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Reduce Moisture in a Dirt Floor Basement

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Todd in Illinois is on the line and dealing with a lot of basement condensation. Tell us what’s going on.

    TODD: I’ve got a two-story brick house with a basement about 200 square feet, mud floor. Got the, oh, block walls kind of in concrete. And I have got a lot of condensation on my rafters. It got so bad that I had to replace the main circuit breaker because it was corroded and getting condensation.

    And I was wondering, what should I do about that? Should I just put a dehumidifier in or should I put a dehumidifier in and put plastic over the floor? Or should I install a GFCI when I hook that dehumidifier up in that (inaudible at 0:14:04)?

    TOM: OK. So, Todd, you have a lot of condensation in this small basement on a dirt floor, correct?

    TODD: Right.

    TOM: Alright. So, a couple of things. First of all, we want to reduce the amount of moisture that’s getting into that space. And that means looking at your drainage conditions outside that space. We need clean gutters, we need downspouts extended away from the wall, we need soil that slopes away from the wall. We want to reduce the amount of water that’s hugging that area and then wicking through the walls and raising the humidity.

    Secondly, since it’s a dirt basement, you could pour what we call a dust-cover slab, which is not like a 6-inch slab but usually a couple of inches just for kind of storage. And you could put plastic underneath that. So it’s a little less expensive, a little less concrete. Not designed to stand up and it will crack, by the way, but it will seal in the floor and stop the moisture from coming up through that floor.

    And then thirdly, you should install a dehumidifier and then make sure you hook that up to a condensate pump so it runs on a humidistat, collects the moisture and then pumps it outside. This way, you don’t have the aggravation of having to empty it every day or two.

    TODD: Alright. OK. Thanks a lot.

    TOM: Alright, Todd. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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