How to keep basement dry without dehumidifier?

Our expert tips on how to keep basement dry naturally.

A home that encounters any form of humidity problem is always in trouble. You need timely intervention to remove the root cause of the issue and reduce humidity levels. If you have a wet basement or warm humid air constantly hanging over your basement area, it is important to look into the humidity problem to prevent moisture from seeping deep into the basement walls, floors, and other areas.

You can identify wet basements by a distinct smell, mold and mildew growth, wet wood, damp basement concrete floors, poor quality in indoor air, etc. Wet basements or water-logged crawl space is a huge cause of concern on any given day. You must act upon them by finding a way to absorb moisture from the warm humid air. It can be by using a suitable basement dehumidifier unit that absorbs moisture from the wet air, or by learning how to keep the basement dry without dehumidifier.

Maintaining a dry basement is possible by just filling up all the cracks, being willing to increase air circulation, fixing poor ventilation, and employing methods to have proper ventilation, etc. These can be some of the best ways to tackle the humidity problems in basements without a dehumidifier. Let us learn more about the different methods by which this can be done.

Why are basements humid?

how to keep basement dry without dehumidifier

You might be already aware of the fact that wet basements are not new. Air infiltration into basements happens quickly. There can be different sources of moisture that lead to a wet basement and the resulting moisture problem from it. Here is why most basements face the constant need to control humidity.

The first and foremost reason why you have a wet basement is because it lies below the grade or the ground. It is in high proximity to the underground water, moist air, drainage system, etc. These are the main reasons why basements are filled with high humidity levels in comparison to the rest of the home, and that is why a piece of regular advice that says ‘Just fill cracks and you are done!’, will not work for the situation.

Excess moisture that comes into your basements comes as majorly liquid water through rain and through groundwater. There are also internal activities that lead to excess moisture build-up in the air. Outside air that is humid and damp can also easily get into your basements. These are the reasons why basements find the need to remove humidity more than any other place in a home.

How to find the source of moisture in my basement?

Excess water or excess moisture will always have a source. Solving the moisture problem can be done only by identifying the source as the first step.

What is the best way to dehumidify a basement without a dehumidifier?

Almost every homeowner is on the lookout for a simple single way to reduce humidity level in their basement without a dehumidifier. Well, although this is possible, it can be challenging. Sometimes weather permitting, these techniques might work, other times when the excess water content in the basement and the humidity problem has gotten out of hand, a natural dehumidifier might not be able to achieve what an actual device can do for your basement.

Nevertheless, there is more than one method to reduce humidity naturally. Let us learn about ‘How to keep the basement dry without dehumidifier’ in detail.

What are the natural ways to dehumidify your house?

There are many ways to absorb moisture from the air naturally without a dehumidifier. You will either be preventing excess humidity build-up or you find a natural dehumidifier that absorbs moisture effectively. Remember, a very humid climate can be a challenging situation to control humidity or control moisture naturally. But you can try these ways to prevent more humid air from being added to the environment.

Ventilate

One of the instantaneous responses we get when we are in the midst of warmer air is to look for ventilation. Poor ventilation is a major contributor to high humidity. Most times air conditioning is used as a temporary resort to create a colder room and mask the very humid climate. But cooler air will not reduce the humidity levels for you in any way. Here is how you can handle excess humidity naturally with proper ventilation.

Open out the windows

If you have basement windows you can open them out under weather permitting conditions. Basement windows can help to improve air circulation. However, you must remember that the windows must be intact free from cracks or leaks. If not, all the cracks in the windows themselves might become a reason for excess water from rain or humid air infiltration into the room.

Installing a fan

Fans for ventilation

When there is more humid air than usual you should definitely try using a fan in combination with other methods. Although this cannot absorb moisture from the indoor air, the air flow will help to ease the high humidity level (similar to a good bathroom fan). Installing a floor fan or a ceiling fan in the basement must help you with this.

You can use the fan at low speed (to save electricity), and leave it on as long as you prefer. The fan will circulate the indoor air, along with the humid air within the room. This will help the absorbents catch the moisture. Running a fan with the windows opened will push the humid air out of the basement, thereby helping you to handle the humidity problem naturally.

Air conditioners

Air conditioning in the basement can help you to handle excess humidity without dehumidifier. Air conditioners are devices that can alter the room temperature for you and give you the impression of reduced humidity levels, although they do not remove excess moisture deliberately.

Showers

A steam shower puts the bathroom under the threat of increased humidity. You can consider having natural dehumidifiers in the hot shower area to handle this effectively.

