Dry Basement Solutions
A dry basement is one of the hardest things to achieve in a home. Homeownership rears its ugly head when a sudden water seepage occurs in the basement. Water does not discriminate. It seeks the path of least resistance whether you have a finished basement or not. The seeping water will damage your valuables, furniture, rugs, everything in its path. Keeping invasive water out is vital to avoid property damage, foundation instability, dampness, and unhealthy air. There is a way to prevent future basement problems and end worries of a reoccurrence.
Identifying a Water Problem
When looking for dry basement solutions to fix your wet basement, you should first identify the origin of the problem. For example, water can compromise a foundation through an entrance in the form of a wall crack. The crack can be a long vertical with an eighth of an inch gap from the ceiling to the floor. Water can trickle through the opening from the outside and create a pool of water on your basement floor. There is another more mysterious water seepage source; water appears around the edge of your basement walls along the bottom. Where is it coming from? The water is pushing its way through the cold joints where the wall, footer, and floor touch. The exterior waterproofing at one point made it difficult for water to get in. After every storm, water filling the backfill area surrounding your house eventually (usually 3 to 5 years) penetrates the waterproofing barrier and allows water to get through those cold joints.
First Reaction to Solve a Basement Water Problem
One of the first of many dry basement solutions that comes naturally is to clean up the water. It gives instant gratification, but chances are there are more significant underlying problems. Cleaning up the basement with a wet vac over and over again is not a permanent solution. It’s a nuisance. It also will not remove the dampness, moldy, musty smell. You may even attempt to fix the problem with hydraulic cement, waterproof paint, or a hydrostatic sealer. These waterproofing solutions will give you temporary relief from repetitive issues. Yet, they are only temporary.
The good news is there are answers out there that can make a lot of things a whole lot better. There are even some means of solving the problem that will keep damp areas dry in the short term.
Basement Waterproofing Expert
It’s always a good idea to hire an experienced professional in the basement waterproofing industry to get the job done. Experience and skill go a long way in resolving your basement water problem. On the other hand, a company with a substandard “gimmicky” waterproofing system can do more damage than good. Look into local contractors and companies before calling someone to check your water issue.
Sometimes, it is not a matter of finding a good company; sometimes the work can get very expensive. If you don’t have a lot of money to invest at the moment, then there are other dry basement solutions that you can do yourself until the time is right to hire a pro.
Invest in a Wet Dry Vacuum
There are several ways you can clean up water in your basement. Moping and using towels to soak up the water work but take a long time. The fastest way is to use a wet-dry vacuum to suck up all the stagnant water. If you don’t have access to a wet-dry vacuum or the situation is more like a “foot of water” flooding than a puddle of water, call in a water removal contractor who will remove the water altogether. A contractor will use submersible sump pumps with flexible hoses to pump all the water through to the outside. They will be able to do it quickly. Water removal is only preemptive. It will come back again if you don’t find where it is coming from and do something about it.
Once the water is gone, it’s time to reach into your bag of dry basement solutions to prevent any more water from getting back into your basement. You can use the water removal contractor’s tool of choice, a submersible sump pump. The pump activates when the water level rises and moves a float switch to power it on. You can also manually turn it on when you need it to keep your basement free from water. Keep in mind, the most effective use of a sump pump is inside a sump pit connected to a perimeter subfloor drainage system. A sump pump running solo inside a hole made through your basement floor will not stop water from appearing on the floor. That water will have to let gravity move it to the sump pit hole to be discharged through a pipe connected to the outside of your house.
If you’re tired of dealing with damp basement problems, you can try one of the more expensive approaches to keep your basement dry and smelling good. You might consider a dehumidifier. A full basement dehumidifier can reduce the humidity by activating when the relative humidity is too high. The reduction in humidity will keep mold spores from growing and producing that familiar musty smell. One thing it cannot do is stop water from reappearing on your floor after a big storm. Water seepage appears faster than a dehumidifier can evaporate it.
Another thing to think about is the electric bill will be a lot higher. A dehumidifier requires a great deal of electricity to operate. Some machines need up to 700 watts to remove 14 gallons a day.
There are plenty of dry basement solutions out there. Some are gimmicky, and while others are downright ingenious. Suppose the problem is not bad enough to keep you awake at night, or you are not in a financial position to have a contractor or company install a basement waterproofing system. In that case, there are ways to manage the water problem temporarily, as mentioned above. It is crucial to understand your home is most likely your biggest asset. Don’t let things go too far out of hand without proper professional repair, or the costs could get out of control. Be safe, stay healthy, and dry.
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