Home Owner Tips by Dana-Keeping your basement DRY is harder than ever!

Real Estate Agent with Rossi & Riina Real Estate VT# 082-0007326

This Homeowner blog tip: Working for a dry basement. There are many ways water/moisture can get into your basement. This is a blog with helpful tips and is not meant to be a blueprint to having a perfectly dry basement.

Update!!  April 2019 - With the heavy snowfall this year in the NE, and the northern Midwest it is imperative to "find" your perimeter drains as soon as possible and open them up by shovel or thaw. If obstructed by ice they cannot do their job of draining the basement perimeter!

1.) Keep your gutters cleaned out. If you don’t have them it is a good investment

2.) Surface water must be directed away from the basement walls.

3.) Most builders have the soil next to the house higher than the surrounding land and direct the water into a swale that flows away from the house. This works well until the soil next to the house compresses where it was excavated for the foundation (loose soil) you then lose the high ground near the house and the water can puddle then drain near the foundation. Fill near the house if needed to raise the level from compression.Perimeter drain with screen

4.) Even if properly installed perimeter drains could become plugged by sod growing in or around the opening. Clear opening. If not screened install hardware cloth (wire mesh) near the opening. See photo. Perimeter Drain screen This will keep rodents from building a nest during dry months or storing stuff in there. If a cool basement has high humidity (read dew point) objects will sweat and items will be damp/dank and musty from mildew. Extreme cases will grow lots of mold. Yuk! Install a dehumidifier that drains directly into waste so you don’t have to empty the bucket every couple days in the summer. 

... If you need or want a devoted REALTOR® call Dana Basiliere @ 802-238-3939 or email Dana@VermontisHome.com  

 Dana Basiliere REALTOR®/AGENT ABR, SRES, CNS, CHMS, CNIS Opening Doors for Vermonters... with a Personal Touch! ©

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Comments (10)

Andy Lee
Andy Lee Finish Carpentry - Ripon, CA

For sure, we dont have that problem here in the west but I can imagine the importance of de-icing a drain in cold climates

May 20, 2014 06:41 AM
Anna Hatridge
R Gilliam Real Estate LLC - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with R Gilliam Real Estate LLC

Dana, you are absolutely correct that having gutters and proper drains are essential if you live in an area that receives rain, snow and ice.  Due to the current flooding in northern Midwest I doubt there will be many dry basements.

Jun 25, 2014 11:14 PM
Dana Basiliere
Rossi & Riina Real Estate - Williston, VT
Making deals "Happen"


Yes, and the rough winter we had added to the problem by freezing up some shallow drains.

Jun 26, 2014 01:52 AM
Bill Reddington
Re/max By The Sea - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

Pretty happy to say there are no basements here. With the amount of rain we have had this year that would be a nightmare. Water table is very high right now.

Jun 26, 2014 03:07 AM
Ron Marshall
Marshall Enterprises - Saint Michael, MN
Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire

Great tips, Dana.  We don't have perimeter drain.  We have two sump pumps that drain underground in the far backyard.  It was a tough winter!

Aug 07, 2014 12:37 AM
Robin Rogers
Robin Rogers, Silverbridge Realty, San Antonio, Texas - San Antonio, TX
CRS, TRC, MRP - Real Estate Investment Adviser

I just had my gutters cleaned a couple of days ago. I don't have to worry about a basement, but those gutters were totally clogged up with leaves. They went into the compost heap.

Jan 09, 2015 01:49 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Dana, this is a ongoing problem for many!  We had LOTS of rain this spring, and many had flooded basements! 

Sep 06, 2015 04:48 AM
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 116 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK


Just popping back by to check out some of your blog posts.

Oct 09, 2015 10:58 AM
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Dana, I need to add those wire mesh to my drains.  Thanks for the tips.

Nov 14, 2017 02:11 AM
Dana Basiliere
Rossi & Riina Real Estate - Williston, VT
Making deals "Happen"

Hello Folks,

The perimeter drains never come with the hardware cloth (screen) on them. I worry about all the darn rodents that are always looking for a cavern to set up housekeeping in even if only temporary they can plug up the drain.

Nov 14, 2017 11:31 AM