Keeping your basement dry is essential to preventing water damage and maintaining a healthy environment.
However, using a humidifier to achieve this can be impractical and expensive. There are several ways to keep your basement dry without using a humidifier.
To keep your basement dry without a dehumidifier you can try to:
- ensure that the foundation and walls are in good condition and have no cracks or leaks
- seal any openings around pipes, windows, and doors
- install a ventilation system
- add insulation
- invest in some plants that absorb moisture
- get a fan or ceiling fan
- open windows occasionally
- install a sump pump
- use baking soda and silica gel
Read on to see why your basement gets humid and how you can keep it dry without a dehumidifier.
5 Reasons Why Your Basement Gets Humid
1. Lack of insulation in the basement walls and floor
If your basement isn’t properly insulated, then the warm air from your home will escape into the basement and cause the humidity levels to rise.
This is because warm air holds more moisture than cold air, so when it comes into contact with the cooler basement walls and floor, the moisture will condense and create humidity.
2. Leaky pipes or windows
If there are any leaks in the pipes or windows in your basement, moisture can seep in and cause the humidity levels to rise.
3. Poor ventilation system
If your basement doesn’t have any vents, the air will become stagnant and humid.
This is because the air will have nowhere to go and absorb the moisture from the basement walls, floor, and objects.
4. You have a humidifier running in your home, adding moisture to the air
If you have a humidifier running in your home, likely, the humidity levels in your basement are also high.
This is because the humidifier is adding moisture to the air, which will cause the humidity levels to rise.
5. Your home is in a damp climate
If you live in a climate that’s known for being moist and humid, then it’s likely that the humidity levels in your basement are also high.
This is because the air in your home will be constantly saturated with moisture, which will cause the humidity levels to rise.
9 Ways to Keep Your Basement Dry Without a Dehumidifier
1. Add insulation to the basement walls and floor
If your basement isn’t adequately insulated, adding insulation can help keep the humidity levels down.
Insulation helps keep the warm air in your home from escaping into the basement, which will prevent the humidity levels from rising.
2. Seal any leaks in the pipes or windows
If there are any leaks in the pipes or windows in your basement, then sealing them can help to keep the humidity levels down.
3. Install a ventilation system
If your basement doesn’t have any vents, then installing a ventilation system can help to keep the humidity levels down. A ventilation system will allow the air to circulate, which will prevent the air from becoming stagnant and humid.
4. Install a sump pump
A sump pump is a device installed in the lowest part of your basement, and it helps to pump out any water that has accumulated.
5. Set a few moisture-absorbent plants in the basement
If you have some moisture-absorbent plants in your basement, it can help keep the humidity levels down.
Pplants absorb the moisture from the air, which will help to keep the humidity levels down.
Best plants that absorb moisture:
- Aloe Vera
- Spider plant
- Boston fern
- Snake plant
6. Open the windows occasionally to let fresh air in
If you open the windows occasionally, it will allow fresh air to enter the basement and help to lower the humidity levels.
7. Use a fan to circulate the air
Using a fan to circulate the air in your basement will help make it feel cooler.
A fan will help spread the air and prevent the air from becoming stagnant but won’t actually reduce the humidity levels.
You can either use a pedestal fan or install a ceiling fan if your basement is set up to do this. If you don’t, then the best box fan can come in handy.
8. Use Baking Soda
If you’re finding that the humidity levels in your basement are still high, even after trying some of the methods mentioned above, you can try using baking soda.
Baking soda is a desiccant, which means it absorbs moisture from the air.
You can spread it out on a tray and place it in your basement to help absorb any moisture in the air.
9. Use Silica Gel Packs
If you’re finding that the humidity levels in your basement are still high, even after trying some of the methods mentioned above, you can try using silica gel packs.
Silica gel packs are a type of desiccant that absorbs moisture from the air. You can place them in your basement to help by absorbing moisture.
Do You Need a Dehumidifier in a Finished Basement?
A dehumidifier is not always necessary in a finished basement, but it can help to keep the humidity levels down.
A dehumidifier will extract the moisture from the air, which will keep the humidity levels from rising.
If the humidity levels in your basement are high, then a dehumidifier can help keep them down. But if the humidity levels are low, you likely won’t need a dehumidifier.
Are There Disadvantages of a Dehumidifier?
Dehumidifiers can use a lot of electricity, which can add up on your electric bill.
Another disadvantage is that they can be noisy, and some people find the noise disruptive.
Dehumidifiers can also produce a lot of heat, making the basement feel warmer than it is. I
f the dehumidifier is not maintained correctly, it can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew.
Another option is to get an air conditioner for your basement which will help dehumidify your basement.
What Humidity Should Your Basement Be?
The ideal humidity level for an unfinished basement is between 30 and 50 percent.
A lower humidity level can lead to mold and mildew growth, and a higher humidity level can make the air feel stuffy and uncomfortable.
If the humidity level in your basement is above 50 percent, you will want to use a dehumidifier to make your living space more comfortable
Signs Your Your Basement is Too Humid
If the humidity level in your basement is too high, you may experience several symptoms, such as:
- A stuffy feeling in the air
- Mold and mildew growth
- Condensation on windows and pipes
- Peeling paint
- Wallpaper that is bubbling or coming off the walls
- Wood that is warping or splitting
- Musty odors
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s essential to take action to lower the humidity level in your basement. Otherwise, the problems will only get worse over time.
When Should You Consider Hiring an HVAC Professional?
If you’re having trouble keeping the humidity levels down in your basement, you may want to consider hiring an HVAC professional. They will assess the situation and recommend the best course of action.
In some cases, they may even be able to install a dehumidifier for you. They can also install a ventilation system or help you seal leaky areas.