Water in your house can cause serious damage, especially in the basement!
Whether it’s chronic dampness or a flood, you might be looking at expensive repair and clean-up costs. One of the best ways to keep your house and basement dry is to take action immediately before an emergency strikes. Basements are typically the most humid spots in the house since they’re prone to high levels of moisture. The reason for this is that they’re underground, have few windows or none, and are surrounded by concrete.
When these factors combine, they create the ultimate moisture storage area in the basement. If you wish to prevent serious damage from occurring, make sure you check out these few tips on how to prevent moisture in your basement.
Detect moisture in the basement
Note that even new well-built basements can still have trouble with moisture and air quality. Even if you just moved into a new house, you might still experience problems with humidity. One of the best ways is to waterproof the basement and seal any foundation wall cracks you’ve detected.
Remember that the key to basement waterproofing starts with properly detecting the source of the problem, meaning you need to identify the source of leaks in your wet basement. A few key signs for high moisture include visible mold, damp walls, musty odor, condensation, and mildew.
Tips to take care of moisture in your basement
Repair the cracks
After the house is constructed, cracks can start to develop. Note that cracks can occur even in newly poured concrete. If settlement cracks have developed, moisture can seep during the rainy period or when the snow starts to melt. These cracks are usually easy to repair, you just need to have a chisel, a mallet, patching cement, and a putty knife.
If cracks are appearing on your basement floor, it might indicate a serious structural problem. Although most of these cracks don’t require foundation repair, if the cracks are heaving that would require professional attention.
Waterproof the walls
Professionals solve water problems in the basement by waterproofing walls and floors. You can use a waterproof sealant on concrete walls to prevent water from seeping through, and a thick coat of water-resistant paint will stop the walls from gathering condensation.
Just keep in mind that the sealant is not a solution for existing leaks and cracks, meaning you should apply it only when the basement is not leaking. Professionals usually dig trenches around the basement walls and then cover them with waterproofing material to alleviate interior moisture.
Gutters and downspouts
If moisture is collecting around the outside of the house, then it’s often impossible to keep things from getting a little damp inside. Having an efficient collecting system for rainwater and melted snow along the roof is very important. It diverts the water flow away from paved areas toward the storm drain system and away from the house.
Regularly inspecting and cleaning your gutters can improve their effectiveness. Note that you should clean them at least twice a year, once at the beginning of summer and once at the end of the fall season. Also, check the length of the downspouts so they successfully divert water away from the basement and foundation.
Insulate the cold-water pipes and install a sump pump
You must insulate pipes to prevent winter freezing and prevent sweating. During hot and humid days, cold water pipes can lead to condensation building around them that will contribute to the overall moisture in the basement.
Installing a sump pump is another effective solution to removing water from under the house’s foundation. It collects the water in a sump basin usually placed under the basement, and it will further deliver the seeping water through a discharge pipe. This might be expensive but it is a long-term and effective solution.
Use a dehumidifier
One of the easiest gadgets to use to help reduce the moisture in your basement is using a basement dehumidifier. Since air moves through the house like a chimney, it can be a major cause of basement humidity, especially when the air outside is humid.
Depending on the moisture level, you can either purchase a dehumidifier from a store or do it yourself. This will pull gallons of moisture each day from the surrounding basement air. Note that if the moisture level is high you should purchase an effective and top-quality dehumidifier.
Dealing with moisture in the basement can be quite daunting but knowing how to prevent and fix the problem can be very helpful. Condensation in the walls, windows, and pipes is a clear warning that the basement has high levels of moisture. Try to use the abovementioned tricks to eliminate excess moisture and you won’t have a problem.