How to Minimize Basement Condensation

A white and blue dehumidifier plugged into a wall.

Basement condensation is the reason why basements develop musty and moldy odors. Damp basement smells are never a pleasant thing. There are ways to get rid of basement smells, but it's better not to have them in the first place. Basements can be very humid at times, so while you cannot completely eliminate condensation, you can minimize it by taking some of these steps.

Raising the Temperature

You may reduce the condensation in your basement if you raise the temperature. Doing so will also reduce humidity.

Covering Dirt With Plastic

Basements of new houses tend to hold a lot of moisture, which may be caused by a large accumulation of dirt. Moisture is created because dirt absorbs water. You can minimize this problem by applying a layer of plastic over the dirt. This way the foundation of the house will be safe from seeping water.

Insulating the Basement

Insulated walls.

The most humid area in the basement is usually around cold water pipes. This isn't as big of a problem as it may seem. In reality, the basement only needs insulation. Insulate the water pipes to protect your basement from humidity and condensation. Insulate the walls too.

Installing an Exhaust Fan

Keep in mind that condensation may also accumulate if your basement is not well-ventilated. Install an exhaust fan to bring fresh air into the basement and minimize condensation.

Checking the Dryer

A white dryer.

If your dryer leads to the basement, replace it with a vent leading to the exterior of your home. Dryers discharge humid air. If air flows in the basement, it will worsen the condensation.

Installing a Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers do not solve the problem from its root, but they do reduce basement condensation by absorbing the moist air. Check your dehumidifier regularly if you install one in the basement. Dehumidifiers tend to fill with water more quickly when they are situated somewhere humid. You may need to empty your dehumidifier several times per day.

Removing the Furniture

Remove furniture from the basement and dry it thoroughly if you see that it has become wet.

Opening Windows

One of the easiest ways to reduce condensation is to open basement windows.

Installing an Air Conditioner

A portable air conditioning unit with pink slips.

You can also minimize basement condensation by installing an air conditioner. Keep in mind that the level of condensation in your basement depends on the seasons. Keep your basement at a humidity level lower than 65 percent in the summer in order to prevent mold growth.