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How to Dry a Basement – 5 Steps to Success

May 21, 2012

While most of us might think of the basement or cellar within our homes as dark, damp places suitable for the third-act climax of a bad horror movie, helping to keep a dry basement (without investing in basement waterproofing) is probably easier than you think. Here are a few relatively simple steps on how to help keep a basement dry.

How to dry a basement - step 1

Make sure your rain gutters are completely free of debris.

Rain gutters that cannot carry rain away from the house tend to spill rain right out near the foundation, creating puddles that can eat away at the porous concrete over time. If gutters empty themselves from a great distance in one spot, the falling water can create a depression in the ground that speeds wear and tear on the foundation. A good basement waterproofing contractor can install a French drain - a type of basement drainage system that draws water away from the house. A good French drain cannot guarantee a dry basement, but it will help eliminate one of the primary causes of leaks.

How to dry a basement - step 2

Keep the ground around your foundation sloped away from it.

Obviously, this is not the simplest thing to do; if you live on a hill, you are going to have to deal with water rolling downhill toward your home. It is, however, easy to find depressions near the foundation and fill them, so they do not fill with water when it rains.

How to dry a basement - step 3

Keep an eye on window and door seals.

If these are caulked, go around at least once every six months with a caulk gun to reinforce them. Ideally, however, they should have a more secure sealant.

How to dry a basement - step 4

Keep a dehumidifier handy.

If you hang clothes to dry in the basement, humidity might be a problem - and humidity in such an enclosed space can cause condensation. Keeping a dehumidifier is not a magic bullet, but it can help if your basement moisture is coming from condensation and not seepage. There is a simple test to see if you have condensation or seepage. If you have wet basement walls, find a spot that is particularly wet. Tape a section of aluminum foil to the wall, with tape around all the edges so it is airtight. Check it after 48 hours; if the side on the inside is wet, you have got seepage. If the outside is wet then condensation is the more likely culprit.

How to dry a basement - step 5

Fix leaks the minute you discover them.

You will never have a dry basement if there is a constant leak. Basement moisture can come from a variety of sources; a leak has the benefit of being relatively easy to spot. A good basement waterproofing company can examine your basement to determine the type of leak you have, and recommend the best way to fix it. Look for a basement waterproofing contractor who gives a free estimate, and do not fall for any hard-sell tactics; a quality contractor will be completely honest, and give you time to make the best decision.

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Speak to a dry basement expert

If you want more help or advice on how to keep a dry basement then call Wise Basement Systems on 0800 55 66 23 or find your local branch to speak to a local expert.

Alternatively, you can email us online using our contact form.

More information on how to dry a basement

For more information on how to dry a basement please visit the following pages.