The Ultimate Guide for Basement Moisture Control

Totally Basements of Monmouth County provides a detailed guide for controlling moisture in your basement

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It is important to explore all options when the health and safety of your family relies upon keeping your basement free from moisture.

It begins with some easy and quick DIY fixes, but you still might find the moisture to be persistently problematic. Then what? The help of a professional ventilation system will be your best option. Totally Basements encourages you to follow the proper steps to reducing moisture while achieving that fresh (breathable) air!

Basement Moisture Control Problems

Besides that musty basement smell that can often be a seemingly never-ending issue, there are other problems that arise from moisture in your basement. Poor basement air ventilation can cause major issues that may cost you thousands of dollars to repair. If moisture is left to seep into the wooden structures of a building, the foundation will be damaged over time. Moisture in your basement also fosters the growth of black mold, a dangerous type of fungus that causes serious health problems like lung infection, sinusitis, allergic reactions, and eczema. It is even possible for children who are exposed to black mold to develop asthma. Wet basements can also cause insect infestation that can lead to structural damage of your home and various health concerns. Termites and other pests are drawn to dark, damp areas, and these bugs can quickly multiply to infestation levels in their ideal environment. There are several effective solutions to help reduce basement moisture. The best place to start is with your own two hands -- here are a few remedies you can do yourself to start controlling basement moisture at the root of the issue.


Check for and Repair Settlement Cracks

Cracks are bound to develop as homes settle into the foundation. If a settlement crack has developed, moisture can seep in when it rains or when snow melts. If cracks are caused by settlement, you can easily repair them with a cold chisel, patching cement and ready-mixed patching cement or expanding sealant.

Evaluate and Insulate Ducts

You need insulation around your ducts regardless of where you live. Uninsulated ducts can accumulate condensation, which add to excessive moisture in basements. To evalute your ducts, first consider the duct location. The greater the temperature difference between the air inside the duct and the air surrounding it, the greater your need for insulation. Since unheated basements are typically neither heated nor cooled, duct insulation can be crucial to reducing both moisture and heat loss in basements.

Extend Downspouts Away from the Home Foundation

One of the main sources of moisture in a basement is the roof. Water runoff from rain or snowmelt flows into downspouts, and if the downspouts are not far enough away from the foundation of the home, moisture can seep through the tiniest cracks and around basement window frames. Homeowners should extend downspouts at least six feet from the home to divert water runoff and reduce the amount that reaches the foundation.


A basement dehumidifier is a widely used option for keeping your basement dry. While the use of a dehumidifier is definitely better than no moisture control solution at all, it might end up as a somewhat ineffective solution in the long run. Before you make a purchase, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of a basement dehumidifier.

Benefits of a Basement Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air in order to maintain the level of humidity selected on the device. The purpose of a dehumidifier is to keep areas dry that are susceptible to moisture problems, help prevent mold growth, and maintain a more comfortable humidity level.

Limitations of a Basement Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers have their place in the home, but a large, typically unconditioned basement is not it. The biggest issue with these appliances is that they are usually too small to account for all of the air in your entire basement. If you need to size up in order to keep your entire basement dry, the cost of a dehumidifier can quickly get prohibitive.

Another problem with basement dehumidifiers is that they need to be cleaned regularly. Without consistent cleaning, mold can grow. Constant cleaning and emptying buckets of water can be a turn-off to busy homeowners.

Dehumidifiers are also limited in that they only control moisture. Other air quality problems, such as the presence of common pollutants like VOCs, carbon monoxide, and radon, are not controlled by a dehumidifier. As a result, the health of your family can still be at risk.

In addition, the devices can cost up to $90 per month to use, and the useful life of a dehumidifier tends to be very short. Some dehumidifiers last only about three months before a new one needs to be purchased.

The Basement Ventilation System Solution

While a dehumidifier controls moisture to an extent, the inefficiencies of the device make it an ineffective solution for both your wallet and the problem as a whole.

Basement ventilation is a key component to keeping your basement dry throughout the year. Truly effective ventilation systems will exhaust damp air out of your basement and replenish the area with cleaner, drier air from upstairs, helping maintain a level of humidity that is ideal for preventing mold growth and structural damage.

How the WAVE Ventilation System Works

The WAVE ventilation system first takes readings on humidity, temperature and dew point in your basement. It then draws high concentrations of odors, stagnant moisture, and indoor gases and pollutants from the lowest point in the room then expels them outside. The system replenishes those areas with warmer, drier air from the upper levels of your home. This fresh air raises the temperature of your basement, reduces relative humidity, and improves air quality. The WAVE ventilation system then ventilates the entire area with a continuous airflow, extracting excessive moisture and reducing growth of spores and pollutants. The end result is healthier, fresher air that benefits your entire home and family.

Basement Ventilation System Costs

As a savvy homeowner who cares about sticking to a budget, you may have concerns about the costs of a basement air ventilation system that are preventing you from making a purchase decision. After the initial cost of the ventilation system, you can expect to budget a low $3 per month to run the system.

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