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I have a damp basement. There are really no big water issues because the house sits on sloped terrain, it's just damp and musty. I've been running a de-humidifier, but that doesn't seem to be taking care of the dampness as well as I'd like it.

My question is, would installing a sump pump assist in reducing the overall dampness of the basement? I was thinking that lowering the water table around the house would be beneficial, and I could just let the dehumidifier drain into the sump.

Edit: There is basically no air flow in the basement since the house was primarily heated with a wood stove, and cooled with window air. There are vents, but I don't want to circulate that air with the rest of the house because the main living area will take on the smell, until I get the moisture under control.

  • Is there an existing sump pit, and water visible in the pit? You could also try a very simple moisture test: tape a ~2x2' square of clear plastic sheeting to the floor (6mm vapour barrier would be best), then wait a couple of days to see if there is any visible moisture coming through the slab (may also want to check after a heavy rainfall). – gregmac May 4 '15 at 21:14
  • What's the air flow situation like in the basement? Musty especially makes me think the larger problem may actually be a lack of air movement. Is the basement conditioned space (heated/cooled like the rest of the house)? If you have forced air, are there vents and at least one return in the basement? Is there a door or is the basement open to the upstairs? – gregmac May 4 '15 at 21:15

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