The Best Way to Dry Out a Basement


Flooding, excessive dampness and other water-related accidents happen. Cleaning up a flooded basement is both frustrating and costly. Any furnishings and flooring in the space must be removed. Then any water in the basement must be pumped out before beginning the drying out process. Your basement is a breeding ground for the development of harmful mold, mildew and other fungi if you don't dry the space properly.

Fans & Dehumidifiers

  • The best way to dry out a basement is by setting up several fans and opening any windows or doors so the air can circulate and dry out the basement. If you only have one door leading in and out of the basement, open any windows above the space to get the air flowing. Let the fans run for several hours, and make sure all damp objects like carpet, curtains and other furnishings have been removed from the basement. Next, turn on a dehumidifier, and run it until the basement is completely dry. Locate the dehumidifier close to a drain, so the water drip pan can be emptied regularly if the unit has one. Note: If you have a large basement, you may have to use more than one dehumidifier.

Smells & Odors

  • As the basement is drying out, spray a disinfectant like Lysol or another brand of odor-killing spray throughout the space. Wear a mask, and make sure no pets or children are in the area. If you haven't done so already, check the condition of any drywall or other wall board material for dampness. If any of the walls are wet in your basement, remove the drywall or other material, and let the wall studs dry out. Once the studs are dry, replace the drywall or other wall boards with new material.


  • As the space is drying, check under any furniture, equipment or other items in the space for water. Use a shop vacuum to remove any puddles of water that may be present under equipment or furniture in your basement. If your basement has concrete walls, check for cracks and holes in the walls. Patch any problem spots with a crack filler or other masonry filler. For holes in a concrete floor, patch with a mixture of sand and concrete. Make sure you use a concrete sealer on the floor after the mixture is dry.

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