Keeping the moisture out of your basement should be one of your main concerns as a homeowner. If in your home the basement is used not as a living space, but as a storage room for things you rarely (or never) use, it is possible that you don’t pay enough attention to this possible issue. This is not good, since moisture in your basement can damage the underlying structure and cause the beams to warp and crack. Therefore, waterproofing your basement is always a good investment.
If you have been looking at all the options professionals recommend to keep your basement dry, you have probably heard about dehumidifiers. Before we explain what their purpose is and how they work, it is important to know that a dehumidifier on its own won’t solve the flooding issue and it cannot dry up your basement after two feet of floodwater have been standing down there for hours or days. However, it does offer some great benefits. Let’s take a closer look at dehumidifiers and their perks.
What Is a Dehumidifier?
This device was specially designed to regulate the moisture levels in the basement. It removes the moisture from the air, condenses it, and then takes it out. This way, your basement becomes much less humid and problems such as rotting wood and health issues can be averted. Here are some of the reasons you should consider getting a dehumidifier:
- Eliminate Allergy Triggers: Your dark, warm, and moist basement is ideal for mold infestation and makes a perfect ground for dust mites. These are common allergy triggers, so you surely do not want them in your home. By decreasing the level of humidity in your basement, this area in your home becomes much less appealing to these nasty microorganisms.
- Improve Air Quality: With a dehumidifier that cleans and filters the air, your basement, as well as the rest of your home, becomes more habitable for you and your family.
- Protect Your Home: As mentioned, moisture in your basement can easily lead to a wide variety of problems. It can damage the underlying structure of your home, cause wooden frames and beams to warp or crack, and compromise the structural integrity of your home. A dehumidifier can keep the moisture level in control and therefore promote a healthy basement.
- Reduce Energy Consumption: When there is moisture in your basement, the HVAC system needs to work harder to keep your home’s temperature levels comfortable. Therefore, it uses more power than it normally would, which reflects on your utility bills. With a dehumidifier, you can reduce your monthly expenses.
Can a Dehumidifier Keep Your Basement Dry?
Unfortunately, even the best dehumidifier on the market cannot protect your basement from flooding on its own. In case there are heavy rainstorms or your washing machine hose breaks, this appliance won’t be able to completely dry out your basement. Its main job is to clear moisture buildup around the basement, turning it into a dry environment that isn’t suitable for mold growth.
If you do not properly waterproof your basement, water will always find a way to enter it, eventually causing some kind of damage. If you wish to protect your basement, consider some of these options:
- Accurately grading your yard. If every time the rain falls, the water rushes directly toward your home, your yard isn’t accurately graded. This means you will have to regrade your yard and install a drainage system.
- Add interior drainage. If persistent leaking gives you a headache, consider investing in a quality interior drainage system. This system will collect leaking water from the walls and floor and works best when paired with a sump pump.
- Installing a sump pump. After your interior drainage system has collected the water, the sump pump will pump it out of your basement and away from your home’s perimeter through discharge pipes. This way your basement will be safe from any water damage.
- Sealing your windows. If your basement has windows, make sure they don’t have any leaks. In case you notice warped sills, keep in mind that they have created an opening for moisture. Therefore, you should reseal them or install window well covers. This solution will assist with waterproofing your basement.
- Sealing cracks. Foundation cracks are not uncommon and can occur for several reasons. However, that doesn’t mean they are harmless. On the contrary, they can let moisture in and cause other issues. Repairing your foundation and regularly maintaining it is a great way to keep your basement protected.
- Maintaining your gutters and downspouts. Another thing that requires regular maintenance is your gutter system. When gutters are blocked, they push the water toward your house and cause it to collect around the foundation walls. When this happens, the water enters the basement through the cracks and causes damage. To help keep your basement dry, you should clean the gutters at least twice a year, in spring and autumn. Also, make sure your downspouts are angled down and away from your home.
A dehumidifier is a great addition to your line of defense against moisture, but it isn’t the only thing you need to protect your home against water damage. Even if you invest in this, you will still need to implement other measures to ensure your basement stays clean and mold-free. Opting for a comprehensive basement waterproofing system is highly recommended, so ask your Knoxville, TN, contractor about the interior drainage system and a sump pump.
Do you wish to waterproof your basement? This is not something you should do by yourself. Contact AFS Foundation & Waterproofing specialists today and schedule a free inspection. Our team can assess your basement’s condition and help you resolve any potential issues that might harm your house in the long run.