Do you have puddles of water on your basement floor due to sweating pipes? If you are inconvenienced (to say the least) by this situation, take heart because you are not alone with this problem. Sweating pipes in the basement is a very common predicament experienced by most homeowners.
The truth is, pipe sweating is just an indication of extreme dampness or humidity in your basement. Even when there are no leaks in your basement, large amounts of water vapor can enter it, and, eager to become water again, latches on to any cold surface around. You guessed it right…water pipes are the easiest targets. Your cold water pipes need to "sweat out" or condense the moisture out of your damp basement.
But enough of the lecture, and on with the solutions. What steps can you take to stop sweating pipes in the basement? Here are five common solutions to your problem:
1. Use a dehumidifier. Continuously running a dehumidifier in your basement will can help a lot in lowering the humidity of your basement. The less humid your basement, the less likely your pipes will sweat. Removing the access dampness in your basement can also get rid of the unhealthy air, allowing you and your family to breathe in better air.
2. Use foam insulation. By wrapping your cold pipes, you get right to heart of the matter – not let moisture reach them in the first place! Home improvement stores carry foam-pipe insulation that can easily slip right over your pipes. This material is available in various lengths and can be easily cut with a pair of scissors. You don't even need to wrap all fifty meters or so of pipe in your house. Just do it for those easy-to-reach pipes and you will see a significant improvement.
3. Get rid of all leaks in the basement. Like I previously mentioned, even without leaks, moisture can get in. Just imagine how the situation can worsen if you do have cracks or openings in your basement. For minor leaks, waterproofing compounds will do, while hydraulic cement is best for actively leaking areas. Make sure also that all plumbing problems within the house are taken care of. Dampness can come from both outside and inside the house.
4. Check your house's foundations and exterior walls. If you have a problem in your house's foundations on top of having cracks in your basement walls, this will compound your moisture problems. For instance, an ineffective gutter system or the lack of one, can let all the water pool at your home's foundations right outside your basement! Make sure rainwater is directed away from your house not towards it.
If the ground around is sloped towards the foundations of your house, that could be also another cause of moisture problem in your basement.
5. Apply waterproofing compound on walls and floors. To further prevent any unwanted moisture from coming inside your basement, you can use waterproofing compound on walls and floors even before any leaks are detected. Choose a high quality waterproofing that will effectively stop any water from coming in the basement, and not just one that will protect from surface moisture as a sealer does. Also, use a waterproofer that is suitable for sealing walls under water pressure.
Keep in mind that if you do just any one or two of these steps, the improvements can be felt already. Used together, the effects can be tremendous.