Wet Basement

By Mark J. Donovan

February 24, 2014 4 min read

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 lead to medical problems in your family. Airborne mold and mildew can cause major respiratory illnesses. Fortunately, there are a number of remedies to clean a wet basement and prevent one in the first place. Waterproofing solutions can vary in complexity and cost. Depending on the severity of the basement's moisture problems, the solutions can range from simply installing a dehumidifier 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 in such a way 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.

*Dehumidifier Installation

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.

*Sump Pump

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 it. 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 foundation walls.

*Perimeter Drains

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 backfilled around the home, and the soil grade is made so the 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 jackhammering 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.

Mark J. Donovan's website is http://www.HomeAdditionPlus.com.

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