Six Steps to a Dry Basement
A dry basement might be its own reward. If your basement is free of leaks, condensation and cracks, it’ll be more amenable to a major basement remodeling effort (and you know you’ve always wanted a foosball table down there). It’s a safer place to store old records and clothes (your kids need something to make fun of during your old age, right?). And a dry basement is inhospitable to toxic black mold, which can eat away at porous surfaces like wood and concrete, and cause serious health problems for you and your family.
While most of us might think of the underground sections of our homes as dark, dank places suitable for the third-act climax of a bad horror movie, avoiding a wet basement is probably easier than you think. Here are a few relatively simple steps to keeping your basement dry.
Make sure your rain gutters are completely free of debris.
Rain gutters that can’t carry rain away from the house tend to spill rain right out near the foundation, creating puddles that can eat away at the porous concrete over time. And if gutters empty themselves from a great distance in one spot, the falling water can create a depression in the ground that speeds wear and tear on the foundation. A good basement waterproofing contractor can install a French drain – a type of drainage system that draws water away from the house. A good French drain can’t guarantee a dry basement, but it’ll help eliminate one of the primary causes of leaks.
Keep the ground around your foundation sloped away from it.
Obviously, this isn’t the simplest thing to do; if you live on a hill, you’re going to have to deal with water rolling downhill toward your home. But it’s easy to find depressions near the foundation and fill them, so they don’t fill with water when it rains.
Keep an eye on window and door seals.
If these are caulked, go around at least once every six months with a caulk gun to reinforce them. Ideally, however, they should have a more secure sealant.
Keep a dehumidifier handy.
If you hang clothes to dry in the basement, humidity might be a problem – and humidity in such an enclosed space can cause condensation. Keeping a dehumidifier isn’t a magic bullet, but it can help if your basement moisture is coming from condensation and not seepage. But how can you tell the difference? It’s fairly easy: If you have wet basement walls, find a spot that’s particularly wet. Tape a section of aluminum foil to the wall, with tape around all the edges so it’s airtight. Check in on it after a day or two: If the side on the inside is dry, you’ve got seepage. If the outside is dry, condensation is the more likely culprit.
If your house has an outdoor spigot, make sure it doesn’t leak.
A dripping spigot can create a concrete-eroding puddle with hardly any effort at all. If necessary, call a plumber to fix the leak – it’ll be less expensive than repairing your foundation if the problem goes on too long.
Fix leaks the minute you discover them.
You’ll never have a dry basement if there’s a constant leak. Basement moisture can come from a variety of sources; a leak has the benefit of being relatively easy to spot. A good basement waterproofing company can examine your basement to determine the type of leak you have, and recommend the best way to fix it. Look for a basement waterproofing contractor who gives a free estimate, and don’t fall for any hard-sell tactics; a quality contractor will be completely honest, and give you time to make the best decision.
Right Way Waterproofing serves clients with basement waterproofing, basement remodeling and mold remediation needs throughout the Delaware Valley: In Philadelphia, Delaware and New Jersey, throughout Bucks County, Montgomery County, Chester County, Burlington County, Mercer County and Delaware County, including Langhorne, Newtown, Yardley, Bensalem, Warminster, Morrisville, Lower Makefield, Trenton, Newark, Wilmington, King of Prussia, Newtown Square, the Main Line and Bala Cynwyd.
We perform all our basement waterproofing, basement finishing and mold remediation services in the following ZIP codes:
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