Flooding is a homeowner’s worst nightmare. The two or so feet of floodwater that collects in your basement can ruin your belongings and foster many problems. While a dehumidifier does a great job at drying up your basement after flooding, it does not address the root problem, which in this case is the flooding itself.
But before deciding on whether a dehumidifier is worth the effort for your basement or not, it is a good idea to understand how they work and what purpose they serve in the home.
What Is a Dehumidifier?
A dehumidifier is an appliance specially designed to regulate moisture levels in the basement. It draws moisture from the air, condenses it, and safely takes it out, making the internal condition less humid. By doing so, it prevents a range of problems that can trigger rotting, structural damage, and health issues like asthma. A dehumidifier works to:
- Eliminate Common Allergy Triggers: A dark, humid environment like the basement provides the perfect breeding ground for allergens like mold, mildew, and dust mites. A dehumidifier works to decrease the level of humidity in your basement, making it less attractive to these microorganisms.
- Improve Air Quality: Your dehumidifier reduces the humidity level in your basement and can clean and filter the air, making your home more habitable for you and your loved ones.
- Protect Your Home: A humid basement can negatively impact the underlying structure of your home. If not moderated, moisture can cause wooden frames and beams to warp or crack over time. A dehumidifier helps maintain proper levels of humidity, which is essential in promoting a healthy basement and home.
- Reduce Energy Consumption: When the humidity in your home increases, the HVAC system has to work harder to keep your indoors dry and comfortable. Using a humidifier lightens the load on your HVAC, extending its life span and reducing monthly energy costs.
Is A Dehumidifier Effective in Keeping Your Basement Dry?
Unfortunately, even the most powerful dehumidifier will not prevent your basement from flooding. A dehumidifier only works to clear moisture buildup around the basement, creating a drier environment that naturally discourages mold growth.
Without proper waterproofing, moisture will always find a way to get into your basement, your dehumidifier notwithstanding. Consider the following when waterproofing the basement:
- Accurately grading your yard. How your yard slopes contributes significantly to your basement flooding issues. Depending on your specific landscaping issues, you will need to regrade it or install an interior drainage system.
- Add interior drainage. If you are dealing with persistent leaking, you’ll need a reliable interior drainage system. The reliable BasementGutter™ is specially designed to sit in the sub-floor and atop the footing throughout the basement’s perimeter to collect leaking water from the walls and floor. It is best to pair this system with the next item on the list.
- Installing a sump pump. This device removes any floodwater that is intercepted by the interior drainage system by pumping it out of your basement and away from your home through discharge pipes. This helps prevent any water damage from occurring.
- Sealing your windows. Inspect your windows for any potential leaks. Check to see whether there are any warped sills that might be allowing moisture to seep through. If this is the case, consider resealing the windows. For a long-term solution, we highly recommend installing window well covers. They work wonders in assisting with waterproofing your basement while keeping it bright and airy.
- Sealing cracks. Regularly inspect your foundation walls for cracks and have them sealed by a professional waterproofing contractor in Springfield, MO. Depending on the severity of the cracks and any other damage to the walls, other foundation repair methods may need to be used.
- Maintaining your gutters and downspouts. A blocked gutter pushes water down the siding right into the perimeter of your home. When water collects around the foundation walls, it can enter your basement through cracks and faults. Ideally, you want your gutters cleaned at least twice every year, once in spring and once in autumn. Also make sure your gutters and downspouts correctly align, and that the downspout lines are angled down and away from your foundation walls, or are properly installed in the ground.
A dehumidifier is a useful addition to your home as far as moisture control is concerned, but it’s not the be-all and end-all of basement waterproofing. You still have to implement other measures to create a clean, mold-free, and fresh basement. We urge you to invest in a proper, comprehensive basement waterproofing system that not only includes a dehumidifier but interior drainage and a sump pump as well.
Need help waterproofing your basement in Springfield, Kansas City or St. Louis? Get in touch with us for professional basement repairs and waterproofing services. We provide free basement waterproofing inspections and quotes to homeowners. A highly trained and dedicated team is just a call away and can help you resolve any problems that might harm your basement.