How to Fix a Wet Basement

Moisture in a basement can be a big problem. Solutions are offered for how to fix a wet basement.

Not very many things are more frustrating than a wet basement. Even modest amounts of moisture can render a basement nearly unusable. Things that are stored are ruined by mold and mildew. The odor can be a deterrent to spending time there. The basement can become the dark dank place of children’s nightmares.

In order to rid the basement of moisture, the source of the moisture needs to be discovered. The first question to be answered is when is the moisture most evident. Is the moisture always present or does it come and go with the rain or a wet season like spring or fall? If it is an occasional visitor, you are fighting drainage problems and possibly a wet weather spring. If it is always lurking about, the problem is probably a high water table.

The amount of moisture may range from a damp feeling to standing water. The solutions for either amount is similar. A fix has to either remove the way that water enters the basement, or remove the water before it can be a problem. Both answers require a lot of work and determination.

If the water problem is a wet weather occurrence only, three fixes are possible. Good guttering can be place to start. The gutters will shunt the water away from the foundation of the house. By using elongated downspouts to carry the water an additional ten or more feet from the house, any problem from standing water around the basement will be lessened. For some, this one fix will cure the moisture dilemma.

The second step would be to dig down to the foundation and coat the outer walls with some type of barrier. This can range from simple tar to polyethylene sheeting. Repair any obvious cracks. While the foundation is exposed, trench out from the basement in several areas. Lay in perforated drain pipes and surround them with gravel. If this can be done at two or three levels as the backfilling is being done, it will help keep all moisture from staying around long enough to enter the basement.

When the dirt is back in place around the basement, some sculpting needs to happen. The ground needs to be sloped away from the basement walls. By making this slope rather steep, the water will run away without penetrating near the house. These three fixes will repair almost all wet weather moisture problems.

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Published in: Home Improvement


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