If your basement walls and floor are often wet, or if you have standing water on the floor, then you know you have a serious problem that needs professional help. If your basement just gets wet occasionally or if it is damp and musty, the problem might be something you can fix yourself.
Here are some home maintenance chores that help keep your basement dry.
Dry Out Condensation
Condensation adds humidity to your basement and may even be bad enough that water drips from pipes and runs down the walls. If you see water dripping from a pipe and you know the pipe doesn't have a pinhole leak, try adding insulation to the pipe's exposed areas.
Adding insulation is an effective fix for condensation on walls too. However, make certain the cause of the dripping water is condensation and not water seeping through the concrete. If you add insulation and condensation isn't the problem, then mold may grow and compound your basement problems.
Also, check that your clothes dryer isn't venting inside the basement, and avoid using your basement to dry clothes on an indoor line because that increases humidity and causes dampness.
If you've taken steps to control humidity and your basement is still damp, then you may need to install a dehumidifier to keep the basement dry. If you're unsure of the cause of your wet basement, then get professional help before attempting DIY improvements.
Keep Gutters Flowing
Gutter maintenance is an important part of keeping your basement dry. When leaves clog the troughs, water falls over the sides and sinks into the soil around the foundation. Another problem with gutters is when the downspout doesn't drain far enough away from your house.
Clean your gutters often enough to keep them clear of leaves. Ensure they drain properly by using a garden hose to run water through the troughs. If water stands in the gutters, the troughs may need adjusted so water drains using gravity.
Also, check that water flows out of the downspout and away from your home. If the water forms a puddle near your foundation, add an extension on the downspout. The best option may be to add a long buried pipe to the downspout and run it all the way to the street so water drains into the street rather than near your house.
Remove Landscaping Dams
If your wet basement problems became worse after adding new plants around your home, then the problem might be with the slope of the soil near your house. Your house should always sit higher than your yard so water drains away from your home rather than toward it.
It's possible to disrupt this desired slope when you install new landscaping. Plus, soil can compact over time and that can alter the slope too. Try adding soil to the area to build it back up or move soil around.
However, you may want the help of a contractor or landscaper to change the slope of your lot in a way that doesn't cause other unforeseen problems with rain drainage.
These DIY checks and fixes might help with minor water leaking and condensation, but there are more serious reasons for a wet basement you should consider. Water might seep through concrete due to hydrostatic pressure, or there could be a more complex drainage problem that requires installing a drain and sump pump to fix.
There are different ways to dry out a wet basement and keep it that way. Every home is unique, so the best place to start in your hunt for a solution is by calling All-Systems Waterproofing. We'll assess your situation and recommend the right waterproofing solution to keep your basement dry.