Your basement is like a cave: it’s damp, dim, and no one but the night’s creatures wants to go down there. Even if you don’t consider your basement to be a critical part of your house, a basement with excessive moisture can be a significant issue if ignored. Whether or not you ought to hire a basement remodeling service depends on how long you’ve neglected your basement. Here are a few pointers on how to keep a basement dry before you need to call for assistance.

Reasons Why Moisture Keeps Getting Into Basement

Underground Condensation

The basement has a much lower temperature than the rest of the building. As a result, cool air can’t retain nearly as much moisture as warm air in other spaces. Air from upper rooms condenses basement walls and uninsulated pipes that run through it as it blends with attitude from the basement. The basement is a conducive atmosphere for mold to thrive.

Broken Pipes and Wall Cracks

Moisture and water are often transported by leaky pipes and holes in the foundation wall. Other dampness sources include French drains, rain gutters, and sewage overflows. They sometimes result in water coming into contact with the basement walls and floor.

Moisture Rising From the Soil

Moisture from the ground below could slowly rise through the foundation and into your floor and walls if your basement isn’t waterproofed. If your house is made of old, porous bricks, this is likely a problem.

Basement laundry

Doing laundry in the basement using a dryer as the moisture from the clothes will be directed to your walls. Moisture can condense and induce dampness on your walls over time.

Read More: Water in Basement: Everything You Need to Know

Different Ways to Get Your Basement Dry

Install a Dehumidifier

Since basements appear to absorb a little more humidity than other areas of the building, this is a brilliant idea for overall home climate control in many climates. However, if your basement is prone to flooding, a dehumidifier is necessary. 

A solid device capable of handling most average-sized home basements costs less than $200, and it can often be enough to eliminate dampness on its own, making it a very cost-effective way to protect a basement from moisture damage. A dehumidifier can help you not only dry out your damp basement but can also boost your overall health, prevent mold growth, and do a variety of other things.

Ventilate the Area

You may need to build some makeshift ventilation by running fans and opening doors or garden-level windows to air out a damp basement so that climate control equipment like dehumidifiers can be installed. Suppose your furnace has an air ventilation option for ventilating the entire building. In that case, this can also help to ventilate the basement, and it’s a feature that’s often paired with other ways to keep the air in the entire house circulating. You may also want to invest in a portable space heater to speed up the drying process.

Reseal Your Concrete

If you don’t treat the concrete walls, moisture will slowly seep into them, and older concrete is more vulnerable. Condensation, where moisture beads grow on the surface of walls or floors, may result from this. Condensation is a significant contributor to mold issues in homes where it goes untreated. Still, you can prevent it by protecting your walls and floor with a concrete paint-and-sealer combination. Sealants are available in several strengths and colors, making it simple to find the right one for your home. There are several different paint types for walls and floors; please read the directions thoroughly before adding them.

Attend to Air Leaks

The base’s point meets the flooring in many homes and maybe a moisture entry point. Seals around basement windows, dryer exhaust vents cut through siding, and other minor moisture entry points can let a lot of water in, particularly during rainstorms. If your windows or vents are leaking, a silicone sealer or foam weatherstripping will aid. However, you will need to ventilate to dry it out again. It’s also a bright idea to invest in a dehumidifier to help things settle down afterward.

See to Downspouts and Grading Issues Outside

It’s almost impossible to prevent things from getting a little damp inside if moisture collects around the foundation, and even sealants can be overcome over time if there’s enough moisture outside the building. One way to ensure that water flows away from your base and reduce the amount of moisture collected inside is to make sure that your downspouts are at least four feet away from the building. Another option is to look around your house for areas where the grading runs downhill toward the house and regrade any problem areas you find.

How do you keep moisture out of your basement?

The solution on how to keep a basement dry is by controlling humidity from the inside, preventing exterior moisture sources from coming in, and preventing humidity from condensation. The key is not to let any water enter the basement as much as possible by repairing all leaks and cracks to keep everything free from potential exposure to moisture. In this way, the basement would remain dry and free from molds.

Preventing and Removing Further Moisture From Basement

Repair leaks around the house

Plumbing issues and leaks are two of the most common interior moisture sources that lead to basement humidity. Examine the plumbing for any leaks, like pipes, fixtures, toilets, and other fixtures. These can cause dampness and wet spots in the basement by causing moisture in the house to leak down into the basement. 

Install a dryer vent

Since moisture evaporates from wet clothes as they dry, the clothes dryer produces a lot of water. Build a vent if possible to guide the moisture from your dryer outside and away from your basement. 

Keep your gutters clean.

External water is another common source of humidity in a basement. Gutters are built to absorb rainwater and carry it away from your home. Remove leaves, gravel, pinecones, and other debris from your gutters in the spring and fall to avoid clogging the spouts.

