In the process of converting my most recent fix and flip project, I encountered a detrimental and discouraging problem with the home. While the previous owner had taken the time and money to finish the basement space, it was no longer useable due to excess moisture. This problem had caused significant mildew issues, rendering the space non-longer inhabitable. Mold and mildew can cause lung issues and allergies galore, so I knew I must figure out how to fix this issue so the space could be redone and used as a great selling point for the property. Here are some tips for keeping your finished basement dry.
Consider Insulating Your Pipes
While many people are sure to insulate their hot water pipes, many do not consider the necessity of doing the same with cold water pipes. Insulation can do wonders to control or stop condensation altogether, significantly reducing moisture in your basement.
Take the Time to Seal
The ducts found within forced air systems are a sneaky culprit, often leaking conditioned air and allowing moisture out. If you desire to stop this issue the fix is simple, take the time to seal joints and holes within the ductwork. It is best to utilize duct mastic or metal duct tape to ensure a lasting, quality seal saving your basement from damaging moisture.
Outside moisture coming in through the foundation or walls of your basement can pose troublesome problems with moisture. In some areas, basements are particularly vulnerable to seasonal changes or long-term moisture problems. In such cases, it is often helpful to correct the source of the problem. For some easy fixes such as turning gutter downspouts facing away from the home and correcting other outdoor drainage issues can correct these problems. For more serious moisture issues, one may need to invest in a sump pump, or foundation drain and sump pit to fully correct the issue.
Look to the Most Obvious Solution
The most common solution to a moist basement is the addition of a dehumidifier. This solution is particularly helpful for those dealing with seasonal moisture issues. For those that require the continuous use of a dehumidifier, it may be necessary to find more permanent solutions as to avoid high electric bills.
In climates such as Colorado, simply opening windows and doors can be the solution to excess seasonal moisture. This is a great solution as dry climates boast of significantly less humidity than the basement is producing. Good ventilation can often correct a seasonal problem. If you happen to live in a humid climate this trick will not be as effective, possibly increasing the humidity and further perpetuating the problem.