We have a damp basement in our 1890 house in Massachusetts. We tried to dry it out with open windows but is still damp. We are going to buy a dehumidifier. When we run dehumidifier do we close windows or leave them open? Also, any recommendations for dehumidifiers?
Re: Damp Basement
If you use a dehumidifier, the windows would be closed. They will never keep up with the humidity coming in on warm, humid summer days and nights.
Dehumidifiers do use a fair amount of electricity. They are basically little self frosting refrigerators. The coils constantly freeze up and then are rapidly melted with heating elements. The water then collects in a tank, or can be drained with a hose to a drain.
Does your basement have an earthen floor? If so , it needs to be covered with a vapor barrier. Even if it has concrete, there may be no vapor barrier under it. Concrete is very porous and easily passes water vapor. There are meathods for creatng a vapor barrier on concrete. Mere paint or epoxy coatings will not hold the vapor in . There are very heavy rolled on urethane coatings that are often put down before other types of flooring go down. There are also inter-locking plywood panels which have a plastic raised nubs on the bottom to form a vapor barrier and also keep any seeping water off the flooring.
Your walls could be passing moisture also, but I suspect your floor is the major culprit.