How to Keep Your Basement Dry

A poorly insulated basement can cause ongoing problems for your health and the foundation of your home. Many homeowners do not understand the causes of moisture in their basements. If you want to know how to keep your basement dry, familiarize yourself with the different moisture sources.

Everyone wants a nice, warm space to enjoy. Don’t let water ruin your home’s basement.

Five Areas for a Dry Basement

There are five main categories to cover. These are the main ways moisture can get into your basement and cause problems.

1. Gutters

Protection from moisture starts on the outside of your home. Most people know to keep gutters clean, however, they may not understand how important they are to the foundation of the home.

Gutters lead to downspouts that should point away from your home. This is the number one source of leaky basements. When the water exits these spouts, it should move away from your foundation. It’s recommended that gutter downspouts terminate at least three feet from the home. Five feet is even better!

If the gutters become clogged, however, the water can spill over onto the exterior of your home and into your yard. This can cause the soil to become too wet and your foundation can shift. Grading involves the land around your home. A specialized drainage system can also remove water from the ground near your home. 

2. Grading

When a home is built, the earth around the foundation should slope away from the structure. This is designed to protect your basement from water intrusion.

Sometimes, the dirt in your yard settles, causing water to accumulate in some areas. You may notice more puddles and water moving toward your home. If you can correct the problem yourself, go for it! Otherwise, hire a landscaping company to remedy the grading in your yard. 

3. Undetected Water Leak

Leaks in the home often go undetected until they find a way through a ceiling, wall, or floor. You may have a leak if you notice extra humidity in your basement, low water pressure, or a higher-than-average water bill.

Since the basement is the lowest place in your home, water from anywhere in the home can end up there. If you suspect a water leak, call a plumber to find it and fix it. 

4. Cracks in Foundation

Knowing how to keep your basement dry sometimes means investigation. Water can seep in through incredibly small cracks. It can even enter through the pores in cement.

It’s up to you to look for cracks in your basement walls and floors frequently. If you notice multiple cracks, you may also need to have the foundation checked. Once the foundation begins to move, cracks can become apparent all over your home. The floor of your basement may become uneven, as well.

It’s possible to build preventative measures into your home from the start. But if you purchase a new home, there are companies that can perform this same function, albeit at a higher cost. If you happen to live near Detroit or Grand Rapids, hire reputable basement waterproofing services in Michigan to get the job done. 

5. Condensation 

You may have trouble avoiding condensation if you live in an area with constant rain. You can get condensation in your basement by opening windows or running appliances. A dryer, for example, can cause condensation in your basement.

Many people also have full bathrooms in their basements. Running a shower can temporarily place condensation in the basement, as well. You can combat condensation by increasing airflow to the basement. Consider adding air conditioning vents, fans, or a dehumidifier. 


You can start keeping moisture out of your basement with good preventive measures. Have the basement sealed before you move into your new home. You should also check the outside of your home for complications with gutters and grading. If you need to place appliances or a bathroom in your basement, improve ventilation to keep moisture under control. Your basement can remain dry and enjoyable when you take good care of it.