Most homeowners fully understand the potential dangers of structural damage to their homes when water infiltration occurs in their basement or crawlspace. Consistent exposure to moisture is known to erode concrete and masonry surfaces and allow cracks to form that ultimately allow even more moisture infiltration to occur. Over time, basement and crawlspace walls can lose the structural strength and ability to support the weight of the home, making it possible for the development of serious settlement damage.
What most homeowners may not realize, however, is that there are also important health-related reasons to take steps to limit water infiltration into their basement or crawlspace. Homeowners who are beginning to note small signs of water infiltration can use the following information to help them avoid putting their families at risk for these dangers.
Maintaining proper humidity levels
The first health-related reason to consider when faced with the prospect of a moist or wet basement or crawlspace is the effects those conditions can have on the humidity levels inside the living spaces of the home. When unhealthy humidity levels are occurring inside basement and crawlspace areas due to water infiltration, homeowners may find that condensation is evident on the interior surfaces of the home's windows or notice that their home's living spaces feel less comfortable.
If not corrected, unhealthy levels of humidity can also make it more difficult for medically fragile household members to breathe, especially those who suffer from asthma or other respiratory health issues. Humidity levels that increase beyond a comfortable level can also be problematic for those who suffer from some types of skin issues or those with certain types of cancer or other serious health conditions.
Preventing the growth of mold
Perhaps the greatest threat that an ongoing water infiltration problem presents to family health is that it increases the risk for mold growth within the interior spaces of the home. A crawlspace or basement that suffers from water infiltration provides the perfect climate for mold growth because it offers moist, dark conditions with reduced ventilation. Mold that begins to grow in these spaces can be difficult for homeowners to notice until the growth has reached an advanced stage. Inhaling mold spores has now been associated with several serious health conditions, so it is important to take preventative action by waterproofing the exterior of the basement or crawlspace walls.
To learn more about the dangers of water infiltration, homeowners should take time to discuss their concerns and housing situation with a reputable residential exterior waterproofing contractor in their area.Share