Remedies for a Wet Basement
Methods and Techniques on How to Prevent a Wet Basement
By Mark J. Donovan
A wet basement can make your basement practically unusable. A flooded
basement can cause severe water damage. It can also lead to mold and
mildew growth that can infect your entire home and can lead to medical
problems with you and your family. Airborne mold and mildew can cause
major respiratory illnesses. Fortunately there are a number of remedies
for a wet basement and for preventing a wet basement. Wet basement
waterproofing solutions can vary in complexity and cost. Depending upon
the severity of the basement moisture problems the solutions can range
from simply installing a dehumidifier in the basement to installing a
perimeter drain around exterior of the basement foundation.
Major Causes of Wet Basements
Rain runoff water from the roof can find its way into your basement if
gutters are not used or if the soil surface is not sloped appropriately
away from the home. Moreover, clogged gutters can lead to wet basements.
Wet basements can also occur if the home is located in a high water
table area. A high water table means that the home’s foundation footings
are situated such that they’re nearly at the level where water remains
constant year round. Consequently after a good rain the water table
could rise sufficiently to cause water to seep in between the foundation
walls and footings.
If you simply have high humidity levels in your basement you can install
a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture levels. Just make sure to buy a
dehumidifier large enough to handle the size of the basement. Also, you
may want to buy a dehumidifier that can automatically drain its water
into a drain in the basement floor or into a sump pump well.
Another remedy for a wet basement, or to prevent a wet basement, is to
install a sump pump.
If you do install a sump pump, you’ll need to cut a hole in the basement
floor to install the sump pump. When installing a
sump pump, always install an enclosed system. Standing water in a sump
pump well will inevitably lead to mold and mildew growth inside the well
itself. It will also lead to high moisture levels in the basement.
Waterproofing Basement Walls
There are a number of basement wall and floor waterproofing solutions
that you can employ to remedy a wet basement. Some basement
waterproofing solutions involve painting a water sealer onto the inside
basement foundation walls and floor. Alternatively, basement
waterproofing sealers can also be applied to the exterior of the
For more drastic measures to remedy a wet basement the soil around the
foundation can be dug out, down to the footing level, and a perimeter
drain installed. With a perimeter drain, crushed stone and perforated
PVC pipe are used to funnel water away from the home’s foundation. After
installing the crushed stone and PVC pipe, the soil is back-filled
around the home and the soil grade is made such that surface water will
drain away from the foundation.
A perimeter drain system and pump-up ejector system can also be
installed inside the basement foundation walls. This task involves jack
hammering or cutting away a swath of the basement concrete slab around
the inside perimeter of the foundation walls and then installing crushed
stone and PVC piping. The drain system is designed to funnel water into
a large pump-up ejector system that is effectively an enclosed sump pump
which removes water from underneath the basement floor.
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