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Basement is the most utilisable yet the most overlooked area of your house. The basement can be turned into an extra room or can be used as a storage space for extra things that you can`t afford to get rid of. No matter how you decide to utilise the area, it is a must that you keep the basement clean and dry. Moisture in the basement can cause structural damage or damage the things stored inside it. The dampness in the basement leads to growth of mould, mildew and fungus and can also cause several health problems.
In order to keep the basement clean and dry, here are a few things that you can consider doing:
Installation of gutters and downspouts
Flooding caused due to heavy rain or melting snow can make the basement damp, hence it is a must that you install gutters and downspouts to direct the water away from the foundation structure. The downspouts must be installed at least 5-feet away from the main structure to ensure there is no water damage. Also make sure the gutters are clean so that water can flow out easily.
Use water proof paint
Humidity inside the house often condenses on the cold surfaces such as the walls and causes the walls to weep. For instance, if you dry your clothes in the basement, the moisture from the clothes adds to the humidity and the amount of moisture increases. To prevent the walls from coming in contact with moisture, paint them with a water proof paint. In case the walls have already been painted, re-touch the damaged areas with water proof paint to keep the walls safe.
Use a dehumidifier
If the basement has been flooded or there is excess humidity in the area, you can use a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier absorbs the excess moisture from the space making the area dry. Therefore, you can first dehumidify the area and then paint the walls to make sure there is no internal damage. Make sure the excess moisture is expelled through the floor drain. You may consider hiring a dehumidifier from a local tools and equipment rental shop, if you need it temporarily.
If you have cold pipes running through the basement, then the condensation dripping can contribute to the water problems. Hence by insulating the cold pipes with help of foam pipe insulations you can prevent the condensation dripping. Foam pipe insulations are easily available and can be installed easily.
Proper ventilation is a must in order to keep the basement clean and dry. If the basement has not been used for a long time, you can consider using an air scrubber to purify the air and get rid of the bad odour. Remember, water and moisture can severely damage the foundation posing risk to the entire structure; hence it is a must that you try and keep the basement dry. It is a must that you maintain the basement, whether you use it or not.