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Basement Dampness

Posted by durutti (My Page) on
Tue, May 5, 09 at 22:47

My wife and I just bought a house (built 1950) in a hilltown in western MA. One of the issues (actually the worst issue) the house has is a damp basement. There are a number of areas, mainly on the floor, where moisture is seeping in.

In the house inspection, the inspector saw two areas that could help alleviate the dampness. First, the grading around the house, though not horrible, could be better. Secondly, the downspouts dump the water right at the base of the foundation.

Our plan of action is as follows:

1. Take the water from the downspouts through pvc piping to the storm drain in front of house this summer.
2. Buy a Santa Fe dehumidifier this summer as well.
3. Get airtight cover for sump pit and second pump.
4. Attack the grading issue next summer.

Anyone have any comments regarding these plans/ideas? Any recommendations on a reliable sump pump? Anyone know of a good "how to" on step #1? Would really appreciate some feedback. Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Basement Dampness

I would elevate #4 to #2, unless it's somehow a massive job.

First, do the PVC piping to get as much water away as possible, for sure. Link to one site below.

Second, try to grade at least somewhat, especially near the foundation.

That may solve the problem, but it's useful to have a dehumidifier anyway, so you might try that as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: This old house


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RE: Basement Dampness

Thanks for the reply, and the link was exactly something I needed. The reason I had the grading last was the inspector said it wasn't too bad, but could use improving. I will reconsider waiting on the grading though if I can squeeze it in. Again, thanks for that link.


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RE: Basement Dampness

If the grading isn't bad, it may not be the problem.

I was figuring that it would require only putting some dirt/gravel up near the house. Kind of hard to say without pictures.

Good luck

You might google downspout drainage pipes (or similar combinations)--that was just the best link of the ones I saw quickly. It's not rocket science, more like breaking rocks in the hot sun.


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