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Humidity, Moisture and the Impact on Your Basement

Monday, June 30, 2014 • 12:50pm

As a homeowner, you know the air in your basement rarely has the freshest odor. Even with a finished basement, you may notice a musty or damp smell, especially in the summer. From water runoff entering through cracks in the foundation to excess humidity, basements are susceptible to moisture build-up in many ways.
 
The Consequences of a Damp Basement
 
Paul Giglio, owner of Pipe Works Services, Inc. in Chatham reminds his homeowner customers that musty smells are often a sign of bigger problems.
 
“The impact of a damp basement extends beyond just musty odors,” Giglio explained. “Improper humidity control leads to the oxidation of tools and creates condensation that destroys furniture and electronics.  As water collects in the basement it also creates conditions that are just right for the growth of mold and mildew and the proliferation of dust mites.”  
 
As mold and mildew spread, they release spores into the air, which aggravate different respiratory conditions.  If you have asthma or allergies, a damp basement could play a large role in your health and comfort. While moisture build-up is a problem that often starts in the basement, it has negative effects throughout the home.
Other Indications of Excess Humidity
  • Water pipes are “sweating” and condensation is forming on windows.
  • Mold is collecting near window frames and along the sill.
  • Paint is peeling and wood products (floors, furniture and doors) are warping.
  • Your skin feels cold and clammy or sticky and sweaty.
Fight Odor While Improving Health and Comfort
 
Giglio recommends a comprehensive approach to controlling excess humidity.
“Once humidity control has been identified as a problem in your home, it’s time to consider the solutions,” he said. “There are ways the family can reduce humidity throughout the home with little changes like shorter showers and using the kitchen exhaust fan when cooking. However, in an area as large and moist as a basement, a high-capacity dehumidifier is best equipped to handle the high humidity levels”. 
 
Aprilaire dehumidifiers can remove up to 95 pints of water each day, so you and your family will quickly notice an improvement in the basement’s air quality.  
 
Pipe Works Services, Inc is a local HVAC business specializing in Indoor Air Comfort. For more information call Pipe Works Services, Inc at 1-800-640-1500 - or visit www.aprilaire.com.
 
Editor's note: Pipe Works Services, inc., is a Tap into Chatham advertiser. To advertise on TAP into Chatham contact Ed Barmakian at ebarmakian@tapinto.net.
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