Basement Maintenance Tips

Last Updated on June 21, 2021 by Ellen Christian

The summer and fall is the time that we take care of the household maintenance, repairs and upgrades.  The winter and spring are too cold to be outside or leave windows open for ventilation. We’ve got several projects scheduled for this year and a few that we have completed. One of the areas we’re focusing on right now is the basement. Product has been provided.

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Basement Maintenance Tips

Basement Maintenance Tips

Our home was built in 1865 so the basement isn’t finished and really isn’t usable for much. Last year, we ended up having water in the basement which brought all sorts of mud and dirt with it. We also discovered that our sump pump was broken and needed to be repaired.

When we first bought our house, I wasn’t aware that basements really needed maintenance. After all, it’s not like you’re entertaining down there or inviting people down to hang out. We quickly learned that to keep things running smoothly there is regular maintenance that needs to be done. These basement maintenance tips will get you started.

  • Install a sump pump – If there is any possibility at all that your basement will have water in it, install a sump pump that is plugged in and set to start automatically if it detects water. Trust me, that is far better than waking up to 6 feet of water in your basement with things floating around in it.
  • Regularly look for cracks – Our basement walls are almost entirely made of slate so we don’t have solid concrete blocks except in a corner that was rebuilt. If you have cement or concrete blocks, inspect them for damage regularly from settling and repair them before they become a problem. We had insulation blown into the slate to help keep the pipes in the basement from freezing when it gets too cold. Not pretty but effective.

Basement Maintenance Tips

  • Watch for dampness and mold – Because our basement gets very little air, we have a problem with dampness and mold. We recently installed a dehumidifier to help with the problem. We drain the dehumidifier so that it empties into our sump pump hole to eliminate the need for me to run downstairs three times a day to empty the dehumidifier. In most instances, the water from the dehumidifier simply drains out into the dirt below our basement and the sump pump never comes on.
  • Bugs and creatures – I HATE (get that – really HATE) bugs and mice. Unfortunately living in the country we have both. We regularly spray with an eco-friendly spider spray to eliminate most bugs and spiders from the basement. We also have D-con set in the basement to help with the mice. For those that are tender hearted about killing mice, catching them and bringing them outside will not help. Trust me, they will find their way back inside within minutes. Do NOT let pets or children into the basement if you set out poison of any kind.
  • Heat and hot water – We have a furnace, hot water heater and oil tank in our basement. They are all serviced regularly and inspected for damage. While I know how to change my own furnace filter, I want a professional to check them out for safety and efficiency.

Basement Maintenance Tips

  • Label it – Be certain that things like hot and cold water shut off valves and your circuit breaker box are clearly labeled. There is nothing worse in the middle of the night, when you’re trying to deal with a power outage or a water leak than to have to guess.

Basement Maintenance Tips

The Epson LabelWorks™ Safety Kit is perfect for printing durable labels to be used in your basement (or other areas). It allows you to print Glow In The Dark Tape and Black on Silver (reflective) tape that are the perfect choice for basement maintenance. My camera didn’t cooperate with getting a picture of the labels glowing in the dark but they really do.

  • Choose from 14 font types and 10 font styles
  • Built in memory stores up to 30 label design files
  • Prints up to two lines of text
  • Accommodates tapes from 6mm to 12mm wide.
  • Works with industrial strength glow in the dark and reflective tapes as well as stick labels and printable ribbons (sold separately)

The Epson LabelWorks™ Safety Kit works with six AA batteries so you don’t need to worry about having a power source nearby. It also comes in a convenient carrying case that holds the tape cartridges and the unit itself. This definitely comes in handy for labeling in the basement or any other area you want extra durable labels that really stand out.

What’s on your basement maintenance list?

Basement maintenance tips

12 thoughts on “Basement Maintenance Tips”

  1. We generally don't have sump pumps out here ( I mean I am sure some people do but it's not a common household thing like it was when I lived in Ontario). I too hate creatures in my house, thankfully we have not had that issue since purchasing our house a couple years ago like we did in our old rental. We were the only ones to leave the heat on in our garage so the pipes wouldn't freeze so I think the little mice loved our place best. We have discovered that we have a higher than recommended level of radon (apparently my postal code is one of the most affected areas!) so will have to get that dealt with soon.
  2. These are all great tips. We live in Florida so have no basement, but if we ever move up North we'd need to know this. Love that label maker - it's so great to keep things organized.
  3. These are great tips!! We don't have basements in Washington so I would be clueless if we had one in the future.
  4. These are some really great advice. Never thought to include a dehumidifier in the basement to control the moisture! Thanks! 

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