Having a wet basement is one of the worst things that could happen to your home. It not only gives off a terrible smell, but it could also encourage the growth of molds and mildew, which can be harmful to your family’s health. The hard truth is that wet basements have been plaguing 60% of homeowners in the U.S. based on the survey done by the American Society of Home Inspectors. Of this percentage, more than a third of them will most likely have basement molds.
The good news is that you do not need to spend an arm and leg to stop your basement from getting wet. You can fix the wet basement problem by simply following the methods provided below.
1. Get Rid of Condensation Problems
Condensation can take the form of wet spots or droplets on basement walls and floors. When moist air comes in contact with cool walls and un-insulated pipes, it results to the dampening of flooring and making the basement sweaty. If you notice these signs in your basement, it is time to do a diagnostic test.
How to check: Tape a piece of foil onto a damp spot and keep it there for 24 hours. After the time has lapsed, check the foil for signs of moisture. If there is any, then it means there is water seeping in.
How to get rid of condensation: Open windows and run heavy-duty fans. If you have a dehumidifier, turn it on. In the winter months, turn on the heater in the basement and provide insulation for cold-water pipes. Adding waterproof coating to walls is also a good idea to keep them from dampening.
2. Get Rid of Runoffs
A runoff is an overflow of water caused by too much rainwater or melted snow that does not get drained properly.
How to check: If you notice basement walls and floors are wet after rain or melting of snow, then this is a good indicator of a runoff.
How to get rid of runoffs: The first thing you need to do is to look for possible cracks in the basements and cover them. Also, check the driveway for unsealed cracks and seal them as well. Proper channeling of swales on the ground can also prevent runoffs, so make sure you follow this and check for possible clogs in your swale. You should also clean gutters and ensure that they are functioning well because clogged and overflowing gutters are one of the major causes of wet basements.
3. Locate Groundwater Problems
Getting wet basements even when there is no condensation, rain, or melted snow could only mean that you have groundwater problems that need to be addressed immediately.
How to check: The most accurate way to check if you have a groundwater problem is by determining whether your area has a high water table or has a water source underneath. You can check with the local government or your community developer for information on this.
How to get rid of groundwater problems: The best way is to get a contractor to create a sump and a sump pump but this will cost you at least few hundred dollars. If you do not want to spend this much, you can always add absorbent clay to the soil for better absorption of water.