How to make your basement dry again

Spring crocuses in melting snow

Spring is usually a happy time for most people, but for some it could start with trouble.  Springtime brings beautiful flowers and it also brings springtime thawing. Many people experience wet basements this time of year.  There might be an accumulation of frozen precipitation, ie. snow, on the ground, and as soon as the weather turns warm, the water looks for a place to go.  Unfortunately, for some people, this place is the basement.

Small waterfall in winter

There are many ways to help dry out your basement.  Sump pumps work great, keeping rising water at bay, but not everyone has a sump hole in their basement.  If you do, you can test the sump pump on a dry day by pouring water into the dump hole to see if the pump turns on when the water level rises.

Wet/Dry vacs or Shop Vacs work great with small flooded areas.  They work just like a vacuum cleaner and will suck the water into it’s holding container.  Be sure to only suck up an amount that you can easily carry out of your basement.  For heavily flooded areas, you can use a portable utility pump and hose to suck the water out into your yard.  You simply attach a hose to your pump, turn it on and toss the pump in the water.  Make sure the water is being pumped to a location that will not simply re-enter the basement.

After you remove all the water, you still need to remove the moisture from the air. A great choice is to use a dehumidifier.  Make sure you choose the size that is appropriate for your basement.  If you have a place to drain the water, like a sump hole, you can connect a hose to the dehumidifier so it drains continuously, and runs until the air reaches the target humidity.  Without a drain, you will need to empty the dehumidifiers’ bucket when it fills with water.  It may help to set a reminder to check your dehumidifier bucket every morning and evening.  The dehumidifier automatically shuts off when the bucket is full, so moisture will remain in the air unless the bucket is emptied regularly.

Another fun product is Damp Rid, which pulls moisture out of the air.  Damp Rid will remove moisture so that mold, mildew and odors do not form.  You simply open the container and put it on a shelf.  The Calcium Chloride crystals will harden and dissolve as they absorb moisture from the air.Screen Shot 2019-03-01 at 12.35.15 PM

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