Controlling Humidity Levels In A Basement


Basement humidity is one of the more frustrating problems faced by homeowners. This is a cool, dark spot in the home, and moisture isn't going to disappear easily from the space without some help. Controlling humidity levels in a basement takes multiple strategies, but they are all doable.

Direct Humidity Control

A dehumidifier and some humidity-control packets are essential. You can have the dehumidifier built-in to your home, or you can use portable dehumidifiers; just remember to empty the reservoirs on the portable ones so that they continue to work. Central air and heat also have secondary dehumidifying effects, but you need a separate dehumidifier that you can use on days when the air conditioning and heating aren't needed.

Those humidity-control packets are usually in the form of small pouches or buckets that hold a granular substance that absorbs moisture from the air. They work in enclosed spaces, and the granules turn to liquid as more moisture is absorbed. They do need to be replaced, but the companies that make them often have inexpensive refill packages available.

Ventilation Control

Good airflow keeps that moist air moving and doesn't give condensation a fighting chance. Your basement should have windows and vents; when you're down in the basement, for example, open the windows to get a cross-breeze going.

Year-Round Temperature Control

Humidity itself can make the basement feel uncomfortable, but if the temperature is too hot or too cold, then condensation can form and lead to mold formation. By keeping the basement at least minimally warm and reasonably cool, you prevent a lot of that condensation from forming. Of course, you can't have your heating and cooling on all the time, so you may want to isolate the heating and cooling in the basement into their own zone or give the basement its own wall unit with a programmable thermostat.

Source Control

And last, you need to control the source of the moisture if you can. There's nothing you can do about the humid weather, but if you find, for example, that poor drainage in your yard is sending water towards unwaterproofed basement walls, add waterproofing and fix the drainage.

When you have a new basement constructed, you can have the heating, cooling, dehumidification, and ventilation all constructed specifically to help the basement stay dry. Work with the contractors you've hired to seek out all possible issues that could cause humidity, and install features that will reduce that damp air.

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8 July 2018

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