A Briefer on Moisture, Air Circulation, and your Basement

Your basement can be an important and usable space in the home.

However, basements with moisture problems can negatively impact the health of home inhabitants and the functionality of the space.

Here are a few signs of excess moisture and what might be causing the problem.

Signs of Moisture Problems

If you are concerned about moisture in your home, there are several signs to look for inside and around the foundation. A few examples of these can include:

  • Moldy odours in the basement.
  • Visible mold on wood framing, drywalls, and finishes.
  • Eavestroughing that deposits water at or around the foundation.
  • Poorly drained window wells.


For a complete list, refer to this information sheet from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

What Might be Causing Basement Moisture?

1. High humidity

Excessive humidity in the home occurs when there is too much water vapour in the air. This water tends to condense on cool surfaces.

If you see condensation on windows, walls, water pipes, or other fixtures in your home, you may have too much humidity in the air of your home. This can lead to mold growth, wood decay, and reduce the effectiveness of some types of insulation.

2. Water infiltration from surrounding soil

Water can move through porous materials in response to pressure exerted by small pores (capillaries) in the material.

Your foundation walls, for example, might draw water from surrounding soil without proper moisture protection. You might notice damp walls and floors or wet and decaying wood in contact with the foundation walls if this is the case.

3. Water leakages

Water can leak into your basement in some worst-case scenarios. For example, plumbing leaks in the home can introduce water into your basement space.

Water can also leak into your home through cracks in the foundation walls or floor, poor grading, or lack of rainwater diversion systems from the home’s foundation. Monitor closely for these leakages to address them before they become an issue.

Do not let moisture problems in your home’s basement go unaddressed. Watch out for these signs and typical factors responsible for introducing moisture into your basement.

It is also important to consider ventilation and air circulation in your basement space. When air circulates properly in your basement, it prevents the buildup of odours and keeps temperatures and humidity within an acceptable range.

Our Applewood Air technicians are experts at proper duct design and installation and can answer any questions that you may have about basement air circulation. Do not hesitate to contact us any time for more information!

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