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Having a wet basement can cause a slew of problems. If you spend much time in your basement, you'll want to keep it dry. If you keep any items in storage, you need it to be dry. Cardboard boxes don't hold up well under dampness. In addition, when basements get wet, they provide ideal conditions for mold and mildew to form. Many people ask contractors to fix the problem, they're shocked with high bills. However, the facts are that you can solve the problem for a few hundred bucks or less, if you do it on your own.

• Clean your gutters. Make sure your home can drain properly. Thoroughly clean your gutters, downspouts, and other drain pipes that run inside and outside your home. An easy way to do this is to use a water hose. Run a strong pressure of water throughout the pipes to clean out all the debris and anything that may cause it to clog.
• Make sure the water drains away from your home. You want to check how water drains from your home. If you can have it drain five feet away from your home, that is ideal. If it's much closer, you're encouraging the water to creep down into the walls of your basement.
• Repair all holes in gutters. Use a sealer such as caulk to fix any holes in any gutters. You don't want to have any leaks. Leaks can cause unwanted water to drip down into your basement area.
• Make sure the soil around your home slopes downward. Water that accumulates at the outer bottom edge of your house easily can seep down into places you don't want it to be. If you slope the soil around your home's foundation downward, you're encouraging the water to move farther and farther away from your home.
• Dry out your basement. Once you've solved all the drainage problems on the outside of your home, it's time to dry out your basement. The best way to do this is to blow huge fans in your basement and open the doors and windows (if any). Let your basement air out.
• Scrub the walls. If mold or mildew has formed in your basement, you need to clean it thoroughly. There are many different types of mold and mildew removing chemicals on the market. Follow the directions on these chemicals and use them carefully.