Do I Need a Dehumidifier in My Basement?
24 January 2023
If you have a basement then you are probably going to be invested in making sure that it stays in top condition year round.
This might mean a number of things, and hopefully you will have already looked into waterproofing options to keep your basement free of floods. However, if you have moisture in your basement you might be tempted to get yourself a dehumidifier to stop the build up of condensation on your walls.
The question though, is will a dehumidifier in your basement be enough to help?
Can Having a Dehumidifier in My Basement Help?
The whole point of having a dehumidifier is to lower the moisture content in the air. So, if you have noticed that your basement has been generating a lot of moisture, or condensation, throughout the day then you might be tempted to go out and buy one right away.
In some cases, this might be advisable. If the level of moisture in the basement is so low that it can be handled by a dehumidifier then it might be worth purchasing one, but don’t be fooled into thinking that this is a permanent solution.
If say, you spend a lot of time sitting in your basement and you think that for your own comfort you would like the moisture levels in the air to be a little lower, then a dehumidifier can totally help.
The danger with a dehumidifier though is assuming that it will be able to stop all condensation and high moisture levels all on its own.
Realistically, the best way to keep your basement free of any condensation building up is to address the source creating the moisture in the first place.
This all depends on your basement.
If, for example, you have a washer and dryer in your basement then you might find that without adequate ventilation the warm moist air created by the washer and dryer has nowhere to go but your basement walls and ceiling.
In this kind of situation running a dehumidifier isn’t going to solve your problem, but maybe control a little of the condensation for you. To really stop the build up of condensation you are going to need to add in ventilation options to your basement.
Increasing ventilation through the installation of extractor fans, the use of a ceiling fan coupled with something like a window vent, or even ducts are all easy and achievable ways to make sure that any moisture generated in your basement is captured and ventilated out of your property safely.
You could even look into the likes of a positive pressure ventilation system. This is a unit that creates a constant flow of fresh air through your building that safely carries the warmer, moist air outside, leaving your walls free of condensation.
Why Might My Basement Generate Moisture?
We have already talked about how your behaviour might influence the presence and creation of moisture when we mentioned the washer and dryer. Everyday actions can and will generate moisture – exercise, cooking, washing, anything that makes steam, it can all contribute towards condensation on your walls, but in your basement there may well be other factors.
For example, did you know that even the smallest leak in your basement walls or floor can lead to condensation building up?
Say you have the tiniest crack in your basement wall. Its very likely that a small amount of moisture is going to come through that same crack, and once in your basement it can easily evaporate and condense on the basement walls.
Just this alone is enough to cause a consistent condensation problem – and it might not stop there. What could start as a small bit of condensation can get a lot worse. That same small amount of moisture coming through the tiny crack could freeze, expanding its surface area – and the crack around it.
This will allow in more moisture, and instead of having a small condensation problem you might develop damp, and from that a growing black mould problem.
It all depends on the protection your basement has, and the waterproofing measures in place. A reliable cavity drainage membrane system for example captures and safely removes any moisture ingress in your basement, whilst tanking seals your walls making them waterproof – stopping any moisture from actually getting in at all.
If you want more information on how to properly protect your basement from growing leaks and incoming moisture, then you will need to talk to a basement waterproofing expert rather than relying on a dehumidifier, which at best will make your basement space more comfortable at humid times in the year.
You can read more about our basement waterproofing services, and get in touch with our team, on our website here.
When Will I Need a Dehumidifier in my Basement
The truth is that if you are uncomfortable in your basement and want the air to feel less humid, then you should invest in a dehumidifier for the space. You should never look to a dehumidifier as a resolution for something like damp, leaks, condensation, or mould, because more often than not the humidifiers effect is going to be negligible.
Instead, if you do discover these issues in your basement, you should contact a basement waterproofing specialist to survey your basement for potential leaks, compromised waterproofing materials, or for ways in which ventilation can be improved to reduce the build up of condensation.
If a leak is discovered in your basement, then the report delivered following the survey is going to help you understand what steps you will need to take in order to ensure your basement is protected, and if additional ventilation is required then the report will make recommendations on what you should do to keep any condensation to an absolute minimum.
As long as you are relying on your dehumidifier for comfort, then they are totally fine to use. You should always seek out professional property care solutions when it comes to moisture in your basement, as ignoring a leak can lead to very real and expensive problems.
If you want to learn what might be creating moisture in your basement, or if there is anything you can be doing to stop condensation, damp, or mould build up in a below ground structure you own, our team of experts are ready to help.