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Can you have a basement? Water tables and soil conditions
Types of basements: Masonry, poured concrete basements, precast panel basements
Basement construction checklist
Hiring a Contractor
Choosing a poured concrete basement contractor: Questions to ask, professional associations
Preventing Moisture Problems
Waterproofing or dampproofing basements: Which to do
Foundation drainage and waterproofing: How to keep below-grade spaces dry
Keeping Moisture Out: Building healthier homes from the basement up
Enhancing & Repairing Existing Basements
Finished Basements: Tips for expanding your living quarters by designing a functional basement layout and making your space dry and comfortable
Enhancing Basement Floors: Seven reasons why you should enhance rather than cover up concrete basement floors
Repairing Bowed Basement Walls: A carbon-fiber-reinforced grid system permanently stabilizes bowed foundation walls with minimal disruption and no excavation

The University of Minnesota has written an excellent document of "Typical Causes of Basement Moisture Problems." They also offer solutions in their document ""An overview of Solutions to Basement Moisture Problems" which is well-written, easy to understand, and has excellent illustrations.

The main causes of basement moisture problems are:

  • Inadequate Grading around the house
  • Defective or missing gutters and downspouts
  • Improperly Designed Window Wells
  • Ineffective Drain Tile and Sum Pit
  • Improper Drainage with Underslab Ducts
  • Structural Cracks

Rainwater or melted snow that isn't routed away from the house is also a common cause of basement and crawl space moisture. Read this article about Drying Out a Wet Basement from This Old House to determine if your wet basement is being caused by condensation, runoff, or if a subsurface water source is the cause.

Moisture Control Example

Solutions to basement moisture problems:

Solutions to basement moisture problems:

The approach to moisture problems should always be to remove the source of the moisturenot to try to stop it at the last line of defense (the basement wall).

It is appealing to try to solve a basement moisture problem with a membrane or special coating on the inside. In some cases that solution might seem to work for awhile. However, the water will still be there.