How to Easily Test for Moisture and Water Infiltration in Your Basement Yourself


No matter what type of home you live in or what part of the country you call home, if your house has a basement you are at risk for water problems. If water is allowed to infiltrate your basement, that moisture can do a great deal of damage, not only to your basement but to the structural integrity of your home as well. The first step toward dealing with a wet basement is finding where that moisture is coming from.

Things You'll Need

  • Towels
  • Dehumidifier
  • Feel the walls inside your home's basement to test for dampness. If you have a finished basement, look for stains on the paneling or wall treatments. If your basement is unfinished, watch for water or dampness seeping between the stones.

  • Install a portable dehumidifier in your basement and see how often you need to empty it. If you are emptying your dehumidifier several times a day, you most likely have a dampness problem, even if you do not have actual flooding or water leakage.

  • Place a large towel at each corner of your basement. Leave those towels in place for several days and check them for dampness or moisture. If the towels are damp you know that water is coming into your basement and you need to think about waterproofing.

  • Smell the air as you enter your basement. If you detect a musty odor or disagreeable smell, it could be a sign of mold and mildew as a result of water infiltration.

  • Check the condition of any cardboard boxes stored in your basement. If the cardboard is damp, or if they have white stains on them, you have a problem with water infiltration.

  • Examine the walls in your basement for tell-tale signs of water infiltration. These symptoms include white stains on the walls, water spots and damp areas on the walls and floors of the basement.

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