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Basement Dehumidifier & Ventilation Systems
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Basements are almost always the most humid area of any home, mainly due to the fact that most are located below ground level and lack the windows and door openings common to other areas of the home. In cases where the basement is used for living or recreational purposes, it can result in an uncomfortable environment, and if the basement is used for storage, high humidity levels may have unwanted effects on your stored belongings.
As a result, it becomes important to make sure your basement is properly ventilated and that humidity levels are within acceptable parameters in order to make sure that you have no unexpected problems. There are a number of ways to accomplish this, either through installing a basement ventilation system, a dehumidifier, or a combination of the two.
Ventilation System Installation
Installing proper ventilation systems in your home may be a pricey solution, but it is also the best option. Ventilation systems bring fresh air into the basement and filter out stale or moisture saturated air. Of course, this keeps a lid on rising humidity levels, but there are downsides; not just the cost, but also the time and effort spent installing it or having a professional install it for you.
Basement dehumidifiers are a less expensive option. These units are designed for use in areas with extreme humidity problems. They are portable, allowing them to be utilized in any number of areas where excess moisture might be a problem. The kind of dehumidifier you purchase will be dictated by the size of the area to be treated, and in some cases, more than one unit may be required.
You also have different dehumidifier options, such as chemical dehumidifier units that absorb moisture from the air through the use of silica or salt. These units tend to be a bit smaller than normal and are much quieter during operation. For large basements, they are usually ideal solutions.
Other Steps to Take to Keep Moisture Out of the Basement
Of course, ventilation systems and dehumidifiers will only go so far in solving certain problems. They are designed to keep excess moisture out of your basement, but they will not turn back any water damage that has already occurred nor will they eliminate the presence of or stop the growth of mold and mildew. It is important to inspect the basement for mold problems or indications of water damage and perform any repairs or remediation that may be necessary. Cracks in the walls or flooring should be promptly sealed as they may allow access by groundwater. The same goes for broken window seals or doors that do not close securely.
Once the area has been properly treated, then ventilation and dehumidifiers may be installed in order to maintain proper levels within the basement area. If problems persist, contact your local water damage restoration professionals.
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