Basement Moisture Problems in Existing Basements
The University of Minnesota has written an excellent document of "Typical Causes of Basement Moisture Problems." They also offer solutions in their document ""An overview of Solutions to Basement Moisture Problems" which is well-written, easy to understand, and has excellent illustrations.
The main causes of basement moisture problems are:
Rainwater or melted snow that isn't routed away from the house is also a common cause of basement and crawl space moisture. Read this article about Drying Out a Wet Basement from This Old House to determine if your wet basement is being caused by condensation, runoff, or if a subsurface water source is the cause.
Solutions to basement moisture problems:
The approach to moisture problems should always be to remove the source of the moisture—not to try to stop it at the last line of defense (the basement wall).
It is appealing to try to solve a basement moisture problem with a membrane or special coating on the inside. In some cases that solution might seem to work for awhile. However, the water will still be there.
Return to Building Concrete Basements