Thursday, September 29, 2011

How to Solve a Wet Basement Problem

By Mark J. Donovan

If you have a frequently wet basement it’s important to solve the problem before you have a bigger problem, mold. Mold growth in the basement can migrate to the upper levels of the home and can be hazardous to its occupants. Even if the wet basement occurs only occasionally, e.g. after a heavy rain storm, mold growth can still be a problem. Also, if you have intentions of ever finishing the basement, it’s a wise idea to resolve the wet basement problem prior to kicking off a basement remodeling project.

The best solution for solving a wet basement problem is to dig around the exterior of the home’s foundation and install a perimeter drain. In addition, the exterior foundation walls should be sealed. While at it, it’s also a good idea to install rigid foam insulation against the exterior foundation walls.

In addition to installing the perimeter drain also consider installing a sump pump in the basement to remove any water that still may percolate in between the basement slab and the foundation walls. Also, consider installing a dehumidifier to eliminate moisture that can wick through the basement concrete floor. Finally, make sure that the soil grade slopes away from the foundation walls and that all gutter downspouts direct water away from the home.

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