7 Methods: How to Dry Out a Basement Fast

August 9, 2023

Are you a homeowner wondering how to dry out a basement fast? Hopefully you’ll find this out before your basement floods, and not after! However, property owners in areas prone to flooding should know how to tackle this issue. This information and some preparedness beforehand can ensure a clean, dry space while avoiding expensive water damage.

How to dry out a basement fast:

  1. Use vacuums, pumps, or even buckets to remove standing water.
  2. Mop up any remaining water.
  3. Increase ventilation in the basement.
  4. Use fans to evaporate water.
  5. Bring dehumidifiers into the space.
  6. Heat the area.
  7. Use moisture-absorbing packs.

To learn more about how to dry out a basement fast, keep reading! More details about these steps can ensure a dry basement as quickly as possible. It’s also helpful to review some preventative measures that help ensure a dry basement space.

Also, don’t hesitate to contact a basement waterproofing contractor for persistently flooded basements. They can usually recommend various sealants and coatings designed to keep basements dry and pristine.

how to dry out a basement fast

How to Dry Out a Basement Fast! 7 Effective Measures to Try

Drying out a basement quickly depends on the cause of the moisture and the extent of the water damage. Check out some steps you can take to expedite the drying process. However, before you begin, ensure that the basement is safe to enter. If the water damage is extensive or involves sewage, it's best to consult professionals before entering the area.

Also, make sure there are no downed or exposed electrical wires or outlets in the space. Remember that water conducts electricity easily! If you suspect an unsafe space, call a professional. They’ll know how to check the space and ensure safe repairs.

1. Remove Standing Water

Use pumps, wet/dry vacuums, or buckets to remove any standing water. The faster you remove the water, the less chance there is for mold and mildew to grow. You might wear rubber boots for deep water, to protect your skin. Also, ensure you don’t move the water to a plumbing pipe that’s already leaking!

2. Mop Remaining Water

Once you’ve removed as much standing water as possible, use mops or dry rags to pull up the remaining water. You can even use mops and rags on basement walls and other surfaces than the floor! The more water you can remove manually, the faster you can dry the basement overall.

3. Ventilation

Open windows and any vents in the home to increase air circulation. This will help speed up evaporation. If the weather is dry outside, open windows can help exchange humid air in the basement with drier outdoor air.

Additionally, don’t hesitate to open all the windows in the home, not just ones in the basement! The more air circulation throughout the house, the faster your basement dries. Open windows also let evaporating water escape, which encourages evaporation.

waterproof membranes around a basement

4. Use Fans

If you can use them safely, bring fans into the basement space. Air circulation helps evaporate water, as said. The more fans you have working in the basement, the faster it will dry.

5. Install a Dehumidifier

A high-capacity dehumidifier designed for basement use is excellent for drying out the space. These machines are designed to remove excess moisture from the air, which also prevents mold growth. Also, dehumidifying the air helps remove standing water faster.

6. Heating

If it's safe to do so, use heaters to raise the temperature in the basement. Warm air can hold more moisture, so heating can accelerate evaporation. Use caution about heating elements; don’t leave them unattended especially if you have children or pets in the home.

7. Use Desiccants

Silica gel packets and other moisture-absorbing materials absorb excess moisture in enclosed spaces. You can usually buy these at any home improvement or hardware store. Place these in areas difficult to dry, such as those out of reach of heaters.

Other Quick Tips for a Wet Basement

  • Discard any items or materials that have been severely damaged and cannot be salvaged. These items can retain moisture and contribute to mold growth.
  • Identify and fix any leaks in the walls, floors, or foundation contributing to the moisture problem. Waterproofing paints or sealants can help prevent future water infiltration.
  • Regularly check humidity levels in the space. Relocate the fans, heaters, and other equipment, to ensure thorough drying.
  • Use caution about cleaning anything already moldy or that might involve raw sewage. These are harmful to your health and are best tackled by a professional!

How Can I Lower the Humidity in My Basement Without a Dehumidifier?

Lowering humidity in a basement without a dehumidifier can be challenging. However, there are still several steps you can take to help reduce moisture:

  • Open windows and doors whenever possible to allow fresh air to circulate through the basement. This helps exchange humid air with drier outdoor air. Use fans to facilitate air movement.
  • Place moisture-absorbing materials like silica gel packets, activated charcoal, or even cat litter in strategic locations around the basement. These materials help absorb excess moisture.
  • Use fans to improve air circulation. Position fans to move air from damp areas to drier ones. This prevents moisture from accumulating in certain spots.
  • Condensation can occur on cold surfaces like walls and floors. Proper insulation can help prevent temperature differences that lead to condensation.
  • Placing containers of rock salt around the basement can help absorb excess moisture from the air. Replace the salt when it becomes moist.
  • Ensure that the ground around your home slopes away from the foundation to prevent rainwater from pooling around the basement walls.
  • If your basement has a bathroom or laundry area, make sure exhaust fans are properly functioning. These fans can help remove excess moisture generated by these activities.
  • If your basement has windows, open the curtains during the day to allow natural sunlight in. Sunlight can help reduce humidity by promoting evaporation.

a contractor treating mold in a basement

How Long Before Mold Grows in a Wet Basement?

Mold can start growing in a wet basement in as little as 24 to 48 hours. However, this varies based on temperature, humidity, the type of material affected, and the extent of moisture present. Mold spores are naturally present in the air. In turn, they can settle on damp surfaces and grow rapidly when provided with suitable conditions.

To prevent mold, address any water damage or excessive moisture in your basement quickly. This includes drying out the area, removing standing water, improving ventilation, and fixing any leaks. The longer moisture remains present, the higher the likelihood that mold will develop and spread.

If you suspect that mold is already present in your wet basement, take action promptly! It’s vital that you prevent further growth and potential health risks. In cases of extensive mold growth, call a mold remediation professional who can safely and effectively address the issue.

A Word From Our Foundation Repair Crew

Fort Wayne Basement Waterproofing Experts is happy to explain how to dry out a basement fast. If you’re in the area, don’t hesitate to contact our Fort Wayne basement waterproofing contractors. We offer expert services and FREE price quotes. To find out more, reach out to our team today.


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