Damp cellar: causes, solutions, treatments and cost


A damp cellar is very unpleasant. The room has a musty smell, it can become covered with mold, and the things stored in it gradually deteriorate.

But the problem does not end there! If you do not act quickly, moisture from your cellar can seep throughout your home and weaken the foundation. However, it is imperative not to undertake just anything; we must act quickly, but well! Here are the tips of our experts to help you solve your humid cellar problem and find a healthy room.

What are the possible causes of a damp cellar?

A damp cellar obviously indicates a humidity problem. Several causes are possible to explain this fact:

  • Exceptional water damage (floods, rupture of a pipe, etc.);
  • Capillary rises that soak up and moisten the foundations of your home and infiltrate the floors and walls;
  • The presence of a high and close water table which tends to put pressure on the foundation walls until it infiltrates into the cellar;
  • Water infiltration due to poor drainage and poor drainage of the water contained in the soil of your land and which tends to impregnate foundations and buried walls.

Having a damp cellar can have more or less serious consequences within this room, but also throughout your home. Indeed, water or mud can form on the ground and permeate all of your surfaces. The various finishing materials such as plasters, paint, floor coverings or even paneling have deteriorated. The materials and objects stored in your cellar soak up moisture and are attacked by mold and fungus, which gradually deteriorates them. Your floors, walls and ceilings can also become covered with mold and fungus, visible on the surface or by the brownish spots that they form in depth. Over time, damp lifts can seep along the walls and invade your entire home, which greatly weakens it; moreover, in the event of joint ownership, it can spread to your direct neighborhood.

Be aware that humidity also has serious consequences for your health. If the cellar is generally an uninhabited room, it nevertheless constitutes a storage place where you are likely to visit more or less frequently. Also, if humidity rises to the heart of your home, it can trigger allergies and respiratory illnesses.

What solutions and treatments can you consider?

Several treatments and solutions are possible to solve a wet cellar problem; sometimes the combination of several of them is even necessary to achieve a convincing result. In any case, act as soon as possible so as not to let the humidity spread and to be able to solve the problem more easily.

Before you start, the first step is to call in a professional who will carry out an accurate diagnosis. This device detects the source of humidity. Do not decide to do it yourself, as it is often difficult to identify the source of the problem without suitable measuring devices. In fact, humidity can have several origins and take several forms. Only a professional will be able to identify the problem and advise you on the solution to it.

Better ventilation

Sometimes just upgrading your cellar ventilation system can be enough. Install a single flow type CMV to facilitate air circulation and naturally wick moisture away.

Drying the walls

Drying the walls is a solution used alone if the source is for example a flood, or more generally in addition to other techniques in order to perfect the elimination of humidity. Indeed, the drying of the walls is generally necessary even after the resolution of the source of the problem in order to proceed to the finishes.

Resin injection into the walls

Injecting resin into the walls prevents water from circulating in your walls through the capillaries of the foundations.

To do this, holes are drilled in your walls at ground level and a water repellent gel is injected into them. The latter forms a real barrier to solve for example the problems of capillary rise.

Floor drainage

Drainage improves the natural evacuation of water present in the soil. This solution is preferred when the land is poorly drained and rainwater tends to stagnate around the house or near the cellar.

To do this, the professional places a suitable waterproof bubble cover on the walls and the floor of your cellar, then he places a new floor and new walls on it. Drainage is then operated in order to absorb moisture and evacuate it to pipes.

Installation of a waterproof membrane

The installation of a waterproof membrane all around your foundations helps to retain the infiltration of water contained in the ground. This technique uses hydrostatic pressure to be effective.

The casing

This technique consists of forming a kind of perfectly sealed box within your cellar. However, it is not used by all professionals, as waterproofing tends to move moisture elsewhere without removing it, especially if the casing is applied from the inside. This then settles elsewhere and creates new sources of humidity.

On the other hand, in the case of an underground origin of the water source (groundwater, etc.), this solution may be of interest, provided it is applied from the outside or coupled to a protection from the outside and drying out of the walls.

Very often, when water or traces of its presence (mold, brown marks) appear on the surface, it is because it has already infiltrated your home. Act very quickly, as it can be very difficult to remove it permanently when it is installed.

Also, avoid masking the problem by changing the wallpaper or applying a new coat of paint. You would only be hiding the moisture for a while and your jobs will be good to redo again. Avoid wasting your time and money, and get to the heart of the problem to get it over with.

As a preventive measure, check regularly that your drainage pipes are not blocked. An overflow in the event of heavy rain can worsen the humidity problem and allow water to seep more easily into your cellar. In addition, equip your cellar with a good ventilation system, either by opening windows that you can easily open without risk of letting water in, or by a VMC designed to the dimensions of your room.

Treating a wet cellar: how much does it cost?

You might as well tell you right away, this type of work is similar to structural work and can be relatively expensive. Hence the importance of acting immediately, as soon as you notice the first appearances of humidity.

Each service has its own cost, more or less important. However, it is advisable to adopt the right treatment, the one recommended to you by a competent professional, and not the cheapest if it is not suitable. A humidity problem can have serious consequences on your home; better to act right away with a consequent treatment, than to ruin yourself in repeated and unnecessary repairs which will not be able to slow down the further deterioration of your home.

Call a professional to be sure of the result and to carry out a preliminary diagnosis. Identifying the source will allow you to resolve the problem and effectively remove moisture.

Get quotes from several specialists and opt for a competent professional at attractive prices.

If the costs of services are likely to vary greatly from one professional to another and from one region to another, here is an average indication of the prices charged per intervention:

  • For a diagnosis, count between 300 euros and 800 euros.
  • For the detection of a deep leak, the average price is 300 euros to 400 euros.
  • For better ventilation, plan a budget of 1,500 euros to 6,000 euros.
  • To inject resin into your walls, count on average 100 euros to 150 euros per running meter.
  • For a clogging, the price varies between 4,000 euros and 10,000 euros.
  • For an interior casing, count between 15 euros and 17 euros per m².
  • For exterior casing, the average price is 60 euros per m².
  • For the drainage of the cellar, plan between 3,000 euros and 10,000 euros, depending on the surface to be covered.

As you can see, don’t wait any longer and act quickly!

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