Home generalDry the basement - instructions for making your own

Dry the basement - instructions for making your own

  • causes
  • Material and tools
  • preparation
  • Dry the basement
  • Cost of professional draining

Moist cellars cause headaches for many homeowners, because if they are not treated, mildew or damage to the building fabric occurs. Self-draining the basement is a time-consuming process, but it can save many costs, especially in the long run. If the masonry or foundation is damaged by the moisture, high sums have to be applied for a renovation; worse with a mold.

What a shock! They just wanted to get something out of the cellar and become aware of dark, damp spots and efflorescence in the masonry. It smells musty and the humidity is crushed. Now it gets dicey, because the longer you do not take this circumstance, the worse it gets. A cellar that is too humid will not simply dry up again and must be dehumidified so that it can be used again and no serious damage occurs. Typically, mold growth followed by possible damage to the fabric, which is not an ideal condition. A big advantage: you can dry your cellar yourself!


The causes of damp basement walls, ceilings and floors are varied and may have to do with the age of the building, the building materials used or even the location alone. This can help to determine the cause of the moisture and take further action, such as the use of barrier concrete. The typical causes are:

  • Moisture penetrates walls made of bricks
  • no horizontal barrier available
  • poor ventilation ensures accumulation of moisture in the basement
  • Items such as cupboards and carpets impede air circulation, which also leads to wall moisture
  • Windows and doors are leaking
  • leaky walls
  • pipe break
  • Groundwater levels rise over several years and more moisture is released to the cellar
  • defective drainages

Many of these causes can be resolved with the instructions below, however, for example, in the event of a pipe break or the lack of a horizontal barrier, a professional must be assigned to identify and respond to the problem. This is especially important when construction work has to be done to dehumidify the basements.

Tip: be sure to check for possible moisture in your basement. Even if it's just a few drops that seem to penetrate the wall, ceiling, or floor, you'll need to drain the basement so the problem does not spread.

Material and tools

If you want to dry the basement yourself, you need the right tool. Since this form of drainage is based purely on dehumidifying and not on the installation of an external seal or the distribution of barrier concrete (this can only be done by specialized companies), it can be carried out by anyone. The following tools and materials are essential to the project:

  • fan
  • Dehumidifier or building dryer
  • Quast
  • vacuum cleaner
  • mop
  • Door and window seals
  • Rubber mortar
  • safety goggles
  • seal mud
  • insulation boards
  • Restoration
  • Mold remover, if mold is present
  • Vinyl Gloves
  • Hygrometer (device for measuring humidity)

When selecting the mold remover, you can either use special mildew cleaners or cleaning alcohol with a of 70 to 80 percent. It is also advisable to wear a respiratory mask in order to avoid inhaling the poisonous spores, especially if you treat the fungus after dehumidifying. This will significantly protect your health and effectively combat the mold.


Tip: If you do not have a dehumidifier, you can rent it in the hardware store, because they are offered for a price of about 40 euros per day or 120 euros per week. Be sure to pay attention to your electricity bill, as building dryers consume a lot of energy.


Before you can drain the basement, you must prepare it so that the moisture can be quickly removed. Proceed as follows:

Step 1: First check that doors, windows and other openings are tight and can be completely closed. Because of this moisture can penetrate. It is also important to look for cracks and cracks in the walls.

Step 2: First replace the worn gaskets and treat the damage in the wall with rubber mortar. This is used like conventional mortar and does not even need to be touched.

Step 3: Then remove all items from the basement. Dispose of soaked and also anything that has been attacked by mold. For example, you can store large appliances and furniture in the garden under a tarp or in the garage. This is especially important because only then can the air circulate within the basement and
Once these preparations have been made, you can drain the cellar. Make sure that you have all the tools and utensils at your disposal.

