Basement Moisture: Guide To Dampness And Humidity Control

Do you have moisture on basement walls, floors, and ceilings?

In this article, we’ll be discussing how to reduce dampness and humidity from your basement, so keep reading!

How to Dehumidify a Basement

When water makes its way into your basement, the result will be dampness and humidity. Both of these elements can encourage mold growth, as well as an awful smell.

The ideal basement humidity level is around 30 to 50 percent. Mold growth is usually a problem at levels above 60%.

Why are basements humid? What are the signs of high humidity in a basement?

How To Remove Humidity From Basement

As if that isn’t enough, dampness can also make your basement very uncomfortable and uninhabitable. Add the appearance of efflorescence to the mix and you’ll have more than enough reason to find a quick solution.

Luckily, there are many humid basement solutions you can employ.

They are simple and straightforward, all you have to do is use the tips below!

Practical Humid Basement Solutions

Here are the most practical basement humidity solutions.

  1. Install A Dehumidifier For Basement Humidity Control

This is probably the most common solution to humidity problems in the basement. It’s a no-brainer, as the basement gets more humidity than any other part of the home.

So, if your basement gets more humidity than you would care for, you can get a good unit that can handle an average-sized basement. This should cost you between $200 to $300, depending on the manufacturer and model.

Since dehumidifiers can help you keep your basement dry, it means it could potentially save you thousands of dollars worth of moisture damage.

This device can also help you maintain a healthier basement, as a lack of humidity means a poor growing environment for harmful mold.

  1. Ventilate The Basement Area To Get Rid Of Dampness

If you want to keep your basement free of humidity and get rid of dampness, then one of the things you must do is improve the quality of ventilation in that area.

While dehumidifiers are great, turning on the fans and keeping the basement windows open are also good approaches.

If your furnace has an air circulation option that caters to the entire house, then you’re in luck! You can use that to air out the basement as well.

For faster results, you can buy a portable space heater to dry the area out quickly. Combining this with the above-mentioned ventilation ideas will do a lot of good to your cause.

This option is one of the best ways to dehumidify a basement fast.

  1. Reseal Your Concrete

Basement moisture always has a source, and it could come from your untreated concrete walls, especially if they are old. This situation can lead to condensation, where moisture beds will begin to form on the surface of the walls and floors.

When this happens, dampness and humidity levels will increase, and unfriendly mold will start to develop.

The good news is, you can stop condensation simply by using a trusted concrete paint sealer to guard your walls and floors.

There are different variations of sealers and they even come in several colors, so you can choose the one that goes best with your basement’s color theme.

Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions written on the product package before you apply. If the sealer is used the wrong way, you will not get the desired results.

  1. Attend to Air Leaks

In most homes, the area where the foundation connects to the flooring can serve as an access point for moisture.

The seals around your basement windows can cut through the siding of your dryer exhaust, creating an entry point for moisture, especially when it rains heavily.

If your basement windows are leaking, then you can use a silicone sealer to fix it and keep moisture out. You can also use foam weather stripping to seal the leakages.

After doing this, don’t forget to ventilate the area so it dries up faster. If you have a dehumidifier, then you’d be better off, as a combination of both approaches will give you faster results.

  1. Fix Any Drainage and Grading Issues

If water keeps piling up outside your foundation, then it will be almost impossible to keep it from entering the basement. This is why you need an effective drain system to carry water to the sewer system.

Sealers are great, but they aren’t meant to hold back huge volumes of water daily. Over time they will begin to break and eventually give in.

With a good drainage system, water can flow away from your basement through the right channels instead of being lodged around your foundation and creeping into the basement.

Ensure that your downspouts are about 4 feet away from your house. This way you can be sure that the water will stay well away from your foundation.

This in turn will reduce the amount of moisture you have to deal with inside the basement.

Besides having a sound drainage system, you should also take a look at the grading of your yard. If it tilts towards your foundation, then it means water from rain or melted snow will flow towards that direction.

You can get a professional landscaper to do some re-grading, and ensure that the landscape slopes away from the foundation and not towards it.

This is another great way to keep moisture out of your basement and reduce dampness.

  1. Check Other Outdoor Construction

Similar to your grading, your patios, driveways, and flower gardens can also hold moisture in sections and eventually lead it to your basement. When you notice that your basement is filled with dampness, do all the necessary checks, including around your outdoor construction.

If you notice any compromises, use a cold patch to fix up holes, cracks, and any other problem that could cause water to gather around your foundation.

Areas such as the deck and flower garden should be properly drained, and must not push water towards your foundation, and ultimately into your basement.

  1. Air Out Wet Items Outside

Having your belongings soaked due to basement leaks is really sad. However, you shouldn’t cry over spilled milk, rather you should browse through your items and see which ones can still be saved.

The ones damaged beyond repair can be totally discarded, but the ones that can still be used should be taken outside to dry. Do not make the mistake of leaving a wet property in your basement, at least if getting rid of humidity is what you plan to do.

Anything that can be taken out into the sun should be carried out. Suitcases, bags, couches, mattresses, etc.

After they have been taken out, use a mop to dry up the wet floors. You should also leave the basement windows open and turn on the fans to improve ventilation.

For larger pieces of furniture, you can get someone to help you lift them out of the basement if you can’t do it alone. Whatever you do, make sure wet furniture isn’t left inside to dry.

Above the ground and in the sun is the best way to dry wet cushions.

  1. Inspect Your Vents

In a case where your home already has a dehumidifier, but for the main living space, then loose ducts and the cracks in your vents can serve as moisture traps.

You need to attend to this fast before the moisture starts flowing over to the inner parts of your basement.

If this isn’t the case, you shouldn’t forget that the dryer’s vent equally carries warm and moist air regularly. This is why you should also inspect it for holes and cracks, as well as other sources of water.

  1. Use A Sump Pump

A sump pump does more than removing moisture, it can collect and direct larger volumes of water away from the basement.

If you haven’t already installed one, then you need to do so as soon as possible.

When water flows into the basin, the sensor can tell whether it has become excess or not. If it has, it will signal the pump and it will automatically turn on to pump the excess water away.

This is an excellent flood-prevention device that has been used to keep basements dry for a very long time. Where there is no flooding, then there will be less dampness and humidity in the basement.

How To Get Rid Of Moisture In Basement

The humidity removal method you will use depends on how severe your basement humidity is.

One or two of the above-mentioned approaches might suffice, but you may need to use them all for the best possible results. This is usually the case if you’re renovating an old home that has had zero maintenance over the years.

While you work to get rid of dampness in your basement, do not forget to fix the minor issues that caused the problem along the way. Doing this will not only solve the moisture problem today, but it will also prevent a reoccurrence.

Let’s not forget that dampness and condensation aren’t problems just because they deface the basement, they are also problems because they attract basement mold, which is a hazard to human health.

Keeping your basement free of humidity and dampness will ensure your property is safe from water damage and will make your living space more habitable and healthier for you and your family members.

We hope this article has been informative.

Good luck!

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