Does A Finished Basement Need A Dehumidifier?

Many people love the idea of having a finished basement. It serves as the extension of the house. Sometimes, it even doubles their home’s living space. This is an area where you can bond with your whole family and spend a great time. 

Does a finished basement need a dehumidifier, then? Since your finished basement remains to be an area below ground level, it is still prone to problems with mold and dampness so a dehumidifier is necessary. You need to dehumidify your finished basement because high humidity plays a big role in mold growth, especially if you are using carpeting in this part of the house. 

Basements can be found in a lot of homes to this day and they serve numerous functions and purposes. An unfinished basement offers the much-needed space for storage while a finished basement can add substantial square footage to the living space of a house.

Basements have their own set of problems s far as indoor air quality is concerned. it also tends to be more challenging to control moisture here compared to other parts or rooms of your home. 

Basement dehumidifiers are made to address the different environmental challenges present in basements that could increase moisture levels in such underground areas. 

A dehumidifier can benefit your finished basement in more ways than one so installing one is the best thing you can do to protect this below-ground living area. 

Common Moisture Concerns in Basements 

Too much moisture is a problem that usually affects basements more than the upper levels of the house.

Basements tend to be damp because moisture can enter through the water leaks, seep through the foundation, or as a result of high levels of humidity in the main house.

Moisture problems in basements can lead to mold growth that can cause structural damage to the house and health issues to you and your whole family. 

Experts warn that levels of relative humidity at more than 80% in basements can lead to the development of mildew and mold.

Using a quality basement dehumidifier can maintain the levels of humidity at less than 50% to prevent mildew and mold growth, protect the quality of indoor air, and prevent damage. 

Signs That Your Basement Needs a Dehumidifier 

High levels of moisture are not always easy and simple to detect, which is why you should be familiar with the signs you have to watch out for to help you identify whether or not you should install a dehumidifier in your basement to solve moisture concerns in this part of your house.

Below are the most common signs that you need a dehumidifier for your basement:

  • You can see visible mold growth on walls, ceilings, floors, and other surfaces. 
  • Condensation is present on surfaces. 
  • You feel dampness on the walls when touched. 
  • The basement has a musty or moldy smell. 
  • There are watermarks on the floors indicating the rise of moisture through the foundation. 
  • The stuff you store in your basement smells or mildew or mold or may even have visible growth. 

Why Do You Need a Dehumidifier in a Finished Basement?

The most critical step you should take if you have a finished basement is to make sure that you dehumidify it. High levels of humidity play a big role when it comes to mold growth.

If your finished basement is rather humid, it is best that you install a dehumidifier. There are several solutions to help you keep your basement humidity in check.

A good dehumidifier can get rid of excess humidity in your basement in an efficient and quiet manner. It can also help lower the humidity level in your basement to leave you with better air quality and a more comfortable environment. 

Another thing you can do for your finished basement to stay livable is to make sure that it remains warm once the heating season comes. There are people who use their basement spaces only during summer months.

Naturally, they assume that it is perfectly fine to turn down the heat during winter months. However, it will only result in excessive mold growth and moisture.

This is why it is a better decision to maintain a steady temperature of 58 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit even during those days when it is not being used. 

If you have a carpeted finished basement, you might deal with a mold problem under your feet. This is because your carpet is the best breeding ground for both mildew and mold.

Dust, as well as other types of biodegradable matter, might find their way into carpet fibers, giving mold the food it needs for growth and survival.

You will be better off if you install laminate flooring or tile in your finished basement. 

Even though a finished basement is usually a livable part of your house, a lot of people are still using it for storage purposes. If you prefer to use your basements for storing items, make sure that you keep them inside non-biodegradable boxes.

It is a not wise decision to use cardboard boxes as these tend to collect dampness that can result in mildew and mold growth. If you have no choice but to use cardboard, always store them off the floors. You can put them on shelves or on a foil-laminated foam insulation sheet. 

Tips for Shopping for Basement Dehumidifiers 

The dehumidification systems required for basements are different from those used in your main house. For effective removal of moisture, you have to install a dehumidifier meant especially for basement environments. 

Requirements for temperature 

The usual whole-home dehumidifier will only be effective if they operate at indoor temperatures at more than 65 degrees. Normally, basements are cooler compared to the upper levels of the house since are below the ground.

The area is insulated by the earth that surrounds your basement with the surrounding ground remaining cool at 55 degrees all year round. When temperatures are these low, the usual whole-home dehumidifiers are ineffective for moisture removal. 

Automatic draining 

Your basement is a place that is not occupied all the time. For better convenience, opt for basement dehumidifiers that automatically drain excess moisture instead of a model where you have to constantly empty out the reservoir every time it fills up. 

Even if you have a finished basement, it is still important to install a dehumidifier to keep its temperatures at an optimal level.