This guide would focus on how to keep basements dry.
When the April rains approach, most homeowners gear up to face the battle of keeping their basements dry. Going by recent research, around 60% of homes in America have damp basements.
This figure shows just how common wet basements are in this part of the world. But just because a problem is common, doesn’t mean it isn’t serious.
Besides making your basement look unpleasant, moisture can cause mold growth, which can spike already-existing health problems like asthma. Wetness can also compromise the integrity of your structure and make it unsafe to reside in.
That being said, it is without a doubt that keeping your basement dry is important. We don’t want water to stop existing because without it there would be no life. But it would be nice if it stays out of our basement.
In this article, we’ll be giving you vital tips on how to keep your basement dry. All you have to do is keep reading!
Knowing The Source Of Wetness
One vital part of keeping a dry basement is identifying the sources from which water enters. Don’t assume that rain is the only cause of wet basements because there are others. Melted snow can also be held responsible.
Among other causes of wet basements are sub-surface seeping, condensation, humidity, poor ventilation, and the dreaded leaking pipes.
Musty smells usually accompany dampness in the basement, so if you perceive it then you can be sure that there’s some moisture somewhere in there. Cracks in your masonry are also a sign of unwanted water activity.
To be sure, you need to carry out some investigations to determine the true source of the water. You may not be able to do this on your own, but many professionals would be glad to help.
If you’re among the lucky 40% who don’t have wet basements, then you should take preventive measures, because water does not discriminate, and it could be your turn one day!
Let’s discuss how you can ensure your basement stays dry throughout the year.
Dry Basement Solutions
Using, several basement dry systems, you can keep your space free of water and moisture as a whole. You can carry out most of these approaches on your own, or hire a contractor to do it for you.
If you have no experience in dry basement solutions, then the second option is your best bet. You may be a DIY person, but without adequate experience, you may not get the desired results.
Follow these steps to keep your basement free of moisture.
Insulate The Water Pipes
Insulating the water pipes in your basement is a good step to take if you want to keep them dry.
If you do this with your hot water pipes, you will not only help keep the basement dry, you will also conserve some energy by taking some of the workloads away from the water heater.
Insulating the cold water pipes is important too. This is because it stops it from freezing stiff when the temperatures are extremely low.
Insulation also slows down condensation along the pipes in times of high humidity. Don’t forget that the basement is probably the most humid area in your home, and cold water pipes tend to “sweat” when there is an increase in humidity.
The worst thing about such a situation isn’t just the dampness, the dark and enclosed areas are perfect for hazardous mold to grow. This is a big health concern for the residents of your home.
Ensure That Your Landscaping Isn’t Tilting Towards The Foundation
Another important aspect of keeping your basement dry is to have a leveled landscape. If your landscaping slopes towards your home’s foundation, then you can be sure there will be a build-up of water there.
Water will always flow to the deepest ends of any surface, so there would be a problem if your landscaping is tilted towards your house.
When it rains, observe the direction where water flows and lodges. If it gathers around your foundation, then you need to do some work on your landscape.
Hire a good landscaping contractor to get the job done. The slope should be tilted away from your building and not towards it. At worst it should be leveled so there will be an even distribution of water around the yard.
An extra tip is to pad the perimeter of your foundation with small rocks or pebbles to absorb moisture. This will help reduce the amount of water that eventually passes through to the basement.
Improve Ventilation Around The Basement To Reduce Humidity
When the humidity around your basement becomes excessive, that’s when you’ll find mold growth. Luckily, humidity can be easily controlled with the use of a dehumidifier.
You can as well double up with an exhaust fan to boost ventilation around the basement. You should also ensure that your clothes dryer is venting air outside effectively.
If your basement doesn’t have a window, building one would be a good idea. Open windows allow some much-needed air and sunlight to come in, hence reducing dampness.
Waterproof The Basement Walls And Floors
Looking for the best way to keep a basement dry? Waterproofing.
Some people use their basements as living space, which means there’ll be some furniture inside. If you want them to remain fresh and dry, then you should waterproof the basement floors and walls.
You can use one of several types of waterproof sealants to do this. These protective materials keep water from seeping through the surfaces and into the basement.
Use thick coats of waterproof paint on the walls to reduce condensation. Painting is something you can do all by yourself, so you can save some money on labor charges.
For minor cracks in the basement floor, there are different types of waterproof crack sealants or hydraulic cement you can use to patch up. These materials dry up very well and do a very good job of preventing water from coming through.
In a case where the cracks are heaving, you would need the help of a professional contractor. Heaves could mean serious damage to your foundation and should be treated with urgency.
Make Sure The Gutters And Downspouts Are In Good Working Condition
Your gutters and downspouts are key components of your drainage system, and they should be in prime condition at all times if you want to keep your basement dry.
A good drainage system should be able to channel water away from the foundation. Ensure you carry out regular checks on the gutters and downspouts to spot any accumulation of debris.
Keep them clean at all times so that rainwater or melted snow can freely flow away from your foundation and basement.
The downspout extensions can keep volumes of water from lodging in unwanted places and is a good backup if your landscape slopes towards your home.
Install a Sump Pump To Help Keep Your Basement Dry
A sump pump is a very common device that is used in keeping basements dry. It isn’t expensive, and it’s very easy to install.
Regardless of whether you use your basement as a living or storage space, sump pumps help to prevent basement flooding, thereby keeping your belongings safe.
The sump pump should be installed inside a sump pit or small basin. When water gathers at this low end, the sump will pump it away from your home and keep the basement dry.
With a sump pump, not only will the comfort of the basement be maximized, but the safety of your property will also be ensured. That’s not all, there will also be a reduction in the possibility of mold build-up.
Fix Leaking Pipes
Leaking pipes remain one of the most common causes of wet basements. If you notice water soaking up the walls or floors, then a wall or underground pipe may be busted.
If there is a sink in the basement, look under it to see if that’s where the leakage is coming from.
In a case where the leaking pipe is buried underneath a concrete surface, then some digging will be required to fix it.
You may need to hire some help for this, especially if you don’t have any plumbing experience. A lack of know-how could cause you to make many mistakes, including damaging more pipes and worsening the leakage.
It would be wise to replace the damaged metal pipes with the ones made of plastic. Metal can corrode, but plastic will not, which is why it is by far the better replacement option.
This is one fix on how to keep a basement dry in summer.
When you keep your basement dry, it will serve its purpose a whole lot better.
If you’re using it for storage, then you can be confident that your valuables won’t be soaked by a flood. The same goes for if it serves as a living space, your furniture will be spared from getting soaked and damaged.
Follow the tips in this article to keep your basement dry, and call on a professional if you need any help.
Thanks for reading!
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