Dry the basement

When draining, you must first of all pay attention to proceed thoroughly and let the respective equipment run consistently. Since a basement can store a lot of moisture in the walls, it is important that you follow the instructions carefully to complete this project effectively and as quickly as possible. Since you have the whole time on the electrical appliances, quite high costs. In other words, the faster the cellar has been dehumidified, the more electricity you save. With the following instructions you can drain your cellar:

Step 1: Important during the entire draining is the interim ventilation of the cellar. If you have a window or door in the basement that opens to the outside, be sure to ventilate early in the morning when it's cold. Warm air transports moisture better, so airing at high temperatures has a negative effect on draining. Also, avoid venting during extremely cold winter days as moisture in the wall may not evaporate.

Step 2: Now place the fan and dehumidifier in the basement and switch it on. Open all connecting doors and leave them open as much as possible. The dehumidifier now takes the moisture out of the basement and the fan ensures effective air circulation, so that the moisture can not stay in the room. While using the dehumidifier, you must always check it for the water tank. This fills in a damp cellar very quickly and must be emptied accordingly.

Step 3: In addition, you have to put a radiator in the basement to heat it again and again. The dry heating air removes moisture and ensures faster evaporation within the room, which of course benefits the walls. However, do not over-heat when the dehumidifier is off, as this may increase the humidity again.

Step 4: Already during the drying process, you will be against possible mold. Put on vinyl gloves, goggles and a respirator. Now start to treat and remove the mold with the alcohol or detergent. Especially when removing mold from the ceiling, be careful not to get in the eyes or mouth. Following the removal of the mold, vacuum the basement and clean it with a slightly damp mop so that spores on the floor are even better removed.

5th step: Now you have to wait until the cellar reaches a maximum humidity of 60% and not above it. At this time, the basement should be dried, which may take several days depending on the size. Manually check the walls for moisture. Finally, you can apply a layer of three millimeters of sealing sludge to the walls with the puff and attach the insulation boards to them. Finally plaster and then the cellar can be used again.

Tip: After you have dehumidified the basement, you should do additional work to repair further defects. These include repairing the drainage, bituminous seals and possible retrofitting of the barrier concrete.

Cost of professional draining

If you do not want to dry out the basement yourself or if you have the necessary knowledge and building materials, for example in the case of a missing horizontal barrier, it is worth commissioning a specialist. In general, you should opt for the specialist company, as soon as the wall dampening has progressed strongly and forms mold. Just a mold removal can be expensive. In general, the longer you wait, the higher the cost will be. The cost of draining depends on the following points:

  • the extent of the cellar moisture
  • the location of the bodies to be treated
  • used equipment and materials
  • Need for a subsequent renovation or renovation
  • Commissioning a construction expert

Before you even contact a dry-cleaning company, you should first appoint a construction expert if this service is not offered by a company. Building experts examine the damage and identify exactly how and where the moisture enters and what measures are required.

On average, the commission costs about 250 euros, but you know exactly what you need to do by the appraiser and thus save a lot of money because you do not have to commission unnecessary work. The general costs of draining are not exactly cheap and are calculated as follows:

  • Exterior sealing incl. Excavation: 350 Euro - 500 Euro per m³
  • Paraffin injection: 240 euros - 260 euros per m²
  • Concrete joint sealing: 50 Euro - 70 Euro per m
  • Bitumen welding track for cellar ceiling: 5 Euro - 10 Euro per m
  • Horizontal barrier: 80 euros to 150 euros per meter; depending on the type of horizontal barrier

These are the different ways to drain the cellar and are heavily dependent on the damage. If, for example, you own a house that dates back to before 1960, it will probably be necessary to completely seal the basement. For example, if you need a seal for a basement that is 35 m², the costs are as follows:

  • Outer seal: about 15, 000 euros
  • Horizontal barrier: about 3, 000 euros
  • Drying over devices: about 700 euros

That would be 18, 700 euros for this cellar. Of course, this is very dependent and therefore it is worthwhile to engage an appraiser. In addition, expect even higher costs for mold. Even a small space in the size of a wardrobe costs between 600 and 1, 000 euros and up here everything is open. To do this, it is often necessary to replace building fabric and spare parts such as pipes. Before selecting the company, be sure to compare potential competitors to find the best and most value for money service provider.

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