10 Tips to Keep Your Basement Dry

A finished basement.

To avoid structural damage and expensive repairs in your home, you must make efforts to keep your basement dry. A damp basement leads to the growth of mold, fungus, and mildew; furthermore, it can cause health problems such as asthma and allergies. Some of the below tips can help you in keeping your basement dry and warm.

1. Ensure That Water Flows Away From the House

Sometimes the landscaping around the house is to be blamed for water accumulation around the foundation. Ensure that the ground slopes away from your home, and that water does not form puddles around the foundation.

2. Install Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters on a roof.

If your home does not have an efficient system for collecting rain water and melted snow, you must install new gutters and downspouts. Make sure the downspouts are at least 5 feet away from the building structure and that water is directed a safe distance away from the house.

3. Use Water Resistant Paint

Moisture and condensation in basements sometimes causes the interior walls to “weep”. You can prevent this problem by using a high quality and water resistant paint on the basement walls.

4. Use a Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier.

A dehumidifier is a valuable tool for absorbing excess moisture from your living space. Depending on the basement area, you may need multiple dehumidifiers to provide effective results.

5. Surround the Basement With Rocks or Gravel

Rocks and gravel absorb moisture easily and dry quickly. Putting some rocks around the periphery of the basement is an inexpensive and effective method of reducing moisture accumulation around the foundation of the house.

6. Insulate Water Pipes

Pipes in a basement.

Cold water pipes may develop condensation on the surface. Insulate the water pipes so that this problem can be avoided. Ensure that there are no problems or leaks in the plumbing.

7. Install Metal Window Wells for Basement Windows

Basement windows can collect water and retain it if not properly constructed. Metal window wells covered with pebbles or gravel prevent water retention and seepage through window frames to the basement walls.

8. Avoid Drying Clothes in Basement

A clothes line.

If you have excess area in the basement, avoid using it to dry clothes, as doing so contributes to the humidity and moisture in the area. Use the dryer or dry clothes outdoors on sunny days.

9. Ensure That All Appliances Vent Outdoors

Most people have their laundry rooms in the basement. Ensure that the washer and dryer are properly connected, and that the dryer vents air outdoors. Also ensure that there are no leaks from the washer.

10. Install Exhaust Fans in Basement Bathrooms

Basement bathrooms and showers are major contributors to humidity levels. Use exhaust fans when necessary to remove moisture and improve ventilation. On warm, sunny days, leave basement windows open for some time. Avoid opening windows on rainy or humid days.