Many homes have basements, some are just used for storage or laundry, others are completed to add extra rooms and space to the home. Most of them also tend to have moisture issues.
The basement gets excessive moisture as it can seep through the concrete walls from the outside soil, through leaks or cracks, and through the foundation. There is far less airflow, which makes it harder to get rid of.
Excessive moisture leads to other problems. It can cause mold and mildew to grow. Too much moisture can ruin carpets, furniture, wooden baseboards, door, and window frames, and even cause electrical problems.
Signs Your Need a Dehumidifier for Your Basement
Moisture may not always be obvious, so keep an eye out for some of these signs.
- Damp patches on the walls, ceiling, or floors.
- Damp carpets, clothing, or curtains
- A musty, moldy scent
- Visible signs of mold on surfaces, walls, behind appliances, etc
- Boxes or other material feels damp
If you have laundry facilities in the basement or a spare refrigerator, you may think it’s coming from them. It may be hard to detect if your home or natural climate has high levels of humidity.
Basement Dehumidifier Basics
Most dehumidifiers work at a specific temperature. It is important to make sure you get one that is made for basements. It is typically cooler in the basement, and therefore a dehumidifier that is meant for the rest of the house won’t work properly.
Choosing a portable dehumidifier for the basement is your best bet. These have automatic drainage and manual drainage. If you are not going to be there to continually dump the water, auto drainage will be better suited.
There are different sizes, as well. The rule of thumb is to choose a dehumidifier that holds ten pints of water for a 500-square-foot-space and four pints for every additional 500 square feet.
If your basement has excessive water, get one that holds more. They can hold up to around 22 pints, which is handy if you want to just leave it to do its job. They also come with other features, as well.
Some will have an air filter that traps allergens and particles, for those who suffer from allergies. It will also help protect the dehumidifier from getting damaged by dust or mold particles.
They also have automatic features to turn the machine back off after a power cut or a humidistat that turns the dehumidifier on and off to maintain the set level and help save energy.
Protecting Your Basement From Moisture
Using the dehumidifier will help, but if you have leaks or bigger problems, there are more ways you can keep your basement drier.
- Extend downspouts from your gutters away from the foundation
- Keep gutters and downspouts clean
- Keep the soil sloping away from the home to avoid pooling of water around the foundation
- Avoid over-watering your yard near the foundation
- Make sure clothes dryers are properly vented to the outside
- Check of leaks or damage to washers or other appliances
- Use vent fans in bathrooms and kitchens to remove humidity
- Use fans to keep air flowing in the basement
- Get your basement waterproofed
Get Expert Advice
If you have problems with a damp or wet basement, you may need repairs or to get your basement waterproofed. There may be leaks or cracks in the foundation that you are not aware of.
Call the pros at Olson Foundation Repair to find out why your basement is too damp. They have been providing fairly priced, professional foundation
repair and basement waterproofing services in Kansas City since 1986.