How wet is your basement?

Groundwater intrusion is a common issue in basements across Northeastern PA.  Whether you have consistent water problems or only see issues during heavy rains, groundwater intrusion can lead to serious issues such as foundation damage, rot, and mold growth!

But how much water does it take to cause serious issues?  The answer may surprise you!

How wet is “too wet”?

This can be a difficult question to answer, as there are a lot of factors that can come into play. In fact, because the moisture in the air (humidity) can often go unnoticed, you may have a significant moisture issue without visible signs like pooling or visible leaks.

Because moisture issues can cause so much damage over time, you want to address any moisture issue as quickly as possible to avoid rot and mold damage. Here are a few things to look out for:

• High humidity (above 50%), can encourage mold growth on surfaces. Keep an eye out for signs of condensation on rafters and ceilings, foundation walls, and any other items that may be in your basement.  Any signs of dampness or condensation indicates that the humidity in your basement is much too high.

• Pooling or collecting moisture, which can indicate a serious groundwater issue.

• Trapped moisture in wall, ceiling, or floor cavities (particularly in finished basements).  This can create the perfect environment for mold growth.

Why is your basement wet?

The cause of moisture issues in basements can be extremely varied.  In diagnosing a problem, experts will often look at seasonal changes, your landscaping and drainage, the local water table, and your home’s foundation.  This is because many different factors can contribute to a moisture issue, particularly when you’re attempting to address a wet basement.

It’s important to keep in mind that groundwater and moisture will find the path of least resistance, which unfortunately may be your basement.  Here are a few common causes of water intrusion in basements:

• The yard is graded towards the house, which causes rainwater to be directed towards the foundation, where it can pool and enter through the foundation.

• There are too many large trees close to the home which prevents surface moisture from evaporating.

• A natural spring is close to the structure.

• The water table is high.

• There is a small pipe leak or drainage overflow in a hidden area such as a wall or ceiling cavity.

• Gutters or drainage is improper or damaged.

How can wet basement issues be resolved?

Essentially, there are two potential resolutions to moisture issues; resolving the source of the moisture and redirecting that moisture. A professional Basement Waterproofing service will be able to evaluate the needs of your home and make appropriate recommendations.  Here are some examples of common solutions:

Resolving the source of the moisture

• Regrading your yard to direct rainwater away from your home.

• Cutting down trees that are overshading your yard.

• Repairing leaking pipes or faulty overflows.

• Improving or repairing gutters and drainage.

Redirecting the moisture

• Installing a dehumidifier to prevent humidity issues.

• Having a sump pump installed to address groundwater problems, specifically seasonal issues.

• Having a Basement Waterproofing System installed to redirect moisture as it is coming in through the foundation.

As every home is different, waterproofing solutions should be tailored to the unique needs of your home. For this reason, we do perform a thorough inspection of each project so that we can formulate a clear picture of what’s going on and why.  Our experts then make recommendations tailored to the needs of your home.

We hope this helps answer some common questions about wet basements and what causes them.  As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions, because we’re always happy to help.

About Disaster Blaster

Disaster Blaster is an indoor environmental firm serving the Northeastern PA Area.  We have been providing our local area with unparalleled basement waterproofing, mold remediation, water mitigation, basement waterproofing, asbestos abatement, radon mitigation, and fire / smoke restoration services for decades, and are proud to have been named The World’s Greatest Indoor Environmental Firm.  For more about Disaster Blaster, as well as more helpful tips, please visit our website at: or call our office at (570) 963-1123.