no.

Basement humidity levels go hand in hand with prevailing temperatures. Opening the basement window drives up humidity, making the basement humid. When this humid air comes into contact with cool surfaces, like pipes, it condenses— creating moisture.

Try to keep the humidity levels between 30% and 50%. A dehumidifier will come handy. It will dry out the air in your basement. Get an energy-efficient unit with an air filter to remove dust particles.

3. Moisture Close to Your Foundation

Summer rains can saturate the ground around your home, leading to increased water pressure against the basement walls. This pressure can force water through cracks or gaps, resulting in a wet basement. This type of movement is called hydrostatic pressure and if left untreated it can cause structural issues for your home.

4. Leaking Window Wells

Together with worn caulking, leaky window wells are another way water gets into your basement. Look for dampness around the window, mold, and water puddles under it. The best solution is to set the wells properly. Work with a trusted basement waterproofing company, like Innovative Basement Authority to ensure your basement windows are watertight.

5. Poor Grading

Does yard grading contribute to summer leaks? The answer is yes, it does. Poor grading means water won’t flow out and away as expected. It will pool and leach into the soil, ending up in the foundation. Do a spot check of your home and the surrounding soil.

If you are building a home, ensure there is proper grading of the backfill. Builders recommend that the backfill has a 5% minimum grading and slopes six inches for the first 10 feet surrounding your walls.

6. Waterproof Your Basement

The best way to keep your basement dry year-round is to waterproof it. Choosing a comprehensive system that includes interior drainage, a wall vapor barrier, a sump pump, and a dehumidifier provides your family with the ultimate peace of mind.

Tips for a Dry Basement

  • Leave the basement windows shut even when the temperatures are high. 
  • Insulate your basement to prevent moisture and warm outside air from seeping through cracks, gaps, pipes, and vents
  • Position sprinklers strategically so their water won’t splash against your untreated basement walls. 
  • Examine your windows for potential leaks and seal them. 
  • If adding a deck or patio, ensure they don’t interfere with your basement waterproofing.

Combat Summer Basement Dampness with IBA

Don’t let summer dampness affect your basement. Take action with Innovative Basement Authority to protect and improve your home. Our expert team offers comprehensive solutions for all basement issues, from optimizing gutter systems to installing effective waterproofing measures like interior drainage, vapor barriers, sump pumps, and dehumidifiers.

Avoid the hassle of a damp basement this summer. Contact us for a free inspection and tailored solutions to meet your specific needs. With our expertise, ensure a dry, safe, and comfortable space in your home. Reach out today for a worry-free summer in a perfectly dry basement.

Leah Leitow

Leah Leitow

Content Writer

Leah is a Content Writer for Groundworks with nearly ten years of experience working in the foundation repair industry. Her experience ranges from working with homeowners to find the right solution to training inspectors and staff. In her background as a Michigan journalist, she gained invaluable insight into people's lives throughout our state. Leah lives in metro Detroit with her husband and two sons.

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