Wet basement

7 Replies

Please chime in with any advice, How concerned should I be with wet or damp basement?

I guess it would depend where the wetness is coming from? We just bought a place that had some water on the basement floor from a leaky tap and another had some slight dampness on the concrete wall but dryloc fixed it.

Depends how deep it is.     I would want to know the source of the problem . 

How wet is it ? I had dampness and a dehumidifier took care of it.

Where I live in central Iowa, its actually pretty common for older homes to have basement water issues.  Most of the homes with older/original foundations get a lot of moisture and dampness, some of which can be controlled with dehumidifiers and some that cant.  Either way, the vast majority of people just leave this as something they live with.  I even know people who get trickles of water that come in through the clay blocks and then down the drain.

I even know people that get a couple inches of water in their basements at least once every couple years, and its almost like they just treat it as a normal routine of clean up and then end up filling the space back up with furniture as though it'll never happen again .

But i think the trend is startinv to change alot and basements are starting to become a more used space for beyond just storing stuff.  For the past decade or so, it wasn't such an issue for buyers or tenants, because the basement was just a dingy place to store junk and now I think buyers are really interested in turning these spaces into second living areas and tenants want the extra space for places to hang out.

To fully waterproof those areas, its pretty costly.  My main objective is to avoid any areas that are at a huge risk of having a flooded basement and also avoid areas with bad drainage.  Other than that, I tell tenants to not expect the basement to be any better than a garage when it comes to habitability.  If you want to store some stuff down there, that's fine.  If you want a ping pong table that's fine.  An old couch, that's fine.  But its an unfinished space and shouldn't be treated as anything other than unfinished with the potential for moisture.

I have a wet basement Iam looking at to maybe buy, its damp to wet with mold, never seen one this wet, Jim

Ronald, we have purchased a couple with damp and musty basements, but not consistent standing water. We're used to them in our neck of the woods. I would plan to do gutters, dryloc paint on the interior brick, and a dehumidifier at a minimum. If you see parts that concern you, like dirty spots leaning towards might be mold soon, you can try to tackle it by scrubbing with a bleach/water mix. If it already looks moldy you can hire someone to take care of it. Hope this helps!

I agree, depends on how severe and the source. Is it coming through cracks in the basement after rainfall? Is it wet and there has been no rain? This can narrow down the source of the water. Old house, new construction? It all depends. If there's water, I would make sure you have a sump pump installed. It could be from heavy snow or rainfall or possibly plumbing issue. It could just be a leaky pipe that needs replacement.

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