Moisture absorbents

1. Plants that absorb moisture

The good news is that there are entirely natural methods to handle the humidity problem in your home; like using specific plant varieties that absorb moisture. You must remember not all plants will work on the warm air in a room to take off the excess water content from the air and reduce humidity. Some plant varieties will shoot up the humidity level on the contrary. However, there are a few types that will help you a great deal. Having these plants indoors will help you control moisture or moist air without a dehumidifier to an extent.
Peace lily, Reed palm, Boston fern, and different cactus species are the best among these. Each of these plants leaves moisture accumulation to be taken care of by their function. They are easy to maintain and also look decorative indoors.

2. Silica Gel

silica gel

One of the most popular and readily available moisture absorbents is Silica gel. This desiccant absorbs moisture from any place it is kept. Although it cannot act upon a large place, you can definitely benefit from leaving silica gel in small quantities in places that retain moisture.
Simple goods like boxes, containers, shoes, etc., that are often in storage are found to have small packs of silica gel within them. This will help to prevent moisture from causing damage.

The laundry room, hot shower areas, under the kitchen sink, closets, shoe storage boxes, etc., are places that might benefit from this desiccant. It is an efficient choice than having plants indoors. You just might need to replace the material and continue the process. The advantage of moisture-absorbing plants indoors is you need not replace them.

3. Charcoal

The next time when you have to dehumidify but do not have the access to a device and you wonder how to keep the basement dry without a dehumidifier, you should think of charcoal! Fresh charcoal is a brilliant way to absorb moisture without a dehumidifier.

All you need to do is place fresh charcoal in a container, close it with a lid with holes and leave it in the rooms with moist air. You can replace the charcoal when it seems moist. You can use this for wet basement, crawl space, laundry room, RV, etc.

This natural dehumidifier is inexpensive and easily available. It is a simple yet effective way to get rid of moisture from warm air.

4. Rock Salt

Rock salt or crystal salt (Calcium chloride) is also a quite popular natural dehumidifier. You can remove humidity from an area using crystal salt or rock salt by simply having a container filled with this natural desiccant material.

The rock salt or crystal salt will absorb the extra moisture present in the atmosphere for you effortlessly. It is not a replacement option for areas battling high levels of humidity and is neck-deep in humidity problems. However, it is a good method to prevent moisture build-up or control moisture to a small extent without a dehumidifier.

5. Baking Soda

Baking soda is a household hero. You can name plentiful accidents in which baking soda comes to the rescue. Did you know you can also control humidity without a dehumidifier using baking soda? All you have to do is keep some baking soda in jars or bowls and place them across different areas in your basement or rooms.

You can replace the container with fresh baking soda when the one in the jar seems moist. The bright white color of baking soda is also used for decorative reasons, along with moisture control, in many unfinished basements. This will certainly contribute to keeping your basement dry at all times. You can use the baking soda natural dehumidifier even in closets, hot shower rooms, kitchen, laundry room, etc.

How much does it cost to dry a basement?

basement renovation

Any home improvement cost will differ based on various factors, primarily the extent of damage caused. The average cost to remove standing water and keep a basement dry can range from $3,000 to $5,000. If the extent of damage is severe and the problem has penetrated into basement concrete floors and basement walls this price range will shoot higher.

Is basement waterproofing worth it?

Yes. Basement waterproofing is worth it for the sole reason that the process will reinforce the foundation of your home. Basement waterproofing is going to safeguard your home against any future moisture problems that you may encounter.

FAQ Section

1. Are damp basements normal?

Yes, but it is not good news. Most basements are damp and dark, and this is where a home’s moisture problem finds its root. You must act upon dampness in a basement or any part of your home at the earliest before the problem blows out of proportion.

Moisture problems are hard to get rid of, and expensive too! Steam showers, laundry rooms, crawl spaces, kitchens, closets, etc., are other dark places in a home where moisture can accumulate with ease.

2. Does basement waterproofing increase home value?

Yes. Any new homeowner will be delighted by the fact that their home will stay well protected against any moisture their basement might encounter in the near or distant future. Apart from looking for a proper drainage system or air conditioning; ensuring that the basement is waterproofed is also important.

This will increase the home value and also the resale value.

3. Why is water coming up through the basement floor?

The only water that can come up through your basement floor after rainwater or flood water is groundwater. This happens due to hydro static pressure. The groundwater will seep through the soil that is surrounding your house and it will push up against your basement floor and walls. The hydro static pressure is found to be greater here.

4. How do you fix a damp basement wall?

Here are some of the ways in which damp basement walls can be fixed:
> Waterproofing basement walls
> Installing a curtain drain
> Plugging gaps
> Sealing all the cracks
> Adding gutter extensions
> Reshaping the landscape
> Pumping out the water

Wrapping Up

Hope you found the article helpful and came to know of different ways on ‘How to keep basement dry without dehumidifier?’. Share with us in the comments below if you have any other methods to keep a basement dry without a dehumidifier. If yes, share with us your experiences with the same.