12 Tips to prevent basement condensation

July 28, 2015

Basements can get pretty damp, but with these 12 tips about waterproofing and venting, you'll get your basement dry in no time! 

12 Tips to prevent basement condensation

1. Increase ventilation

  • Increase the ventilation in the basement by closing windows in hot, humid weather and opening them in cool, dry weather. Use a fan to keep the air moving.

2. Install a dehumidifier

  • To dry the air, use a dehumidifier. Even a small roll-around model will remove litres (quarts) of water.
  • Attach a plastic tube so that the water it collects goes directly into the basement drain.

3. Insulate sweating pipes

  • Insulate with self-sticking, foam insulating tape or pre-slit foam sleeves. Fix any leaky plumbing connections.

4. Vent clothes dryers

  • Vent to the outside. Make sure bathroom and laundry room moisture is vented to the outside; install an exhaust fan if there isn't one.

5. Repair gutters and downspouts

  • Repair gutters and downspouts and make sure roof runoff is not accumulating next to the foundation.
  • Use splash blocks and downspout extensions to carry water away from the house.

6. Waterproof basement walls

  • Waterproof with a crystalline waterproofing material (CWM).

7. Thin out foundation foliage

  • Thin out foliage and organic mulch that keep the ground next to the house from drying out after a rainfall.

8. Inspect sump pumps

  • If you have a sump pump, inspect and make sure it is functioning.

9. Caulk leaky joints

Caulk any leaky joints between walls and doors or windows and around floor drains — and make sure the drains are not blocked

10. Don't pile snow against outside walls

  • Don't leave snow lying against walls or let it accumulate there or in basement window wells.
  • If you get a lot of snow, install window-wellcovers — clear plastic bubbles that let in light but not rain or snow.

11. Check for cracks or holes

Check for cracks and holes in basement walls and repair them before they get worse.

12. Ditching the efflorescence

  • The white powder that sometimes accumulates on the concrete walls or floor of a basement is efflorescence, soluble salts that remain when water seeps through concrete and evaporates.
  • Clean it off with a rigid, nylon-bristled brush or a wet rag or mop.
  • If it returns, you may need to waterproof your basement walls.
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