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Moisture in the basement can cause structural damage to your house. In a finished basement, moisture can damage furniture, flooring and electronics. In addition, it can lead to mold, which can impact your family’s health. Here are some ways to deal with the problem.

Moisture Coming From Outdoors
Often, moisture in a basement comes from outside the house. Think about whether you experience problems on a regular basis or only under specific circumstances. 

If your basement is wet or damp after it rains, that may mean that moisture is getting in from outdoors. If the gutters are clogged with wet leaves, pine needles and other forms of debris, they can’t do their job. They may overflow and deposit water near your house’s foundation. If the downspouts aren’t directing water far enough away from the house, it may be making its way into the basement instead. Have a professional clean your gutters, check their condition and make sure the downspouts are positioned in a way that will protect the house from runoff. 

The grading in your yard may be the cause of the issue. If the ground slopes down toward your house, rainwater can run toward the foundation and leak in through cracks or through window wells. Have a contractor check the grading in the yard. If water is running toward the house, adding soil around the foundation so water flows away may take care of the problem. 

A contractor can look for cracks in the foundation and make repairs to protect your basement from further moisture issues. If the window wells are poorly designed or damaged, a contractor may be able to make repairs to keep water out of your home.

Moisture Coming From Inside the House
If your laundry room is downstairs, the source of the moisture may be an improperly vented dryer. If you have a finished basement, the moisture may be coming from a shower or a kitchen on the lower level.

Improving ventilation may take care of the problem. Have a contractor check the vents in the dryer, as well as in the kitchen or bathroom, if applicable. There may be a blockage or the vents may not be directing moisture outside. 

It’s also possible that water is coming from a leak in a pipe, washing machine, dishwasher, sink or toilet. If the moisture in the basement is confined to one area, think about what is directly above it. Look for pools of water or water stains and have a plumber make any necessary repairs.

Address Moisture at the Source
Running a dehumidifier in your basement may improve the situation temporarily, but it’s not a long-term solution. Figure out what is causing moisture in your basement so you can deal with the root of the problem to protect your house and your family’s health.