High humidity occurs when there is an increase of water molecules in the air. Although all seasons have high and low humidity, some seasons are more humid than others, resulting in a wet basement. Humidity also creates the perfect breeding ground for mold, which can be hazardous to your or others’ health. So other than airing out the basement, how do you reduce humidity in it? Use a dehumidifier.
How Dehumidifiers Work
Every dehumidifier has a fan that sucks in the air around it. This air spreads over the cooling coils in the appliance; this lowers the air’s temperature and removes moisture, which is collected in a reservoir or drained via a hose. The air is heated and flows back into the room without the moisture.
If you only have one room in the basement that seems to have moisture affecting it, such as a room with wilting books, a portable dehumidifier will work. Make sure you know the size of the room so you can choose a water capacity that meets your needs. These smaller dehumidifiers are only effective for removing the moisture in one room — any more than that and it loses its effectiveness.
Portable dehumidifiers plug into outlets. If the room is unfinished and prone to flooding, set the dehumidifier on a raised, stable surface such as a pallet. You will need to frequently empty the reservoir during high-humidity days. To be more environmentally friendly, use the reservoir water to water your plants or garden.
Whole Home Dehumidifier
A whole home (or whole house) dehumidifier is the best option if humidity levels throughout the house are high or are causing damage such as warping and cracking. These are pricey but effective. A whole home dehumidifier has a higher water capacity than a smaller portable machine. It also has a larger compressor and condensing coils.
Whole house dehumidifiers also work in colder temperatures, such as in an unheated basement, whereas portable ones don’t function well at colder temps. Where a portable dehumidifier has a bucket into which water drains, a whole home one drains water via a tube that runs to a sump pump or floor drain. You can run the tube into a utility sink, but only if the dehumidifier model you have chosen has a pump to counteract gravity.
When Do You Need One?
Using a dehumidifier is part of the process of keeping your foundation and basement dry. A dry foundation is integral to keeping the foundation stable and as level as possible. There are signs you can look for to determine if moisture is getting into the basement or crawlspace.
Check the inside and outside of the foundation for any cracks. Even small ones indicate water damage that can contribute to humidity. Mold means the air is too moist. Mold can grow in hidden locations so even if you can’t see it, if the basement smells moldy, it’s likely present.
A dehumidifier is not going to solve the root of the problem if it’s more than just seasonal humidity. If you have waterproofing issues, call a basement and foundation repair expert to assess the situation.
Acculevel Finds the Problem’s Source
Acculevel’s trained experts have specialized in basements and foundations since 1996, and we know whether or not the excess humidity in your basement stems from waterproofing issues. We know that something small can become something big if it is not addressed as soon as possible. If you live in the Midwest, including Indiana, we would like to help you assess your basement and foundation for things that should be fixed immediately as well as issues that should be looked into before more problems occur. To schedule an appointment for an estimate, feel free to call (866) 669-3349 or email us at [email protected].