Maintain your sump pump

Sump pumps, typically located in the basement or lower level of a home, should be tested once a year. Maintain the pump in good working order, that it is standing straight, and that it is pumping water away from the house properly. In case there’s a sump pump failure, a backup sump pump would help drain water and help dry your basement especially if it has basement floods.

Use a plastic barrier for basement flooring.

Water vapor can quickly penetrate the basement through the soil, particularly basements with just a dirt floor. Cover the basement floor with 6-millimeter plastic sheets to keep this from happening. To avoid moisture from getting through the plastic’s seams, overlap them and tape or staple the plastic to the walls. 

Fix holes or leaks in the foundation.

Moisture will easily penetrate your basement through holes, gaps, and other openings in the foundation. Small holes may be filled with polyurethane masonry caulk, but larger holes should be filled with hydraulic cement.

Apply a waterproofing product to leaky basement walls.

The majority of base materials, including concrete and mortar, are porous. As a result, water can seep into your basement via the foundation. There are some waterproofing products that can be added to your wet basement walls, like paint. If the budget permits, consider waterproof basement flooring.

Shut off basement windows

Condensation is the third way that moisture can reach your basement. If the relative humidity outside is over 50 or 60 percent, closing basement windows prevents hot air from entering your home and condensation from developing. This is particularly relevant during the spring and summer months when the weather is hotter.

Increase ventilation in the basement.

Condensation will be more difficult to form if the airflow is increased. Open windows on non-humid days, run fans, and use exhaust vents to increase airflow in the basement.

Add extra insulation to exterior basement walls.

Along with stopping hot air from entering your basement, insulate the walls to keep them warmer to avoid condensation. Humid air will not condense on the walls if they are colder.

Tips and Tricks to Drying Out Basements

Diagnose the Water Problem

Wet basements get water or moisture from two places. Indoor humidity that condenses on cold surfaces, similar to how water droplets form on a cold drink on a humid day, is one source. Water—or water vapor—from the outside is the other. Rainwater, melting snow, or groundwater will saturate and leak into the soil around your base. Water vapor can penetrate porous concrete or masonry walls, allowing water to leak through cracks—tape aluminum foil to your basement wall to determine what’s causing the problem. Moisture on the foil’s outer surface suggests a high indoor humidity level. Condensation behind the foil indicates that moisture is escaping through the walls.

Insulate Pipes and Walls

Basement water issues can be caused by condensation dripping from cold pipes. To prevent condensation, wrap cold water pipes in foam pipe insulation. Foam insulation is low-cost and straightforward to cut with scissors.

Isolate the Foundation from Water Sources

When the basement leaks after heavy rains or snowmelt, make sure water is drained away from your foundation. The soil alongside your house is likely to settle over time, forming a moat that traps runoff and guides it down your foundation wall and into the basement. Gravel along the base and lawn edging will aggravate the situation. Create a 6-foot-wide slope that drops about 4 inches down from the base to solve the problem. Cover the sloping soil with a sheet of 6-mil poly for added protection. Then cover the poly with mulch, dirt, or a grass-covered layer of soil. Water would not be able to soak in near the base.

Add Gutters and Extend Downspouts

During rainfall, basement leaks are possible. If you don’t have gutters, you can install some to help drain water. Rain collects in gutters, which channel it to downspouts, which guide it away from the building. Make sure the downspouts have 4- to 6-foot horizontal extensions to carry the water away from the building, whether you’re installing new gutters or replacing old ones.

Plug Holes and Cracks in the Foundation

Moisture and water will seep into your basement through holes and cracks in your foundation. It’s unlikely that plugging them would stop basement leaks, but it will help. Since it can set up even underwater and expand as it sets to seal the hole and secure the plug in place, hydraulic cement is ideal for patching holes in a base. Enlarge the hole or crack with a cold chisel or an angle grinder equipped with a masonry-cutting disk or diamond blade, with the narrow part of the “V” on the wall’s surface. Then, for mixing and using the hydraulic cement, follow the directions on the box.

Have a hard time keeping your basement dry? Reach out to a basement remodeling contractor

Basements with moisture are a big issue. Keeping your basement dry will not only keep your basement free from molds but will also make things easier for you to remodel. With a dry basement, you live in a safe and secure environment. If you have plans to remodel soon, it is essential to start drying up your basement by fixing all basement problems. In this way, you will not have a hard time with the costs and time needed for the basement remodeling. 

If your basement is difficult to dry and you can’t find the source of moisture, it is best to hire a basement remodeling contractor to help you dry up your basement. A professional basement remodeler would know what to do best to efficiently and effectively keep your basement dry. If you want to have a finished basement with a safe living space, a basement remodeler is all you need.