Drying Out a Minnesota Basement

With all the lakes in and around Minneapolis, a wet basement is something that many people just live with; thinking that the only way to dry it out is to move. Not so; there are several tricks that will enable homeowners to capture that space, and give them the security of a dry basement once and for all.

When a home’s foundation is below ground, it can sometimes find itself planted right in the middle of an underground stream, or water table. Whenever it rains, or the groundwater starts to rise, this water will work its way into the basement walls, and eventually into the living space. Sump pumps are great to help relieve this pressure, but the real problem with them is that they are rarely dug deep enough.

In order for a sump pump system to stop the water from coming in, it needs to grab the water before it rises above the home’s foundation. By simply digging it a little deeper, many wet basements can be dried out without re-tarring the outside.

Another solution is to surround the home with plants that will absorb much of this water. Certain species of plant will develop root systems that will find the water, but not uproot your foundation. Meeting with a professional Minneapolis horticulturist, who is familiar with architecture will be able to help you learn more about what is best for you.

The third line of defense is to install a vapor barrier in the basement walls. This is a thick piece of plastic that is stapled to the framing and then covered with drywall. As water comes through the foundation walls, it hits this barrier and runs down into an underground trough in the floor.

From here it travels to the sump pump, so it can be pumped back outside. With this method, contractors will have to come in and jackhammer a 1’ wide trough around the perimeter of your basement floor, and then place a little stone and perforated pipe.

Once this is done and covered over with cement, it is ready for carpet and good for another 30+ years. Your vapor barrier will be in place and keeping your basement dry like you never thought possible.

Just remember to pump the water far enough away from your home so that it doesn’t drain right back inside.