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How to Manage Basement Moisture

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Best Practices

How to Manage Basement Moisture

November 13, 2020
Finished basement
Photo: Elenathewise

From the attic to the basement, every area of the home has become a living space rather than just the main levels, as once intended. Basements, for one, were used to store vegetables, wood, coal, and were intended to remain dark and unused. To transform the basement into a livable space, moisture needs to be managed, and The Energy and Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA) suggests starting by expanding the conditioned space. There are two key elements to keep in mind, says EEBA: keep the rainwater away from the foundation wall perimeter and drain the groundwater away from the foundation wall.

Figure 2 illustrates how we want to drain the rain away from the building on the top of the ground before it can become groundwater… send it to your neighbor’s property, give them the problem.

Check out Figure 3. The classic way of doing things since the time of the Romans has been to provide exterior drainage, directing groundwater downward to an exterior perimeter drainage system. It does not get better than this. Or does it? Well, we could use a modern high-tech way of doing the Roman thing – a drainboard.

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