Six Causes of Basement Moisture

While most basements are thought of as being damp and dark places, moisture in a basement is bad news.

Even a small amount of moisture can turn into a major problem, possibly leading to structural damage to the home or causing health hazards for the home’s occupants. Here are six causes of basement moisture that homeowners should be on the lookout for.

Interior Water Leaks

The first and most common cause of basement moisture is interior water leaks. These leaks can come from a shower, toilet, sink, dishwasher, washing machine, or pipe.

Look at the water collecting in the basement and examine the surrounding area to see if there is an obvious reason for the puddle of water or moisture. This is typically the easiest basement moisture issue to fix.

Cracks in the Foundation

Another common cause of moisture in a basement that professionals at 58 Foundations deal with is foundation cracks. Ironically, water can cause foundation cracks.

Poor drainage in the soil or floor joists that were not properly connected to foundation walls can cause cracks. The solution to this problem will depend on the cause of the cracks.

Missing or Damaged Downspouts and Gutters

Major tools that are used to keep rainwater away from a home are downspouts and gutters. If they are missing, damaged, or functioning incorrectly, rainwater will be directed toward your home. It can collect at the foundation and cause moisture in the basement.

Damaged or missing downspouts and gutters should be replaced or repaired. Additionally, removing debris from gutters on a regular basis will help the water flow properly.

Poor or Ineffective Grading

If the grading in the front and back yard is poor, the basement will become infiltrated with water. The dirt around the home’s foundation needs to slope away from it.

An easy way that poor grading can be addressed is by adding dirt around the foundation of the home with the goal of directing water away from it.

Basement Condensation

This issue occurs when moist and warm air encounters the cool walls and floors of the basement. If this is the issue you are experiencing, you are in luck.

Condensation issues are easily resolved by installing a basement exhaust fan, insulating the basement, or increasing air circulation. Professionals at 58 Foundations who offer basement waterproofing could provide a solution that is best for your basement.

Sump Pit and Tile Drains That Are Missing or Damaged

This is a common problem in older homes. The basements of older homes were not typically designed to have a drainage system.

Even if your home has a drainage system in the basement, you could be dealing with a broken sump pump, a damaged connection, or a clogged pipe.

The solution for dealing with a drain tile and sump pit that is missing or damaged involves digging up the basement flooring and having a proper drainage system installed.


There are warning signs and symptoms of basement moisture issues that homeowners should take seriously. Thankfully, for each problem, there is an effective solution.

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