How to Dry a Basement

There are few disasters that can occur in the home that are more dreadful and hard to deal with than water damage. It can sneak up on you or hit you suddenly. No matter how it strikes, it's a tough one to clean up after and the water damage can be subtle and long lasting. Dampness, rust, mildew, mold and allergic reactions are only a few of the problems produced by water in the basement of your home. At the very least, the basement can no longer be used for storage or kids play area. At the worst, a wet basement makes the whole house almost unlivable. Standing water and wet materials are a breeding ground for microorganisms, such as viruses, bacteria, and mold. They can cause disease, trigger allergic reactions, and continue to damage materials long after the initial water damage. Basement drying is one of the most difficult problems facing home owners.


Too much moisture in a home can lead to mold, mildew, and other biological growth. This in turn can lead to a variety of health effects ranging from more common allergic reactions, to asthma attacks, and hypersensitivity pneumonitits, for example. It is important to know how to dry a basement for the health of your family. An electric fan installed in a basement wall will suck out the damp air and help with basement drying. Installed in a basement wall in connection with a large sheet-metal pipe, which extends down to within six inches of the floor, an electric exhaust fan will suck damp air out of the basement and keep it dry. The pipe, which is the type used for hot-air ducks on furnaces, is supported on iron legs and has an elbow at the upper end. To keep out insects, the opening is covered with screen wire.


Dry Basement Waterproofing

Rain guards keep a basement dry. Airways or concrete curbings around basement windows often allow a flood of water to enter the cellar during violent rainstorms. In such cases a good plan for basement drying is to make or purchase a galvanized iron rain guard for each window. When a storm comes up, the guards are dropped so as to keep the rain from the pits. If the lower edges are bent slightly down, no water will run in and is one of the easiest solutions on how to dry a basement. A small latch fastened to the house holds the guard up in bright weather. Basements are also kept dry by tile with a built-in drainage feature consisting of channels to guide water from the top to the bottom of the foundation and into a drain pipe at the base. Water runs down the tile step by step and finally flows into the drain pipe. Easy to keep clean, the tiles are furnished glazed or unglazed, and will not shrink or crack.


Dry Basements

Methods to control moisture and maintain dry basements include building an energy-efficient home with proper air-sealing, proper use of vapor barriers and vapor diffusion strategies. The entire building envelope, from the foundation to the roof, should be designed to not only prevent moisture entry, but also to allow any moisture which does enter a means to escape. How to dry a basement by correcting moisture problems may be as simple as redirecting downspout runoff away from the foundation. Wet basement solutions may involve re-grading the ground around the house so that it slopes down away from foundation or venting the dryer to the outside (something that should be done in all homes). Sometimes, however, there are more extensive problems which can be expensive to correct. In any event, the problems with dry basements should be addressed before you begin other work.