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What Causes Basement Moisture (and What You Can Do to Prevent It)

No one likes damp basements. They can cause major structural issues for your home and endanger your health.  

But what causes moisture in basements in the first place?


Understanding wet basements

There are five primary causes of basement moisture:

  1. High hydrostatic pressure

  2. Improper grading

  3. Defective downspouts and gutters

  4. Condensation

  5. Plumbing leaks

Let’s discuss them one by one.


High hydrostatic pressure defines a condition where water enters your basement through the surrounding soil. This problem is usually experienced in homes that are located in high water table areas.

Then we have improper grading, where the ground around your house is sloped towards it and not away from it. This causes rainwater to accumulate around your house and seep into your home foundation.


Poorly maintained downspouts and gutters also contribute to basement moisture. If your downspouts and gutters are clogged (or if they’re installed incorrectly from the outset), storm water will drain around your basement and create moisture problems.

Next, we have condensation.

Exterior warm humid air entering your basement condenses on cooler surfaces, such as basement walls or windows, making your basement damp.

Finally, there are plumbing leaks.

Many basements have plumbing pipes running across them. A leak in these pipes can cause water to accumulate in your basement and create moisture issues.  

This then begs the question:

What you can do to prevent your basement from getting wet?

Preventing wet basements

Several measures exist to keep your basement waterproof. The most common ones include:

  • Plugging holes and cracks in your basement walls to stop the water from entering your basement. This is called interior waterproofing.

  • Covering your basement walls from the outside with a waterproof sealant to make sure there is no inward movement of water due to high hydrostatic pressure or improper grading. This is called exterior water proofing.

  • Keeping your downspouts and gutters maintained and fixing any installation issues that may exist.

  • Fixing plumbing leaks on time.


Are you experiencing basement moisture problems at your Boston house?

AMN Masonry can help…

We have a vast experience in the field of foundation waterproofing and water damage restoration. Our clientele includes both residential and commercial customers. We provide fast and reliable services at highly affordable rates. Get in touch with us today to schedule an inspection for your damp Boston home foundation.   


Adriano Nunes