How to Control Basement Floor Moisture

What You'll Need
Caulk gun
Wire brush
Foam sealant
Silicone caulk

A basement which accumulates moisture on its floor can be a serious problem. The cause of moisture is usually air leakage. The moisture is likely to transfer itself to a lower compartment of the house through wall cracks in the foundations or through penetrations in the pipes. First you need to solve the leaks to avoid further moisture, then get rid of the existent moisture by utilizing a dehumidifier.

Step 1 – Installing the Foam Sealant

Start the project by sealing doors and windows with foam sealant. Make sure that these windows and doors lead to the outside. Read carefully the manufacturer’s directions and cover all gaps in the frames of the doors and windows. Keep in mind that the foam will reduce the transfer of moisture and it will also prevent cold air from entering into your basement area during winter.

Step 2 – Using the Silicone Caulk

Use the silicone caulk to seal all penetrations in the pipes which enter into the basement space. Now use your wire brush to scrape any debris around the perimeter of the pipes so that the caulk will stick better to the walls of the basement. Remember that preventing air leaks from the walls will also prevent moisture from accumulating on the floor. Install the caulk around all windows and doors in the basement.

Step 3 – Sealing the Basement Floor

Now seal the perimeter of the basement floor with caulk. Remember to seal carefully every meeting point between the walls and the floor. There may be a crack in the joint and this will help moisture to pass through. Now install some caulk between the wood sill plate’s surface and the upper side of the foundation wall.

Keep in mind that when your home was built, the builders should have put sealant beneath the wood sill plate. If not, cracks can develop as time passes, allowing moisture to pass through easily.

Step 4 – Installing a Dehumidifier

Purchase a new dehumidifier and install it inside your basement. Before you buy the dehumidifier, make sure that it is manufactured especially for basements. This is due to the fact that a basement dehumidifier works at a temperature which is lower than that of a normal home dehumidifier. The aim of a basement dehumidifier is to absorb moisture which still dwells within your basement area.

Remember that you can coat the floor of a basement with sealant only if you have found and fixed the cause of moisture. You may need to buy and install a sump pump if you have problems with water in your basement, which may be due to thawing of snow or heavy rainfall.

Make sure that you follow carefully all local construction regulations when you are about to install a permanent drain system in your basement. In some areas, you may need a special permit  to do this work, which may be due to the alterations to the home's foundation.