Dry Notes from the Underground

March/April 2002
A version of this article appears in the March/April 2002 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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March 01, 2002
Research shows that homeowners invite mold growth and serious health risks with a finished basement that has moisture problems.
        Some basements are dry, usable living spaces—whether by design, or simply as a result of the climate or water table. Others—and this may be the majority with older houses—have significant moisture problems. Finishing or adding insulation to a basement with moisture problems may encourage the growth of mold, creating a dangerous situation. Retrofitters and weatherization crews should be careful when undertaking such work to make sure that they are not putting the occupants at risk.         Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has undertaken several research projects on damp or wet basements.We have looked at the causes of, and the proposed solutions to, this problem, and we are examining the health implications of living with dampness and mold. CMHC has also been represented on a Canadian committee studying new basements, together with the National Research Council, representatives of the concrete and insulation industries, home builders, and scientists.This committee has been meeting for several years and its final recommendations are expected in 2002.The recommendations listed below are based on the information gathered from all these sources. Older Basements      &...

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