When "dry" means – feels dry, smells dry, and looks dry.
Just because you have a waterproofing system in areas of Washington State, it doesn't mean you have a dry basement.
Basements can become damp even after a basement waterproofing system is installed.
Whenever the outside air is warmer than the inside air – and especially when it's humid outside air – we are likely to have a condensation problem in our subterranean levels. This is because the Relative Humidity of air goes up 2.2% for every one-degree you cool it. Basements are always cool because they are below ground. And we know that a house is like a chimney – air flows upwards, allowing air to escape the upper levels, with new air being sucked in at the lower levels.
So when it's hot and humid in the summer, rain or not, our basement may be the wettest it has been all year!
If it's an 80-degree day with Relative Humidity of 80%, and we suck this air into our basements and cool it to 68 degrees, the Relative Humidity goes up by 26.4% (12 degrees x 2.2%). But wait a minute... 80% plus 26.4% is more than 100%, and we can't have more than 100%. So instead, as the air becomes saturated it gives up its moisture on your cold basement walls, floor, water tank, pipes, and other cold things. This is called condensation.
Even without condensation, we still get high relative humidity levels, which allows mold to grow and cause "stinky basement syndrome." And dust mites love high relative humidity levels as well.
In order to eliminate condensation you need to either heat the air (ridiculous in summer), or take water out of it (easy to do). Correction. I should say take water out of it efficiently and effectively (not so easy unless you have the right equipment to do it with).
A dehumidifier is the plain answer. But not just any dehumidifier. Basement Systems has been dealing with this issue intensely for nearly 20 years. The only machine that will get you the results you need is one called a SaniDry™ Basement Air System. And it's awesome.
To receive a FREE copy of "Dry Basement Science," which talks in more detail about dehumidification, relative humidity, and the SaniDry™ Basement and Crawl Space Air System, schedule your FREE home inspection and estimate, and we'll send the book to you.
CleanSpace Northwest provides Free Estimates on basement dehumidifier installation and basement waterproofing in Washington including Greater Olympia, Olympia , Bremerton, Shelton, Port Angeles, Poulsbo, Silverdale, Aberdeen, Sequim, Centralia, Bainbridge Island, Chehalis, Port Townsend, Hoquiam, Rochester, Gig Harbor, Elma, and surrounding Washington areas.