Basements are extremely susceptible to retaining moisture and creating annoying problems that we’d rather not deal with. From dangerous molds to foundational issues, unwanted moisture can cause a lot of unnecessary work. If you’re vigilant when taking care of your basement, however, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. We’ve made a list of handy tips for maintaining a dry basement.

1. Seal Your Windows

Examine the frames of your windows for any potential leaks. It’s possible that the sill may become warped, which allows the water to easily seep through. Over time, the caulk around your windows may begin to crumble and break down. Fortunately, resealing your windows is a far more economical solution than having to completely replace them. A fresh caulk installation provides a helpful barrier between your basement and the outside world.

2. Maintain Humidity

The perfect indoor humidity level lies between 30-50%. Anything higher can cause an overabundance of condensation, while lower moisture levels make it too dry. Investing in a dehumidifier is one of the best things you can do for your basement. This can help maintain your basement’s humidity level and prevent mold growth.

3. Direct Outside Water Away from Your Home

If you find that your basement floor tends to be damp after every substantial rainfall, you may have a drainage problem. Ideally, your yard should level out in a way that directs water away from your home—this is grading. Grading will prevent troublesome standing water in your yard and your basement.

You can also use gutters to divert this water. However, a clogged gutter isn’t going to do you much good. If you find moisture in your basement despite properly planning out your landscape, clean out your gutters and see if this fixes the problem.

4. Replace Your Sump Pump

When all else fails, a sump pump may be the answer. Sometimes, you may find that your draining problems aren’t always episodic but are a consistent issue. This is where a sump pump comes in. A sump pump should catch the water as soon as it begins to flood your basement and directs it away from your home before any damage occurs. If you don’t have a sump pump, we recommend that you consider purchasing one. If you do have one but it hasn’t seemed to be working as it once did, it may be time to replace it.

5. Use Waterproof Paint

If you want to use waterproof paint, first make sure that you repair any pre-existing leaks. This paint will not repair any structural damage. However, once you successfully mend everything, waterproof paint is an excellent precautionary measure to take. This coating is cosmetically pleasing, and it will also protect your walls against water damage. When painting your walls, be sure to use two coats of this paint.

6. Install Exhaust Fans in Basement Bathrooms

This tip only applies to those with a bathroom in their basement. If your bathroom doesn’t already have an exhaust fan installed, you’ll want to get one. This fan is excellent for removing unwanted odors, but it’s also integral in preventing moisture buildup in your bathroom. Have you ever noticed how your mirrors fog up while you shower unless you turn on the fan? This isn’t only helpful for being able to see yourself when you’re getting ready for the day, it’s also necessary for aiding our health and safety.

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Zack Applehans