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How To Remove Moisture From A Basement




Harlan A. from Nashville, TN wrote:

Hi Itchy,

My basement walls are damp in the summer. I want to insulate the basement but not until I get this problem fixed. How do I go about controlling the moisture in my basement?

You're right, you want to remove the moisture from the basement before insulating and putting up drywall. There would be nothing worse than having to remove the insulation and drywall because it was ruined.

The first thing you need to do is inspect the basement. Grab a flashlight and check the walls. You want to look for wet areas and cracks and make sure the water is coming from the outside and not the inside, such as a leaky water pipe from above.

Before you seal the basement walls you need to fix the drainage problem. This is usually done from the exterior of the house. The first thing I would check is your gutter system. Is the downspout draining away from the house? If not you should make sure it's not draining too close to the home.


Sometimes moisture can be caused from clothes dryers, cooking or humidifiers. If this is the case the basement should be ventilated with air conditioning or a dehumidifier.

If the moisture is not coming from one of the above situations you're looking at installing an exterior or interior drainage system. Unfortunately this can get costly and I would recommend hiring a professional.

Once you have located and fixed the source of the moisture entering into the basement you should seal the basement walls. Make sure the basement is well ventilated, using fans if necessary and remove any mold with muriatic acid. After it has dried you should seal the walls with a good waterproofer.

Related Tips and Advice:

How To Prepare Your Basement For Insulation
How To Insulate Basement Walls
How To Frame And Insulate Basement Walls

How To Insulate A Concrete Wall


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