Wet Basement? Here's How to Keep it Dry
Wet basements are a problem for homeowners across the country. Issues range from minor dampness or humidity causing mold or mildew to major leakage through floor or foundations that can destroy furniture, appliances or even lead to structural damage. If you're one of those homeowners dreading the prospect of another rainy season, here are some things you can do to help keep your basement dry.
Check the grading around your home. Improper surface drainage is one of the most common causes of basement water problems. The surface around your home should grade at a slight angle away from the house. Check around the outside of your house during a heavy rain. If water pools around the foundation, consider re-grading your house.
Keep gutters clean. Clogged rain gutters are another common culprit. Leaves and other debris often get stuck in gutters, causing rain water to pour over and pool around the foundation of your home. Make sure to clean your gutters regularly and consider installing gutter guards.
Position downspouts away from your foundation. Improperly positioned downspouts can also cause water to build up along your foundation and eventually leak into your basement. Downspouts should be positioned to direct water several feet away from the foundation of your home. Place a splash block at the end of your downspout to avoid soil erosion.
Waterproof your basement. Waterproof damp walls or floors with specialized paints or sealants, which you can find at your local DIY retailer. Remember that, while these products help control moisture, they can do nothing to alleviate the source of the problem.
Install a dehumidifier. Many basements have a lot of natural humidity that can cause the build-up of mold and mildew, as well as lead to condensation on walls and floors. Purchase an ENERGY STAR® certified dehumidifier to help control humidity levels. ENERGY STAR dehumidifiers use less energy than standard models while still providing the same level of performance.