Properly ventilate the basement - this is what matters
When it comes to optimal ventilation and moisture control in a house, unheated basements are often a weak point. This is mainly due to the fact that they are surrounded by the ground and thus warm up much more slowly than the surrounding area. In addition, unheated basements are not integrated into the building insulation, which places special demands on regular ventilation. You can find out what to look out for in this article.
That's why cellars often smell stale in summer
In midsummer, it is much warmer outside than in the basement. This is problematic in that warm air can absorb significantly more moisture than cold air. If it gets into the cellar and cools down there, the excess moisture condenses on the walls, where it forms an ideal breeding ground for mold spores. If they settle in, this not only creates an unpleasant musty smell, it also poses a significant health risk - not least because the mold can also spread to food, clothing and documents.
In addition, moisture makes a good breeding ground for sponge, an aggressive wood-destroying fungus that can become deeply embedded and cause massive damage to the fabric of a building. Once spread, it is very difficult to remove. To prevent these problems, humidity must be closely controlled and the ventilation cycle adjusted accordingly.
What to consider when ventilating the cellar in winter
Even in winter, it is necessary to pay attention to the correct humidity. If the room humidity is above the maximum value, it is essential to carry out air exchange. In this case, the basement is shock-ventilated like the living rooms. This means opening the windows completely for five to ten minutes and providing drafts if possible.
If the temperatures are mild, the windows in unheated cellars can also be put in the tilt position. This ensures a constant exchange of air and prevents condensation from collecting on the cellar wall. But be careful. If it starts to rain or snow, the basement windows must be closed.
If the basement is used for washing, drying and ironing, it should always be ventilated more frequently to ensure optimal removal of moist air.
What exactly should be the humidity in the basement?
The question of optimum humidity depends largely on how the cellar is used. If you use your cellar as a living room, study, hobby cellar or fitness room, the humidity should be between 40 and 60 percent.
A cellar can also be used optimally as a food storage room. Here, the temperature should be as constant as possible throughout the seasons. A good value is 50 to 65 percent. If you store potatoes, you should ensure a humidity of 90 percent and a temperature of five to eight degrees Celsius.
Ensure adequate ventilation even when you're away - with ventilation units.
Especially in the cooler season, it is advisable to ventilate the cellar more often. The problem with this is that most people are not at home during the day. As a result, only an insufficient exchange of air can take place. One solution can be ventilation systems, which are available in centralized and decentralized form. They automatically ensure that moist stale air is removed and fresh air is supplied from outside.