One of the most important reasons why homeowners put lime in the basement is to eradicate mold and prevent its spread.
But then a dilemma creeps in when you have a wet basement.
You are probably asking yourself whether it is the right thing to do. Let’s find out.
So, Should You Put Lime In A Wet Basement?
No. Unless under special circumstances, lime SHOULD NOT be applied in a wet basement. Health concerns associated with lime have been a major reason why many homeowners dread applying lime in their homes.
In this article, we will help you understand why it is not a good idea to apply lime in a wet basement.
We have also added a guide to keeping your basement moisture-free. And there’s more. Read on.
Three Reasons Why You Should NOT Use Lime in Wet Basement
Lime works pretty well on dry surfaces such as paper.
It effectively absorbs moisture which is the main reason why it is used to treat spilled chemicals and wastes.
Some other cool uses include pest control since lime is lethal if ingested. However, there are a few downsides if lime is applied to a wet basement. Below are some of these downsides.
1. Lime Is Hazardous
As we mentioned earlier, lime is lethal if ingested.
And if anyone walks into crawl space and touches them, there is every chance lime will find its way into his/her system.
There are many problems associated with lime.
- Skin corrosion and severe burns are some of the commonest issues when it comes to contact with the skin.
- Calcium hydroxide particles can also find their way into your eyes and pose an even more dangerous risk.
2. Lime Compromises Your Basement’s Air Condition
As you have seen, lime can pose a great risk when it comes in contact with your skin. You can imagine what it does if inhaled.
Here are some serious effects of inhaling lime:
- Burns in the throat and esophagus
- Swelling of tissues of the breathing system
- Difficulty in breathing
- It may aggravate asthma in patients suffering from the disease
Lime does not only affect air conditioning in the crawl space alone. It gets to find its way into the other parts of the home and causes even greater problems.
Ventilation systems have been known to make them airborne from which point they can get to any part of the room.
To cool the rooms, your HVAC systems have to pull in air and blow it into the home. Lime particles will inevitably be spread across the rooms.
3. Lime Absorb Limited Amount of Water
Though lime has had the reputation of being an effective drying material, it turns out it does less than that.
This is especially true if you plan to execute a one-time application of lime on your wet basement.
Plus, the more lime you apply to the basement the more you increase the chances of its spread into the other rooms and posing health concerns.
Three Precautions When Applying Lime
Lime is a dangerous chemical. Handling it should be done with ultimate care.
You need to protect your body from coming in contact with calcium hydroxide chemicals.
Most of these precautionary measures have everything to do with protective wear.
Here are key steps to take when applying lime:
1. Wear A Face Mask
As we mentioned earlier, if lime particles get into your breathing system, the effects can be disastrous.
To protect yourself from lime dust, put on a face mask.
A face mask is designed to allow only clean air into your system and bar particles.
Make sure that your fame is properly covered.
2. Put On Gloves and Gumboots
Your hands and feet should equally be protected from the harmful nature of lime.
You want to make sure that no part of your skin comes in contact with lime particles.
And since your feet are going to be walking and working on lime, you must put on gumboots.
Gloves will help prevent your hands from coming in contact with lime.
3. Safety Glasses
Lime can irritate the eyes.
Safety glasses will keep lime particles at bay and protect your eyes from their harmful nature.
Special glasses that are designed for such delicate procedures have been designed. Hustle around and get some ideal pairs for your job.
Four Ways to Prevent Water from Getting into The Basement
1. Seal Cracks
It is time to seal all cracks in your basement before the damage is done.
Water can cause untold damage in your basement and, indeed, the very foundation of your home.
Cracks can develop in the basement due to many reasons.
A poorly done foundation or extrinsic pressure due to moisture from the outside can cause cracks to develop in the basement.
They may not be big enough to put the house in a looming collapse but long-term exposure to water can.
There are some cases where the strength of the house is still formidable enough but cracks still exist.
You need to seal them ASAP.
Painting can also help ward off moisture in the basement.
2. Renovate Your Gutter Drains
Gutters help in tapping water from the roof and redirecting it to collection points. Often, gutter drains end up in the basement.
If any of these gutter drains leak, there is every chance water will seep into the building’s basement.
Carefully check to ensure that all gutter drains have no leaks. And any leak should be repaired immediately.
3. Install Proper Water Drainage
Nothing will ever mess you home as much as water can. A poorly done drainage system can put the entire building in jeopardy.
Water affects the integrity of the structure and strength of the building. Many buildings have collapsed this way.
So, there is no doubt any sign of water or wet surfaces in the basement can be an indication that things are not good.
Make haste and repair your water drainage to avoid any of these possible cases. Repair them where necessary and if replacement is needed, do it. It will save you a lot of trouble.
4. Apply A Coat of Paint
Many people underestimate what a coat of paint can do as far as preventing seepage of moisture is concerned.
Well, the truth is that paint can help seal off cracks and keep the basement dry and conducive.
Paint also clears mold developments which is a problem associated with wet floors and walls.
Basements are some of the most important spots in modern homes.
It is also one of the most vulnerable locations to water damage.
And for an obvious reason- its location. You won’t want to apply lime in your wet basement.
But you can keep it moisture-free using other feasible means as we highlighted.