How to Get Rid of Moisture in Basement (The 6 Proven Ways)

Moisture in the basement can cause you and your family all sorts of problems. From the musty odor to growing mold too much moisture in your basement is not a good thing. You can try using professionals but the cost may be too high for some people.

Fortunately, there are ways to do it yourself and save.

6 Ways to Get Rid of Moisture in Basement

If you see cracks in your foundation or some mold growth, it will be time to fix that moisture problem in your basement. Solving the problem takes a little time and effort but it can be done.

The question how to keep basement dry without dehumidifier is answered by the following 6 suggestions:

  • Repair all cracks or leaks - this is a must as even with a dehumidifier, you will still have excess moisture seeping into your basement.
  • Waterproof the walls - here you would have to coat the exterior of your basement walls to make sure any moisture does not seep through the concrete
  • Reduce condensation - replace old basement windows, repair the putty around them or make them double pane. These tricks will help cut down on condensation
  • Reroute clothes dryer ventilation - make sure the dryer vents its moisture completely to the outside and that moisture can’t find its way back in
  • Alter your gutters and downspouts - extend them so they do not drop water near your basement walls or re-route them so the water is moved away from your home.
  • Install a dehumidifier - adding this device really helps solve your humidity level problem when installed correctly.
place a dehumidifier in basement

Where to Place Dehumidifier in Basement?

The key to finding the right location to place your new dehumidifier is in how it vents its air. If the device vents through its top or sides then you have a lot of freedom to place your dehumidifier. It can go anywhere and do a good job for you.

But if your new unit vents out the back, then you need to keep it at least 12 inches from any wall or obstruction. That space is vital for the dehumidifier to work right all the time.

Finally, if you want some upstairs benefit as well, place the dehumidifier next to the interior basement steps. That location helps your upstairs as well. These locations are ideal if your dehumidifier is a portable model rated for the size of your basement.

A whole house dehumidifier will need to be located near your furnace so it can be attached to your heating system. Oh and make sure you place your portable dehumidifier near an outlet unless you like using extension cords.

What Size Dehumidifier for Basement?

This is always a good question because many people may get confused by the different sizes of dehumidifiers and what size of space they are rated for. For really wet basements, the higher the pint removal per day the better.

There are 30 pint dehumidifiers, 50 pint dehumidifiers and 70+ pint dehumidifiers. The key to finding the right one is to check to see what square footage they are rated for. The square feet rating is the most important as a too small dehumidifier will only waste your time and money.

Then you should check to see if your potential model is Energy Star rated or not. That helps keep your electric bill down. If you have a 2000 square foot basement, make sure to get a dehumidifier rated for 2000 square feet or higher. If it is 1000 square feet then get one rated for that size or a little bit higher.

Will a dehumidifier in the basement help the whole house?

It will help a little. A lot will depend on where you live in your country and how humid that region gets. Some people say that if you put your dehumidifier near your interior stairs you should feel the benefit from its work.

But that benefit will be minimal at best. If you have a whole house moisture issue, then you should either place portable dehumidifiers on each level of the house or use a whole house dehumidifier.

The problem with the latter option is that they work best when house temperatures are at 65 degrees F or higher. Basements generally run 10 degrees lower than that. This means you may need a separate dehumidifier for your basement even if you have a whole house unit.

It is always best to run a separate unit in the basement as you will get better coverage and your stored items may not be in the best of places.

What Humidity Should I Set My Dehumidifier to in the Basement?

Mold loves high humidity levels. The hotter and more humid the area the better the mold likes it. The best humidity level to set your basement dehumidifier is at 60% or less. Mold likes it above 60%.

The ideal humidity level would be at 50%. That gives you lots of room to work with in case you do not want to get too dry in your basement.

Damp Basement Solutions

Solving the problem of high humidity levels or excess moisture in your basement is not that difficult. To find the correct solution you first have to identify the problem correctly.

The 6 suggestions listed above will put you on the right track and help you solve your wet basement problem. Just take your time and make sure to cover the whole basement. Include your crawl space if you have one as mold loves to live in those spots.

Final Words


The key to lowering your basement humidity level is through finding the right size of dehumidifier and look at your drainage systems. The dehumidifier will remove the excess moisture and changing the direction of your drainage system to have them go away from your home will stop a lot of water from entering the basement.

It takes a little work and money but you can have a dry basement and enjoy being down there.

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