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Old 02-16-2010, 12:38 PM   #1
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testing a basement floor for water seepage


I put down some foam-rubber carpet interlocking tiles on my concrete basement floor last Fall - the type typically used in exercise rooms and garages and such. I noticed this winter that there was a lot of wetness under the tiles. I wanted to see if moisture was wicking up through the concrete floor, so I taped a square of plastic down on the concrete. Three days later, there is no water trapped under the plastic. So, two questions:

1) have i waited long enough for water to show up?
2) If moisture is not wicking up through the concrete, could the moisture under the tiles be caused by humidity condensing on the concrete, and the resultant droplets just trapped there by the tiles?

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Old 02-16-2010, 01:35 PM   #2
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testing a basement floor for water seepage


You don't usuallly have too much humidity in the winter due to the heating system drying out the house. Currently my basement shows 38%.
Could the moisture be related to water getting in during rains?
Is the water restricted to a certain part of the basement? Is the floor wet from an exterior wall inward? Any water issues before you installed the carpet?
Three days is more then enough time to indicate a damp slab.
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:02 PM   #3
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testing a basement floor for water seepage


No, I haven't had *any* noticeable water issues in the basement. None of the concrete - walls or floor - are visibly moist now or ever have been - even after heavy rains and big snowmelts. I can keep cardboard boxes sitting on the floor with no noticeable dampness to their bottom. A plastic box I kept on the floor did have water droplets under it when I moved it, and it was on the opposite end of the basement from the carpet.
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:23 PM   #4
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testing a basement floor for water seepage


What is the humidity level in the basement?
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:19 AM   #5
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testing a basement floor for water seepage


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
What is the humidity level in the basement?
Ron
It took me awhile, but I purchased a hygrometer and calibration kit, and the humidity level in the basement is around 65%. I'm sure it must be higher in the summer.

So I guess my first question is, does this mean my second theory in the original post is correct? That is, can water vapor get under the carpet tiles (they're not glued down), condense on the concrete so that it only looks like water is seeping up through the concrete?

Second, I should probably buy a dehumidifier, correct? Anyone have any recommendations?
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:50 AM   #6
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testing a basement floor for water seepage


A humidity level of 65% is very high for a Winter reading. Have the wet carpet tiles been removed or dried? Taking a reading with a wet rug in place has no real value as the moisture in the wet items is artificially inflating the humidity level.
In the late Spring and Summer on LI, NY, a dehumidifier is a staple in the basement as the humidity levels get into the 80's and 90's outside. If your levels are higher then 50% I would have one. But this is not the cure for wet carpet tiles. There's a leak somewhere that needs to be found and corrected. You need to determine if the water is coming from the interior or exterior. There are numerous interior sources that can cause your issue.
Have you determined the cause yet?
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Old 03-08-2010, 12:38 PM   #7
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testing a basement floor for water seepage


It's definitely not internal, as in water dripping from a pipe or fixture.

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