how to get moisture out of basement

Learning how to get moisture out of your basement can help improve the integrity of your building and prevent health-related problems as well.

Moisture is always an irritating issue in basements.

It does not matter if your basement is unfinished, in progress, or complete; a damp or musty odor is unpleasant.

Now, the simple way to prevent moisture is with the use of a dehumidifier.

But, what if you want to know how to get moisture out of basement without dehumidifier?

To get the moisture out of your basement without a dehumidifier, you need to improve ventilation, use a sump pump, fix any leaks, and use moisture barriers. 

How to Get Moisture Out of Basement without a Dehumidifier?

When it comes to fixing the moisture problem in your basement, using a dehumidifier is your first option.

a basement with moisture

But, if you do not want to rely on it, there are more than enough ways to get things done.

For instance:

  • Improve Ventilation
  • Utilize a Sump Pump
  • Find and Fix Leaks
  • Try a Moisture Barrier
  • Fix the Heating Ducts
  • Try Moisture-Absorbing Materials
  • Take Care of Gutters and Downspouts
  • Keep Your Basement Clean

Let’s talk more about all these solutions to better understand why they truly matter.

Tip: Keep in mind that uninsulated rim joists are a significant energy drain, so they should be insulated and sealed.

Improve Ventilation in the Basement

Without focusing on improving ventilation, you just cannot get the moisture out of the basement.

Thankfully, you can do it in many different ways.

For starters, consider installing exhaust fans because they work great in removing stale air and moisture from your basement.

improve ventilation in the basement

Similarly, keeping doors and windows open will directly improve ventilation in your basement.

Additionally, you can invest in a basement window fan to ensure that the air circulates better within the confines of your basement. 

And to take it further, you can opt for a ventilation system, such as air ducts or an air exchanger to quickly improve the air quality in the basement.

Surely, you can do a number of things to improve ventilation, but be sure to avoid the following mistakes:

  • Never end up blocking vents, as it can quickly impede airflow.
  • Be careful about insulation because going overboard can reduce ventilation.
  • Never ignore any leaks in the walls or foundation of your basement.
  • Never close the basement windows or doors for an extended time. 

Utilize a Sump Pump

Using a sump pump becomes a feasible option when your basement is already prone to flooding and has excess water and moisture buildup.

The basement of a house typically has a sump pump installed to drain any standing water or dampness.

They are especially useful in situations when your property is in an area with a high water table.

sump pump installation

The system functions by draining water into a sump pit, which is a basin sunk into the basement floor. 

The water is drained from the sump pit and away from the house, usually into the sewage system.

And this significantly improves the humidity levels by getting rid of excess water and moisture.

Tip: Plastic drainage mats, also known as dimple mats, are great for better air circulation under the basement flooring and serve as a moisture barrier when utilized. 

Find and Fix Leaks

It is crucial to inspect your basement for leaks in order to avoid mold and mildew and costly repairs caused by water seepage.

If you notice any signs of discoloration on the ceilings, walls, and floors, with any musty odors, you probably have leaks in your basement. 

How to Find and Fix Leaks?

how to find and fix leaks

Check the basement’s floors and walls for openings that could let water in.

It is a good idea to check for holes in inaccessible places with the use of a flashlight.

The next step is to look for water stains or damp areas around pipes to see if there is a leak.

Check for water wastage by observing the condition of the plumbing for leaky faucets and flushing toilets that are not in use.     

You should also pay attention to the frames of your doors and windows in the basement.

If you notice any signs of leaks, be sure to seal them quickly to prevent damage.

Tip: Try placing electric heating mats on the floor of your basement, which will also address the moisture issue. 

Try a Moisture Barrier

Using a moisture barrier is another wonderful alternative to a dehumidifier if you need to dry out your basement.

If you seal the basement walls or install a vapor barrier, you can stop water from seeping in through the foundation.

And with this, a basement’s potential for mold and mildew growth is reduced over time.

Also, it enhances general air quality and reduces the risk of respiratory disorders and other severe health problems.

Moreover, a robust vapor barrier will prevent moisture from entering your basement, and it will also help you save money on your utility bills. 

Fix the Heating Ducts

cleaning of heating ducts

A drainage system should not be left at an unreasonably high level if heating ducts are put underneath the floor slab of your basement.

You have to understand that when water is left to pool inside the ductwork, mold can easily grow, which can have disastrous health effects.

It is important that if any heating ducts are installed below the basement floor, they should be:

  • Properly insulated
  • Sealed against water seepage
  • Slanted toward catch basins for easy maintenance and cleaning

Under the ductwork, you can put a drain tile and some coarse aggregate to further enhance its performance. 

Try Moisture-Absorbing Material

Desiccants, which are made to draw out moisture from the air, are a reliable option.

And you can always go with activated charcoal and silica gel, as they are two common moisture-absorbing items you can use to keep your basement dry.

The following are some common desiccants:

  • Activated alumina
  • Silica gel
  • Molecular sieves 
silica gel as absorbing material

You can acquire these in small packets and scatter them all over the basement.

Yet, if you would rather not, calcium chloride is another option.

Calcium chloride, which can be purchased as crystals or pellets in a bag, serves the same purpose by scavenging any humidity from the surrounding air.

Moreover, baking soda is also an effective natural dehumidifier that you may use in your basement. 

Take Care of Gutters and Downspouts

downspout near drainage

Water flows toward the perimeter of a foundation if there are no gutters or downspouts to divert it away from the structure.

There is nothing worse than a downspout that ends in a puddle because it lacks an extension.

It collects all the rainwater on the roof and deposits it in a small area close to the basement.

How do you fix it? Well, you have to do a number of things.

For instance:

  • Install one downspout for every 50 feet of eave
  • Any water output from an extension must go out at least 4 feet from the wall.
  • Make use of concrete walkways with a downward slope around basements 

Keep Your Basement Clean

keep your basement clean

Keeping your basement clean is essential, and the most important thing is to prevent any standing water in there.

You can get a vacuum pump to eliminate any standing water in your basement.

Remember, ignoring any excess water would quickly lead to the growth of mold and other moisture-related problems.

Similarly, it is essential to remove and properly dispose of any clothing or cardboard boxes that have been moist in your basement.

Mold and mildew can grow and spread in the damp conditions provided by these things. And finally, do not let any spills sit on the floor for long enough.

Ideally, you should clean it all up immediately to ensure you do not end up dealing with any moisture buildup. 

All you have to do is to use your regular towels or a mop to clean any leaks or spills.

Any Important Consideration

It is worth noting that while these techniques are helpful, a dehumidifier is usually the best option for managing basement humidity.

Dehumidifiers and expert assistance are viable options if excessive humidity is a problem.

Tip: Before selecting the best basement flooring, take your time and carefully examine your unique situations and existing humidity levels. 


basement construction

Learning how to get moisture out of basement is essential to keep your space in the best condition.

Never ignore leaks and spills, keep windows open, address plumbing issues, and see a specialist if the basement has excessive dampness.

Unless you take a proactive approach, things will quickly spiral out of control and leave you with a big repair bill.