Moisture Problems

Although they are usually related, moisture problems are a distinct and separate issue from water problems.  It is possible to solve a water problem without solving the accompanying moisture problem.  It is also possible to have a moisture problem without having a water problem.

Unsolved water problems

If water is entering your foundation on a consistent basis, and you do nothing to stop it, the accompanying damage caused by the extra moisture in the air can be far more severe than the actual water itself.  NEVER let a water leak go unfixed.

Water problem solutions that are not designed to account for moisture

For several decades, the entire waterproofing industry installed ‘open system’ drains where a 1/4-1/2″ gap was left between the floor and the wall.  The theory behind this was that if any water ran down the wall, it could get into the drain rather than end up on the floor.  That sounds logical, but the problem is that by leaving the gap, moisture in the form of water vapor and RADON are able to escape and enter the home.  Only in recent years has the waterproofing industry realized the shortcomings of an open system.  In fact, most companies around today still have not adopted a ‘closed system’ policy, because it is easier to sell an ‘open system’ to most homeowners who are only looking for the cheapest and fastest way to solve their immediate problem.  Only a customer who educates themselves to understand the larger picture can see that a ‘closed system’ is the only way to truly protect their home and family’s health in the long run.

Eroded or non existent foundation membrane

When most foundations are built, a membrane of some sort is applied to the exterior of the foundation wall.  The materials typically used in the 60’s and 70’s were a simple coat of tar.  This dissolves over time due to the acid in the soil and ground water, leaving your foundation exposed and vulnerable to both water and moisture penetration.

Stack Effect

The Stack Effect is the cause of the majority of moisture in your home.  The Stack Effect brings in 15-20 gallons of water vapor into your home EVERY DAY!  The basic principal behind the Stack Effect is that hot air rises.  As the warmer air in the upper floors of your home rises into the attic and out through the roof, cooler air from the basement or crawlspace rises up to replace it.  As the cooler air from the basement or crawlspace rises, a suction effect draws air THROUGH THE FOUNDATION and floors, pulling air out of the soil, and bringing high levels of moisture with it.  40% of the air in the first floor comes from the foundation, carrying that same moisture into the living area of your home.

Interesting side note: Every time you walk through a revolving door in a high rise building, you are walking through evidence of the stack effect.  Revolving doors were invented because the suction force was so strong when high rise buildings were first built, it was very difficult to open a standard door.  Of course in today’s high rises the air is conditioned and the buildings are pressurized, but the revolving doors are still there.