It sounds like a contradiction but it’s true: Unfortunately, anyone who opens up the door or windows to their basement in the hope of properly airing it out and drying it often achieves exactly the opposite. The walls really start to perspire. The explanation for this phenomenon is simple and brings up the clever word of “summer condensation”.
The term summer condensation describes the principle whereby warm air can carry a particularly large amount of humidity, which it then releases when it meets a cold surface. The clearest example of this is taking a cooled lemonade bottle out of the fridge. Immediately after taking it out, condensation droplets form on the bottle. That’s because the warm summer air cools down on the bottle and thus releases the humidity it had been carrying in the form of water.
Here’s how summer condensation is keeping your basement damp
Replace the lemonade bottle or even the whole fridge with your basement. Remember that these walls are also relatively cold due to their subterranean surroundings. As soon as the warm summer air flows into the basement while airing, it comes into contact with the cold walls. This causes the warm air to cool down and prevents it from to carrying so much water. It must then release liquid and the vapour condenses on the surface of the wall – the well-known effect of summer condensation. But there’s even more to come: The water evaporating results in evaporation chill, leading to a general cooling of the room. Instead of pleasant fresh summer air in your basement, you instead get an uncomfortable damp room climate – the ideal breeding ground for dreaded mould fungus.
Five tips for a dry basement – even in summer
Here’s how to avoid summer condensation by using the correct airing technique:
1. On especially hot summer days you should not air at all during the daytime. Instead it is better to air especially in the mornings when it’s not yet so warm , or you can use the cool of the evening.
2. On cooler summer days you can even air out the basement several times a day for around 10 to 15 minutes.
3. If you wash your clothes in the basement, then always air out the basement again quickly and vigorously. However, if you also want to dry your clothes in the basement, the humidity problem becomes even more acute again. In this case you should start considering the question of dehumidifiers, such as the TTK 70 S from Trotec. This device has a special dehumidification function for drying clothes.
4. Furniture, in particular large presses, should not be placed directly against the wall of the basement. This prevents air in the room from circulating.
5. Even rarely used basement rooms should not be allowed to completely cool in winter, warm them mildly instead. Don’t forget the quick daily airing! If you want to mildly heat your basement, we recommend you use a dehumidifier like the TTK 100 S from Trotec, which, with its automatic gas mode, offers a performance increase of 30% in the temperature range of 5-15°C. If the basement rooms remain completely unheated in winter, then we recommend the TTR 55 E and TTR 55 S dehumidifiers.