It’s all about The Dew Point, or “….it’s in the air.”

The other day we talked about condensation and how your basement wall can sweat.  That sweating of the foundation wall can and will cause water problems in your basement.

From our blog post we had a phone call asking, “….where does the water come from?  It must be the moisture that is inside the brand new concrete.  Right?”

Well…………, no!  The water on the foundation wall is condensation.  The water on the wall is moisture that collects on the wall and that moisture is in the air; not the wall.  Today’s photograph shows moisture in the air condensing on a spider’s web.

So, what causes moisture in the air to change into water on the wall?  What makes moisture in the air condense on the wall?  What makes moisture in the air collect as water on the sides of my cold can of soda?

The cause of sweating foundations and cans of soda is The Dew Point.  The Dew Point is a measure of the amount of water in the air.  When The Dew Point and the air Temperature are either very close or the same - the air is then saturated with water and will condense as water. 

In the daily weather report The Dew Point tells us when it is apt to rain.  In today’s discussion we are concerned with Condensation.    During the summer the foundation walls are relatively COLD compared to the air.  During the summer there is a higher level of moisture in the air.  When the summer air moisture, a.k.a. humidity, is high it comes in contact with the significantly colder foundation wall and …………………., POOF, just like magic we have condensation.  This scenario is exactly the same as a can of cold soda; the cold can comes in contact with the moist summer air and again………….., POOF, just like magic we have condensation yet again.

The solution to water condensing in the basement is easy; it is exactly the same as what you do with the soda; it needs to be insulated!  On HOT SUMMER DAYS a cheap foam sleeve can cover and insulate the soda.  The foundation solution is virtually identical.  The relatively cold concrete needs to be insulated so that it does not come in contact with the hot humid summer air and then………………………., POOF, just like magic the problem is solved.

When you insulate the foundation you will also be conserving heat in the winter so the insulated basement is truly a wonderful thing.

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