Drying out a Wet Basement

Tips on Eliminating a Wet Basement

By Mark J. Donovan

A constantly or frequently wet basement is not only a nuisance it is also a danger to your family. Constantly or frequently wet basements prevent you from using the basement for even simple storage, let alone for a finished living space. A wet basement is also a haven for mold and mildew growth with can become a real danger to your family. Wet basements are also a real turn-off to future home buyers.

Permanently drying out a wet basement starts by understanding where and why the water is entering the basement. The first place to look is outside of the home.

Check that all gutter drain pipes direct water away from the home.

Next check to make sure the land around the home is sloped such that water running off the roof is directed away from the home.

Installing a Perimeter Drain

If these first steps are not the issue associated with your wet basement, then chances are you have a high water table around your home. If this is the case, you need to install a perimeter drain around the home’s foundation. This will entail the use of a backhoe, and require crushed stone and 4” perforated PVC pipe. I know it sounds pretty invasive and expensive, but this is really the only way to permanently dry out a wet basement. A perimeter drain will direct water that would otherwise work its way into your basement, around your home’s foundation to a low spot on the property.

Basement floor with crack and moisture.

Use of Hydraulic Cement

For smaller wet basement issues associated with cracked foundation walls or concrete floors, the use of hydraulic cement is another option.

Waterproofing Basement Walls

Waterproofing both the outside and inside foundation walls is another way to permanently dry out a wet basement. Again however, waterproofing the outside of your home’s foundation will require more expensive and invasive work. If you do elect installing a perimeter drain around the home’s foundation, then you should also have the exterior foundation walls waterproof/sealed before backfilling in around the foundation.

For more help on Basement Additions, see HomeAdditionPlus.com’s Basement Remodeling Bid sheet. The Basement Remodeling Bid Sheet will help ensure that your hire the right contractor so that your basement remodeling project is done correctly and you get the project finished on time and budget.

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