How to Dry Out a Basement: A Comprehensive GuideDaniel Savoury
For homes and businesses with a basement or cellar, dampness can have a pernicious effect on the structure of the building and on the health of anyone who lives or works in these areas. Dampness occurs because the basement or cellar is below the ground level and in proximity to the soil. It is the result of:
- Water seepage due to the fact that basements are usually below the water table. When the ground is saturated, water can seep through cracks in the bricks.
- Flooding from heavy rain – when the ground is already saturated the water has nowhere else to go and will enter any space it can.
- Old construction materials like bricks and mortar which are cracked and are not capable of repelling water anymore.
- Lack of ventilation – due to the position of these areas, no ventilation is usually possible since there are no windows.
In this post, we will look at how we can dry out a basement and also how to prevent it from happening again.
What can you do to dry out a basement?
There are steps to be followed to help you solve the problem permanently.
- Firstly, it is important to identify the source of the water. This is important so that the problem won’t reoccur once the basement is dry. If it is from excessive rain and poor drainage, then we know that this can reoccur anytime. Is there a problem with blocked drains or gutters or old and inadequate drains? These should be addressed if that is the case. Are there activities occurring in the basement that could cause excessive humidity? For example, a tumble dryer operating or clothes drying on a rack? With no ventilation, moisture can cling to surfaces and mould can form.
- Clear the area by removing all items of furniture and any other belongings. These could already be damaged but it is important to have the area cleared to begin drying. It is advisable to take extra care with electrical items that are removed from the area as these may be damp and could be a danger.
- Hire a dehumidifier to remove the moisture. These are really effective at drying out rooms. Hiring is an economical way to dry out the area because once the problem has been fixed, the dehumidifier can be handed back to the provider. Dehumidifiers can be hired in domestic or industrial sizes depending on the area needing to be dried.
- Once the area is free of moisture, it is time to think about waterproofing the basement to prevent further leakage and problems. Any visible cracks should be fixed but to solve the problem permanently, wall tanking the basement is recommended. This involves adding a waterproof membrane or coating to the walls which creates a barrier to the moisture. This will be a permanent fix and the room can then be used again – damp-free and dry.
- If the problem has occurred because of drying activities or related to the lack of ventilation, it may be wise to consider buying a dehumidifier as a permanent solution. The cost of running a dehumidifier is low and so is a good solution for using the room as you desire.
We have had many of our customers hire our dehumidifiers exactly for this type of problem. The list of businesses that have hired our dehumidifiers is long. Pubs, retail outlets, record storage, medical practices e.g. dental, physiotherapy, sports injuries clinics, cosmetic surgery consultation rooms, chiropractors, podiatry, aesthetics and beauty clinics, food kiosks, and restaurant food storage. Our sales team can recommend the best dehumidifier for your premises.
If you have found yourself with a damp problem in your basement or cellar, these steps will help solve the problem and provide you with peace of mind.