Understanding Condensation

Understanding Condensation

Water in the basement in any form can lead to problems. This brings up the concern of condensation. What exactly is condensation?

Condensation is the conversion of water from its gaseous state into its liquid state. There is always some amount of moisture present in the air. During cold weather conditions, the moisture present in the air can condense into tiny droplets of water on surfaces. Condensation can also occur on hot, humid summer days as well.

Household activities such as cooking, washing and drying clothes can contribute to excess moisture in the air within a home.  This excess moisture can sometimes condense on surfaces and cause issues within a home or building.  An average family creates around 20 pints of water vapor per day in their home.

Additionally, damp and wet basements can add to the problem by bring greater amounts of moisture into the home, which evaporates into the air and can lead to increased condensation.

How does this impact a basement?  The moisture that forms as a result of condensation can cause rotting window frames, deterioration of substrates and mold on walls, carpets or clothes. This phenomenon is worse in areas where there is inadequate air circulation.

Common Causes of Condensation:

  1. Lack of ventilation, especially during the summers.
  2. Lack of insulation, especially during the winters.
  3. Inadequate heating in the basement.