Basements are notoriously known to be damp and dark. Sadly, if this moisture is left alone for a long time, it becomes harmful, not only to your house, but also to you and your loved ones. From structural impairment to poisonous mold that exposes people to different health risks, basement moisture is bad news.
Therefore, if you have a basement in your home, you need to find easy and effective ways to deal with the damaging moisture. However, before you rush to learn how to remove moisture from your basement, you should take your time to understand its causes. This makes it easier for you to find the most effective method of getting rid of moisture in your basement completely.
Also, you need to be sure that you have moisture in your basement. There are several important signs that you can look for if you suspect there is moisture in your basement. Here are some of the things to look out for.
- Water trickling out of the walls
- Stained or blistering walls
- Damp, humid air
- Mold and mildew
- Rotten columns
- Water on the floor
- Condensed walls and floor
- Ring of dampness
If you find any of these warning signs, just know that you have moisture in your basement and it needs to be removed immediately. Since you are now sure that there is moisture in your house, you need to find out where it is coming from so that you can fix it once and for all. Some of the main sources of moisture in the basement include rain, groundwater, interior moisture, ventilation with humid air, among others.
Another important question you have to ask yourself is: How did this water find its way to my basement? There are several ways in which water can get to your basement.
- Cracks in the foundation
- Ineffective grading
- Water leak in the house
- Defective drainages and downspouts
- Defective or missing drain tiles
Now that you know there is moisture in your basement and how it came to be, you can easily find a way to fix it once and for all. Here are six ways to fix damaging basement moisture.
Additional Gutter Extensions and Underground Drain Pipes
As discussed above, defective downspouts cause moisture in the basement, especially if they are dumping water too close to the house. If this is the case, you should install additional gutter extensions in order to enable the downspouts to dump water far away from the house. However, these gutter extensions may not be the most effective long-term solution to this problem since they might be run over by the lawn mower or people might trip over them.
If gutter extensions don’t work, you can use underground drain pipes. These pipes are invincible and can move large amounts of water. They also run off much farther from the house.
Plug All Openings
If the water in your basement is as a result of a leaking plumbing pipe, you can simply plug the leak with hydraulic cement or polyurethane caulk. But remember, these plugs only work well if the problem is a leak through which water oozes out, either from surface overflow or from damp soil. So, if the water comes up through the floor, or at the point where the floor and walls meet, then you are dealing with groundwater and plugs won’t work.
In this scenario, you need to check whether your underground pipes, which are normally installed during construction to carry water away from the foundation, are working. In case they are clogged, flush them with a garden hose pipe. If this doesn’t do the trick, hire an experienced plumber to unclog the pipes for you.
Make Your Walls Waterproof
Having interior drainage systems in your house is important because they help to get water out of your basement. However, they are not effective enough to prevent moisture. Therefore, you need to consider an exterior drainage system that will get rid of hydraulic pressure and make the exterior of your walls waterproof. This system protects your foundation against excessive hydraulic pressure and keeps moisture out of your basement.
This upgrade is a huge undertaking that requires excavation around the house. So, you will need to have all the necessary resources to carry out the renovation. Though costly, this is one of the most effective ways to fix damaging moisture in your basement, especially if your foundation has several gaps.
Furthermore, by making your walls waterproof, you will be able to keep sewage and dirty water from broken drainage systems out of your basement. In fact, this process has proved to be the safest and most reliable option for people who wouldn’t want to tear up their finished basements. The only downside is that your beautiful front and back yards will have to be dug up.
If there is no other way to keep the subsurface water out of your basement, then you have to pump it out. The best way to accomplish this is to create an interior drainage system, which can be channeled around the perimeter of the floor. Then you chip out the concrete and lay a punctured pipe in the hole.
This pipe will drain the water into a tank from where a sump pump will drive it out of the house. This method is a better option for people who have a beautiful yard that they don’t want to destroy.
Fix Foot Drains
If the cause of moisture in your basement is hydrostatic pressure pushing groundwater up, you need to check if you have footing drains or underground pipes to carry water away from the basement. In case these drains are broken or clogged, fix them immediately. You can hire a plumber to repair or flush them for you.
Reshape Your landscape
When you are building a crown, make sure it is not too close to your foundation because it might bring termites, ants, and other insects to your house, forcing you to spend money on ant killers. This means creating a berm or a swale, which are effective landscaping features designed to redirect water before it reaches the house. Once grown, these features will also serve as decorative elements in your yard.