If your basement is perpetually wet, you probably have trouble with mold growth and humidity throughout your home. Luckily, drying your basement out may not be as difficult as you'd imagine. If you follow these steps, you should have a much dryer space.
1. Divert as much water as possible from the base of your home.
People often focus on waterproofing the inside of the basement, but in fact, you should pay attention to exterior waterproofing first. Make sure your yard is sloped away from your home's foundation so that water drains away from, rather than towards, your basement. You may need to have a landscaping company come make some modifications if the yard seems to slope towards your home. Also make sure your gutters are emptying a good distance -- at least two feet -- from your home's base. You may need to attach gutter extenders to some of your downspouts to encourage this.
2. Fill exterior cracks.
Next, look at any parts of your home's foundation that are exposed above ground. Do you see any cracks? If so, wait until a dry day and use silicone caulk to fill these cracks. The silicone will keep additional water from coming in.
3. Make sure your sump pump is working.
Now that the outside of your home is nicely waterproofed, it's time to focus on the inside. Make sure your sump pump is working. Test it by dumping a bucket of water into the pit. If the pump does not kick on, contact a plumber and have the pump either repaired or replaced.
4. Run a dehumidifier.
Now, plug in a portable dehumidifier. It will remove moisture from the air, helping to dry out the entire space. You may need to empty the bucket a few times per day at first until the moisture levels in your basement stabilize. Newer dehumidifiers allow you to select your preferred relative humidity. Between 45 and 55 percent is ideal for your basement.
5. Seal indoor cracks.
Once you have your dehumidifier and sump pump set up, it is time to seal cracks from the inside, out. You can do this with the same silicone caulk you used outside. Just squeeze a generous bead of caulk into the crack, smooth it with your finger or a caulking spatula, and let it dry.
For help waterproofing your basement, contact a foundation repair company. They will address both the inside and outside of your home.