Home Lifestyle What can you do to keep your basement dry?

What can you do to keep your basement dry?

by Hassan

If you own a house with a basement, chances are the last thing on your mind is how to keep it dry. However, if left unattended for too long this flooded basement  issue could turn into a costly one and may even pose serious health risks. So what exactly can you do? Read on below to find out!

  • Securely air seal all exterior walls, especially where the foundation and floor joists meet, minimize outside air infiltration. Fill cracks in concrete with hydraulic cement or other waterproof material; for exterior wall cracks, use water-resistant caulk. Make sure gutters are clean and properly draining.
  • Check any window wells for water pooling or accumulation of debris. Make sure downspouts are free-flowing and extend at least 3 feet from the foundation. Use a submersible sump pump with battery backup that automatically kicks on during power outages to remove the ground, surface, and atmospheric water that collects in basement areas.
  • Turn off heating and air conditioning. Unless you have a dehumidifier that fits your basement or a source of heat or humidity somewhere in the room, turn off the furnace and air conditioner before working in the area to reduce moisture levels. Open windows for cross ventilation when it’s not freezing outside to help dry out the basement.
  • Remove any standing water using a submersible pump (or wet/dry vacuum, if the basement has only shallow standing water): If there is no dehumidifier or heat source in the room, use window fans to draw moist air out of the space; keep windows open while running the fans. Once the surface moisture has evaporated, use a wet/dry vacuum or submersible sump pump with battery backup to remove more water. You can also use squeegees to push the water into larger areas that will help it evaporate more quickly.
  • Don’t turn on the furnace or air conditioner before ensuring there is no standing water left in the room; doing so may promote mold growth.
  • Install a sump pump in areas where the water table is high or in any part of the room that stays wet despite your efforts to remove all surface moisture. If there are no obstructions in the floor, you can run a drain tile pipe from inside your basement directly into an existing plumbing system or dry well outside. Otherwise, install a French drain around the perimeter of your basement and run a smaller pipe from it into a dry well or to the exterior drainage system.
  • Cover any exposed dirt with plastic sheeting before replacing flooring materials to reduce the risk of mold growth during cleanup.

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