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Old 08-07-2011, 09:47 PM   #1
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strange mystery moisture occurence in basement?

Hey all - our basement is pretty pristine. Cement walls/floor were painted before we moved in, and it all looks spotless-new. We've since finished most of the basement, but left one 10x10 room unfinished for storage. This room is effectively underground completely. The front yard grass would be very high on the wall.

My wife is a teacher so keeps cardboard boxes full of books in this storage room.

They were needed so I just loaded about 15 such boxes into the car. One box on the very bottom that was sitting on the painted basement floor (walls are the same paint) - the writing on top of it was smudged/running like it had gotten wet. Upon inspection, the bottom of the box felt slightly damp and had a little mildow. The books smelled musty. We're are 100% sure we didn't put them away in that condition - and that box has been there over a year.

NOTHING around it nor any other boxes had any similiar signs - bone dry - even the box sitting on top.

There are no cracks under where the box was kept.

Could condensation have caused this? We do however keep a dehumidfyer on in the basement.

Separately, there is a hose outlet to the front yard immediately outside this room (that hose is about 2 feet off the ground but it's about 8 feet up on the wall - no leaks). We run kids toys that don't fit the outlet all that well so it spews water from the front yard hose outlet and slightly floods that area.

It troubles me because I thought our basement was like a bathtub that was 100% free from outside moisture. No cracks, no points of entry. Yet still - here we are.

Any ideas?


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Old 08-20-2011, 01:07 PM   #2
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Try taping a 2 x 2 feet area of the floor with plastic sheet (taping is necessary to make it airtight). After few days check the floor under the plastic. If it is damp then you have seepage thru the floor.

This is possible even though there are no cracks on the floor, moisture can still seep in thru the pores of concrete.The seepage can happen so slowly it is not apparent until the evaporation of the moisture is blocked (say by few boxes directly on the floor) for extended period.



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Old 08-20-2011, 01:27 PM   #3
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Heating/cooling cycles combined with humidity can cause moisture to condense in your basement. Also, if there was some dampness on the bottom of the box before hand that you didn't notice, it wouldn't have anywhere to evaporate easily.

You can get moisture meters and indicators at your local hardware store.
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