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4 Steps for Drying Out a Wet Basement

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

If drying out a wet basement is on your to-do list, you’re not alone. According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, the majority of residential basements have moisture issues. In almost 40 percent of those, toxic mold growth is the unwelcome result. Other downsides of dampness include mildew, musty odors that permeate the entire house, water-damaged structure and inability to utilize basement space for storage or other purposes, due to the constant presence of moisture.

Drying out a wet basement often requires a multi-faceted approach to eliminate all potential moisture contributors. Here are four main sources of wetness and what to do about them.

drying out a wet basementReduce Condensation

“Sweat” on cool concrete basement walls and cold water pipes indicates a condensation problem. Warm, moist air migrating into the basement naturally condenses when it contacts these and other cold, underground components. To cut condensation; keep air moving with fans, heat a clammy basement during winter, insulate pipes and install a dehumidifier.

Clear Gutters

What’s a gutter on the roof got to do with moisture in the basement? Overflowing gutters cascade water around the perimeter of the foundation, deeply saturating the soil and permeating basement walls. During rainy seasons, clogged gutters serve as a continuous source of moisture infiltrating the basement.

Resolve Runoff Issues

Rainfall and snow-melt should flow away from the foundation. When it accumulates in pools instead, water soaks into basement walls. Grade landscape away from the house to encourage runoff into the yard. Also, flower beds around the perimeter of the house with open soil readily admit more water into the ground than areas covered with turf.

Drain Away Ground Water

If the natural water table beneath your house fluctuates, it may exert pressure on the underside of the foundation, allowing moisture into the basement. To relieve the pressure, a tile drainage system can be installed around the perimeter of the foundation. Usually, this is accompanied by installation of a sump pump in the basement floor.

Find out more about drying out a wet basement before mold growth and water damage result. Contact the professionals at Rytech, Inc.