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Porous Concrete Wall

Porous concrete walls can let moisture into your basement and lead to mold growth and other problems. Here is how to manage them.

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Have you ever had standing water in your basement? If so, you may have already crossed paths with problems such as mold growth and wood rot. Increased moisture levels in the basement can trigger all sorts of issues. Since pests are drawn to damp and dark places, your humid basement presents a perfect home to them. In addition, moisture can cause wooden elements to deteriorate, such as your support beams and floor joists. As mentioned, mold thrives in moist places, which is another serious issue. Airborne mold spores are a health hazard since they lead to respiratory problems. It is not difficult to see why keeping your basement completely dry is essential. 

But how does moisture get inside your basement? Aren’t concrete walls keeping it out? A lot of homeowners in Michigan may not realize that concrete is porous. In other words, it can act like a sponge and soak the water in from the soil that surrounds the foundation. About 18% of concrete consists of pores, but they are invisible to the naked eye, which is why homeowners do not realize that they are there. 

Why Is Concrete Porous? 

After concrete is poured, it begins to cure. During this process, the water that has been in the mixture begins to evaporate. While finding its way to the surface, it leaves a trail of tiny pores behind. These pores are larger than a water molecule, so water vapor can pass through them. Due to hydrostatic pressure, water infiltrates the wall and fills the invisible pores in the concrete. 

Cement paste keeps the concrete together, but it contains calcium. Why is that a problem? Since this element dissolves in water, the pores filled with water will only widen in time. In the end, you will have a wet, musty basement that is prone to mold growth and rot. 

How Can You Solve This Issue? 

Maybe you don’t have any water issues in your basement, but that doesn’t mean your basement will stay dry forever. Without a proper waterproofing system, this area is exposed to moisture problems that can cause damage. Here is how you can waterproof your basement and keep it dry for good. 

Install an Interior Drainage System 

Maybe you have considered getting an exterior drainage system, but if your home is already built, this is not the best option. Exterior drainage requires a ton of excavation, and when everything is in place, problems such as clogs can easily arise. 

On the other hand, an interior drainage system can be installed in one day with minimal excavation, and it features a clog-free design. It is a much more affordable solution that will keep your basement nice and dry. 

Since it is almost invisible when it is installed, it is ideal for both finished and unfinished basements. It runs along the perimeter of your basement and collects water before it can cause any damage. 

The AquaStop interior drainage system won’t let you down. With it, you can even convert your basement into a cozy living space. It comes with an admirable warranty so you can be sure that this area will stay protected for a long time to come. 

Get a Sump Pump 

Large volumes of water can be easily and quickly discharged with the sump pump system. This system will collect the excess water from the interior drainage system and pump it out of your home. If you are worried that this system won’t function during blackouts, there is a simple solution. A battery backup sump pump will keep your pump running even when there is no power. Elite365™ Sump Pump Systems come in several sizes and configurations, so you can surely find one that suits your home completely. It will take the water from the interior drainage system and lead it away from your home so it doesn’t cause any damage. 

Use a Vapor Barrier 

Porous concrete walls can let moisture into your basement. However, you can solve this problem if you cover them with a vapor barrier. You may have heard that these barriers are usually used for crawl space encapsulation, but they also can be used for this purpose. 

The VaporLoc Elite® system features a thick and durable barrier that easily attaches to the wall. If any water seeps in through the walls, it will run behind the barrier and end up in your AquaStop interior drainage system. 

Install a Dehumidifier 

Maybe you have already tried to dry out your basement with a store-bought dehumidifier. Unfortunately, these appliances do not have enough power to control moisture levels in large spaces. Instead of wasting your money on them, contact your local basement waterproofing contractor and ask them to install a professional dehumidifier. These can remove four times more moisture than a regular dehumidifier and not spend more energy than a regular dehumidifier in the process. 

Not only can this appliance dry out your basement and get rid of moisture, but it can eliminate allergy triggers, improve air quality in your home, and turn your basement into a comfortable space. With a dehumidifier, you will be able to convert this area into a living space for you and your loved ones. A dehumidifier can be connected to your sump pump so that any water that leaves it will be directed into the sump pit. This way, you won’t have to worry about emptying the container. 

Porous walls are surely a nuisance, but they do not cause problems that cannot be solved with proper waterproofing methods. Keeping your basement waterproof can even help lower your heating and cooling bills, which is always a plus. 

If you’d like to waterproof your basement, contact professionals at FSM and schedule a free inspection and quote. We’ll inspect your basement and, with your wishes and needs in mind, recommend suitable solutions for your home. 

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