Four Tips for a Dry, Healthy Basement

moisture barrier

Keeping your basement dry is an essential part of maintaining your home. No matter what other projects you may be doing, or even if you’re not doing any projects at all, you need to keep your basement dry. This is a top-priority because a dry basement is not just a question of comfort, is it a question of health. Since a basement is dark and moist, it is the perfect environment for mold to grow. And mold is the cause of 93% of all chronic sinus infections, according to the Mayo Clinic. Here are four tips for moisture removal and avoidance that will help keep your basement dry and your family healthy. 

1. Install Gutters

Water can stagnate on the roof of your house unless you have a good gutter system. This water may eventually find its way to the basement, where it can do a lot of damage before it is even discovered. The main problem would be mold growing in the basement from the moisture. Prevent any moisture in your basement by installing a good gutter and downspout system, which will keep all the water flowing off your roof and away from your home.

2. Use a Dehumidifier

Having a dehumidifier in your basement will significantly reduce the amount of moisture that accumulates there. This is important, because avoiding moisture in your basement will help prevent mold and keep the area healthy. Plus, dehumidified air has a better overall air quality. Keeping a dehumidifier running actually helps provide a moisture barrier by drying the air out and removing dampness from the air. If you have windows in your basement, keep them open during dry, cool days, and always use fans to keep the air in your basement circulating. Reducing the chance of having stagnant air helps keep your basement a dry, healthy environment.

3. Insulate Your Water Pipes

One of the smartest and easiest ways to prevent your basement from getting wet is to insulate all your water pipes. Water pipes in the floor, walls, and ceilings, all need to be insulated. Using foam insulation will help to act as a moisture barrier and prevent condensation, commonly called ‘sweat’ from forming on the pipes. This will help eliminate the possibility of creating an area of stagnating water, which is a breeding ground for mold and insects. 

4. Use Moisture Proof Paint

It is definitely a good idea to use water-resistant paint in your basement. Waterproof paint provides a moisture barrier and helps keeps walls and surfaces dry. It is a treatment for surfaces in your basement which will help slow down the growth of mold. You can also damp-proof your walls with a waterproof coating. This type of coating acts as a moisture barrier by filling in all pores in the concrete. 

If you follow these four tips above, you’ll be glad to hear that you’re on the right track for making your basement a dry, safe environment for your family and for keeping it that way. Another idea, too, is to place rocks and gravel around the outside of your basement area, to help the water flow away from your foundation. These common sense tips are not expensive, but they can really save you a lot of money and prevent a lot of stress if you follow them.