So you think you have a moisture or humidity problem in your basement, but you don’t want to spend the money on a dehumidifier? That’s fine, there are ways you can get rid of the humidity in your basement without a dehumidifier.
Whether you are looking for the quickest and easiest fix, or more of a long term method – we have some ideas here that will help you.
Read on to learn more!
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How To Dehumidify A Room Without a Dehumidifier
Looking for a natural way to remove humidity? Well some plants can help you achieve this!
While it is usually a good idea to get rid of plants if you have excess humidity, there are actually some plants that help remove some of the moisture in the air!
The Peace Lily removes moisture from the air through its leaves and is ideal for a basement, because it requires very little sunlight to survive.
Palms originated in the more humid areas of the world and are well suited to damp areas.
They absorb the moisture from the air and Reed Palms also do well in low light conditions.
Ferns are great for basement type areas, but they do require some indirect sunlight. So they are ideal for situations where some natural light is available.
Because they originated in deserts, cactus will get their water wherever they can – including from the air.
They are used to harsh conditions and can survive almost anything.
Damprid is a marketed solution that contains Calcium Chloride crystals.
The crystals are housed in a special container (there are different container types available) and they soak up the moisture in the air.
Damprid is not right for all circumstances – to learn more about Damprid read our guide here.
With Silica Gel
You know those little packets that come in some food packaging that feels like they are filled with salt and has big labels saying “DO NOT EAT”? Well that’s silica gel.
Silica gel is actually a form of silicon dioxide that absorbs humidity. And while those tiny little packets aren’t much good for a basement – you can actually get it in bigger ‘dehumidifier boxes’ from places like Amazon.
Just get one or two of these and place them around the room. It’s not going to solve the cause of your moisture, but it will help stop the humidity.
They will need to be replaced when they have absorbed their fill though.
Try Container Desiccant
Similar to silica gel dehumidifier boxes, container desiccant does the same job – just on much larger scale.
It comes in larger bags (4.5lbs+) and is designed to be used on shipping containers when being transported via the ocean.
Put one of these in your basement and see if it helps. These desiccant bags will also need to be replaced when they are full.
With Charcoal Briquettes
Charcoal absorbs moisture out of the air, so it can be used to make a home made natural dehumidifier.
Simply places some briquettes in reasonable sized empty tin or box.
Punch some holes in the side and lid and place it in the basement.
Once again, you will need to replace the charcoal after sometime – but its a cheap option!
With Baking Soda
Baking soda is another common household product that absorbs moisture.
Simply pour about a cup of baking soda in some decorative bowls or jars and place them around the room.
You will probably want to replace the baking soda every 3-4 weeks as it will start to go a bit yuck after a while.
Use Rock Salt
Rock salt is another dehumidifier that can be used just like baking soda. Place about a cup in a container that exposes it to as much air as possible and it will soak up moisture from the air.
It will also need to be replaced every 3 – 4 weeks.
Install a Fan
A fan itself won’t really help with the humidity levels in your cellar, but it will help with getting air moving into the room from other areas such as the rest of the house and outdoors.
Having a fan on a low speed regularly in your basement will improve airflow – thus moving the wet air out and the dry air in!
Got a noisy fan? Click here to learn how to fix it.
We sort of touched on this when we mentioned installing a fan, but improving ventilation in damp areas is an important part of fixing the problem.
Some of the things you can do to improve ventilation in your basement include:
- Install ventilation fans – especially around wet areas such as bathrooms, laundries or sinks.
- Open windows
- Use portable or installed fans
Related Article: 11 Homemade Humidifier Solutions
Signs That Your Basement Has Excess Moisture
If you are 100% certain that you have a humidity problem in your basement (you have had a flood, leak or similar), then skip this section. If not, then we have listed some of the most common ways to tell if you have a moisture problem.
Use a Humidistat
The quickest way to tell if there is excess moisture in the air is to use a Humidistat. These are devices that measure the humidity in the air and are available readily in many different stores.
If you have a humidistat, then you will want to check what the humidity reading as a percentage is in your basement. The Basement Health Associated says that mold grows then humidity is above 80% , therefore the reading in the basement should be at or below 50%.
If you haven’t got, or can’t get a humidistat, then another good indicator is the presence of mold.
Mold requires a high amount of moisture to grow, whether it is on a surface or in the air.
The CDC states that “Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all.” So it is probably something you want to deal with sooner rather than later.
Condensation is especially common in basements that have bathrooms, or devices such as clothes dryers in them.
This is because condensation forms when warm air hits the cool surface of your basement walls – causing the moisture in the air to stick to the surface.
Look for moisture forming on the flat surfaces, especially walls.
Efflorescence… say that 5 times really fast! You can’t? No… neither can I!
But what is it? Well Efflorescence is a powdery, white substance that you might find on unsealed surfaces such as concrete, brick, or stone.
It is actually crystallized mineral salt that has probably come out of the moisture in the air, or through a porous surface.
Now while the substance itself is harmless, it might indicate that you have an underlying moisture problem somewhere in your basement – so it’s worth keeping an eye on.
Wood rot is never a good sign, and most of the time it is due to moisture, mold or insects.
You definitely want to deal with all three of those issues so if you have any timber furniture or wooded structure rotting in your basement – look into it asap.
Most of the signs of moisture listed above will produce a distinct smell – this smell is usually called ‘musty’.
A musty smell with no other signs can also be an indicator that a moisture problem is present, you just haven’t found the actual problem yet.
So if you find that you have a lingering musty odor in your basement, you will likely want to do some further investigations.
Ways To Humidity From Basement Without a Dehumidifier