How to Fix a Damp Basement

A damp basement is no laughing matter. In fact, it can be a very dangerous condition regardless of whether you have an old or new home. The dampness in the basement can cause a number of problems that will eventually ruin not only your home plumbing system, but may also degrade the foundation of your home. What can you do to fix a damp basement? Here are some things that you can try.


Is your home sitting on poor-draining soil? This type of soil is usually clay, which means that it will remain damp most of the time. Since the problem exists with the soil, no number of downspouts can prevent the potential accumulation of water in your basement resulting in a damp interior.

For this kind of problem, damp-proofing is normally the most effective solution for this kind of dampness. This is done on the exterior of the foundation with the installation of basement slabs that will prevent this condition. Older homes usually do not have this type of damp-proofing. Until you have your basement damp-proofing installed, you can buy a humidifier for roughly about $220 to $450 to allow you to control basement dampness.

Under the Slab Drainage System

Is your home encountering episodic dampness? Meaning dampness usually occurs when there is moderate to heavy downpour. When this happens the walls and floors would usually become damp with water seeping through cracks. One of the most effective ways to deal with this type of dampness is to have a drainage system installed under the concrete slab. This helps to alleviate the significant pressure exerted by the water against the basement walls.

This long-term solution makes use of corrugated pipes made from plastic to relieve the water pressure. The drain tile collects the water entering the basement before channeling it to the sump pit and discharging it away from your home. Installation must be done by a professional and would normally set you back around $25 to $35 per foot of tile. This by far is one of the most effective ways to combat basement dampness regardless the cause.

Drain Tile

Do you have a new home? If so, then by all probability, your contractor may have already installed a drain tile around the exterior foundation of your home. This may have even be augmented with damp-proofing to ensure that your basement or the exterior wall of your crawlspaces remain dry. The area should have been backfilled for good measure and to preserve the damp-proofing.

However, if you have an older home, the possibility of having a drain tile would be small to none. The good news is that you can still have this put in to ensure that dampness in your basement does not become a problem. But, at this point, a lot of work has to be done because of the existing foundation work and whatever things you have around like flowers or shrubs for example. This means that this preventive measure can be quite expensive for existing homes, but ideal for homes to be built.

Drainage Channel

Does water enter the basement through cracks in the masonry or concrete walls? Is the dampness isolated to the walls and does not affect the floor? If this is the condition of your basement, then the solution for you is to have a drainage channel installed.

The drainage channel runs along the wall above the basement floor or just on top of the footing if you have masonry walls. This solutions collect water and drains it into the sump pit where it is discharged properly. This comparatively cheap method is a bit less effective because it allows water to enter the basement before it is drained rather than preventing it from entering.

These are just a few of the ways how you can fix a damp basement problem. To explore more options available for your property, consult a professional like Scott English Plumbing immediately and have your plumbing system checked regularly.