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Dehumidifcation Learning Center
Dehumidification Learning Center

Indoor Relative Humidity in Basements & Crawl Spaces

Condensation on pipes due to high relative humidity

Condensation on pipes due to high relative humidity.

One of the most common basement problems is humid air that condenses and leads to mold growth. Relative humidity (RH) is the amount of water the air can hold at a given temperature. For example, an RH of 50% means that the air is holding 50% of the moisture it can possibly contain at that temperature. Once the RH gets over 100%, it rains.

In basements, problems occur when warm air from the outside enters the home and is cooled. For every one degree that the air is cooled, the relative humidity is raised by 2.2%. The temperature in most basements is about 65 degrees. If it's 80 degrees outside with a humidity level of 65%, the humidity level will increase to 98% when this air enters the basement. Mold grows when the relative humidity is above 70%. Also, when the warm, humid outside air enters the basement and touches cooler surfaces like pipes or concrete walls, condensation will occur.

Even without condensation, high indoor relative humidity can occur, leading to mold and mildew growth that can cause what's referred to as "stinky basement syndrome."

What can you do to control relative humidity?

The best way to control relative humidity in your home is with proper dehumidification. The SaniDry™ dehumidifier is 10-times more powerful than a traditional home dehumidifier, but uses the same amount of energy to operate. The high-performance dehumidifier and air filtration system is available in two versatile models - the SaniDry™XP and the compact SaniDry™ Sedona, which is designed to fit in tight crawl spaces. For optimum protection and humidity control in your basement or crawl space, a waterproofing system should also be installed to eliminate standing water and water vapor transmission.

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