Moisture is one of the biggest problems you’ll face when remodeling your basement. Because of its location, the basement tends to accumulate water, especially after a downpour. Water from other parts of the home also tends to travel underground. With the horrible air circulation in the basement, it can get unpleasantly muggy in the room, especially during summertime.
But comfort is the least of your problems in a damp basement. Moisture damages your stuff and your home, leading to expensive replacements, repairs, and renovations. Hence, it’s immensely important to keep the area moisture-free, whether you’re remodeling or not.
Check out these tops tips to deal with your basement’s moisture problem.
Determine the Sources of Moisture
To solve the moisture problem, you must know where the water is coming from. The three primary sources of water that get into the basement are the following:
- Rain or groundwater
- Humidity from the outdoors that condenses inside the basement
- Interior sources (e.g., dishwashers, washing machine, humidifiers, leaks, the kitchen, and the bathroom)
Rain from outside or groundwater can seep into your walls and your floor if both parts are not waterproof. Humidity gets in through windows and entrances and lingers inside a basement with poor ventilation. Interior water sources come from leaky pipes and appliances in the basement. You need to remove the water source and waterproof your basement to deal with the moisture problem.
Remove Internal Sources of Moisture
The easiest and quickest way to reduce the moisture in your basement is to remove all internal sources of moisture. If you have a humidifier, washer, and unvented clothes dryers, best move them out of the room.
However, if you’re adding a bathroom in your basement, you can’t very well remove all the sources of moisture in the room. The shower, faucet, and toilet all use water, so you need to build permanent waterproofing measures, like a drainage system and ventilators to keep the area dry.
In the meantime, you can make sure the area stays dry by airing out the room and removing excess moisture with a dry cloth or squeegee.
Keep Out Water from Outside
Rainwater and melted snow can get in through the walls and windows and flood your basement. To keep them out of your basement, install proper gutters, extend your downspouts, and tilt down the grade away from your house. Then, add a layer of 6-mil polyethylene sheeting under the soil around the wall of your home so that water doesn’t penetrate the surface and trickle into your basement walls.
Install a Drain System in Your Basement
A drainage system in your basement not only helps keep out water but also gets rid of the water from within. It’s the permanent solution to the moisture problem in your basement.
Naturally, installing a drainage system will cost more and need more work. You will have to dig a trench around your basement walls and dig under the basement floor to install irrigation hoses, pipes, tile drains, and a sump pump that will collect groundwater and moisture that seep from outside.
Seal Cracks, and Waterproof Walls
It’s usually more cost-effective to waterproof the inside than the outside of your basement. You can use hydraulic cement to patch up cracks on the wall and floor and seal your basement. Next, apply a waterproof coating to protect the basement walls against moisture.
Insulate Plumbing Pipes
Keep plumbing pipes from leaking water in your basement by covering them with foam insulation. The foam insulation not only keeps condensation and leaks at bay but also helps protect your pipes from extreme temperatures and heat water faster.
Reduce Humidity in the Basement
Install a ventilation fan and a window or two in your basement to encourage air circulation and remove humidity inside the room. Also, keep your ventilator on and your windows shut during humid days and summertime.
Keeping Your Basement Dry
Because of its location, the basement is naturally damp and humid. Rainwater, groundwater, and interior moisture can seep into the area if you don’t waterproof your basement. They will cause lasting damage to your property.
If you’re planning to turn your basement into a functional space, it’s best to solve the moisture problem first before doing any remodeling and prevent further harm to your property. The key to keeping your basement dry is combining simple solutions, like removing water sources in the basement, and permanent measures, like building a drainage system.