If you have a damp and moldy basement, calling in a contractor to fix the problem can be expensive. While you do need to do it, you need a quick solution in the meantime.
A dehumidifier can be that solution. Dehumidifiers can be very effective drying un basements and making them healthy, livable spaces.
Excessive moisture is a problem that you’re likely to face in parts of the house like the basement. If your basement smells damp, there are structural shortcomings, and you need to fix them. It can be an expensive project, however. If you keep putting it off, the dampness can lead to mold and other problems that affect the health.
Until the time that you get around to calling in the contractor, there is a cheap, short-term fix that you can make: you can get a dehumidifier.
It may be a Band-Aid, but it works
Removing moisture from the air in the basement may not be a good way to prevent the structural damage that goes with dampness. It can help with the health effects that result from humidity, however.
If your basement suffers from a mild moisture problem, you may be able to get away with nothing more than a couple of air mover fans that bring in fresh air and move damp air out. If your basement is built in a way that makes access to fresh air difficult, however, or if the dampness is severe enough to be unmanageable merely with forced ventilation, a powerful, freestanding dehumidifier should be something to consider.
The health benefits can be excellent – you get rid of any unseen mold and deal with fewer allergies or respiratory problems.
Purpose-built basement dehumidifiers come with special features
If you have a dehumidifier lying around somewhere, or if a friend has one that you can borrow, you might try sticking it in the basement for a few weeks to see how well it does. If you’re buying one for the basement, however, you need one specially built for the purpose.
Look for a defrost mode feature: If your basement gets very cold, you’ll need a dehumidifier that’s well adapted.
In these conditions, a regular dehumidifier will usually build up frost around the colls, and become very inefficient. You’ll need a model specially built for low temperatures. These often come with a defrost mode to remove frost buildup automatically.
Low maintenance operation: Dehumidifier remove water from the air. This water needs to go somewhere. If you have a floor drain close to where you plan to put the dehumidifier, gravity drainage can work.
Many models come with automatic pumps that send water up to pipes that may not be at the right level. Other models come with large water tanks inbuilt. Some dehumidifiers can remove 70 pints of water from the air each day, but they only come with 20-pint tanks. The idea should be to buy a model with as large a tank as possible.
Look for convenience features: If you determine that your basement isn’t damp enough to warrant continuous running, a timer can make the machine turn on or off on its own. Auto restart can help the unit start on its own after a power outage. Continuous mode can be great for basement with very high levels of dampness.
Sound levels: If no one goes to the basement much. If you like matter how much noise your dehumidifier makes. If you like to go down there for band practice or something, however, sound levels will matter, so getting a quiet model may be important.