Congratulations! You’ve found the best DIY to reduce moisture in a basement! Basement flooring can be subject to a number of moisture issues. Over time, this moisture can seep into the porous substrate of the concrete slab underneath the flooring, which can lead to major structural damage… and ultimately, major repair bills. This is why having great basement flooring ideas such as Stained concrete basement floors or epoxy basement flooring can help protect your existing concrete slab from moisture damage.

How to Control Moisture in a Basement

One of the first things you should do is to determine where the moisture problem is originating from. Sometimes it can be as simple as leaving basement windows open during humid days. Other times it can be a more systemic problem, such as a leak coming from the ceiling or a pipe within one of the walls. Never neglect pooling water or moist air. Preventative care and maintenance is much less expensive than a large repair bill. 

Don’t let mold or mildew form. Don’t let structural damage occur. Address the issue head-on so you can eliminate all the causes of moisture in a basement.

Moisture Problems and Dryer Vents 

This is a more common problem than you would typically expect, but it tends to happen to dryers that have been in operation for a while. Water vapor and moisture are thrown into the air due to wet clothes that tumble in dryers, and if the pipe that is connected to the back of the dryer comes loose, the moist air will be blown around the dryer and laundry area, and not to the intended area. 

You’ll have basement moisture issues in no time if this problem is not corrected. So, make sure that the pipe is connected to the back of your dryer. It is usually metallic in color. After you re-fasten the pipe, run the dryer again to see if there is any hot air still coming out of the back. If there still happens to be a leak, try using foil tape. Foil tape is great for making quick, permanent seals around pipes. 

Dryer vents and moisture problems
Sump pumps and a wet basement

Sump Pumps and a Wet Basement

Basements are subject to floods. This is why sump pumps and basins are so crucial for many basements. When floods or heavy storms cause the water level to rise above your basement floor, water is usually drained into the sump bit to avoid a full-on basement flood. For homes in low-lying areas, a sump pit is absolutely necessary.

Moisture issues can arise from a sump basin if the sump basin doesn’t have a lid. This water can slowly evaporate over time, which will cause a steady source of moisture. A simple fix is to get an airtight seal around the basin. You can find lids that either seal with plastic or lids that screw shut. 

Water Seepage 

There are three places where water seepage is most likely to occur: the top of the foundation (ceiling), cracks or divots that are in the concrete substrate, or where the floor meets the wall. Cracks can be anywhere, from the floor, to the ceiling, to the wall… so make sure you do a thorough check. Small cracks can be filled with epoxy. Large ones may require more extensive work. 

An installation of an interior drain and filling cracks needs to happen if you are looking to solve basement moisture issues. If you’ve done everything in regards to this, and still experience moisture issues, we recommend a humidifier. 

Basement Moisture and Possible Leaks

There may be a secret leak in your home. It could be behind a shower, a washer, a laundry sink, or a vanity. Since many of these leaks are not visible, these plumbing leaks can go unnoticed for months until a problem arises. If this falls out of your realm of expertise, hiring a plumber or contractor to take a look might be your best. 

Sustained pipe leaks can cause mold growth, wood rot, rusty pipes, and crumbled drywall. Check to see if your basement walls or shower walls are spongy or soft to the touch. This could mean the problem is getting out of control. The goal of preventative care is to make sure that the walls do not get to that point.

Moisture Problems Related to Crawl Spaces

If your basement is near a crawl space, moisture may be evaporating from the space towards your basement. You may need to install a drainage pipe in the crawl space to prevent moisture evaporation from entering the basement. Note: never put a dehumidifier in the dirt crawl space itself. This could cause the foundation to sink, which can lead to even bigger problems. Drainage pipes work much more efficiently for crawl spaces that have a lot of moisture. 

Crawl space moisture in a basement

Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters and downspouts are one of your house’s first lines of defense against water and moisture damage. If your gutters or downspouts are inadvertently directing water flow towards your house, this can seep into the ground around the foundation – and inevitably – the basement. Generally speaking, there should be a downspout every 50 ft. in regards to the roof eve. Downspouts should also be outfitted with extenders to make sure the water is dispersed at least 4 ft. away from the foundation.

Professional Basement Moisture Control  

Don’t wait for the first sign of water damage. Preventative maintenance and care is the name of the game when protecting your home or place of business. By checking the crawl spaces, plumbing, possible sources of water seepage, sump pumps, and appliances, you can help mitigate and potentially eliminate any sources of moisture.

If DIY isn’t something you’re comfortable with, we recommend that you hire a concrete or waterproofing professional to make sure that your basement is water-tight! If you can’t seem to get your head above water and live in Illinois, hire Southern Illinois Epoxy for all of your waterproofing needs!