Whether you plan on using your basement as living space, a utility room, or for storage, maintaining a healthy environment is important -- and with basements, this starts with keeping the area dry. Because they're at least partially below ground surface level, basements are particularly vulnerable to flooding. Here are five ways that you can keep yours as dry as possible.

Adjust Your Landscaping

Using drought-resistant landscaping plants around your home means that you won't have to water as much as with traditional shrubs and flowers, thus preventing too much water from gathering around your home's foundation. Keeping your lawn back at least six feet from your home's exterior will further cut down on watering. You can also have fill dirt brought in to make a slope that will force water to drain away from your house. Also, direct downspouts away from your home's foundation and make sure that your gutters are always clear of fallen leaves and other vegetative debris that that they don't leak over the side.

Many modern homeowners are discovering the benefits of not having landscaping around their home at all -- instead, they're installing wraparound porches where they can put tables and chairs, chaise lounges, potted plants, and barbecues and outdoor grills. Not only does these completely eliminate water from gathering around the home's foundation, it provides a fire break between burning vegetation and your home. A concrete cutting contractor—such as National Concrete Cutting Inc.—can advise you on all aspects of installing a wraparound patio.

Install an Exhaust Fan

Keeping air molecules moving is a good way to keep atmospheric humidity levels down. Proper ventilation will also discourage moisture from building up on floors and walls. Homeowners in areas that receive a great deal of precipitation often choose to use a dehumidifier along with an exhaust fan when humidity is particularly high.

Have a Sump Pump Installed 

Sump pumps provide homeowners with an effective, efficient way to quickly remove water buildup in basements. These is particularly useful in areas that receive heavy seasonal rainstorms or where large amounts of snow build up over the winter and melt in spring. Most concrete cutting contractors also install sump pumps.

Use Humidity-Proof Paint

Moisture-repellent paint on your basement walls and floors is another great way to keep humidity levels down. As an added bonus, this type of paint can also be used in other areas of the home that have high humidity levels such as bathrooms and kitchens.

Insulate Your Pipes

Keeping plumbing pipes well insulated will help reduce the condensation that develops when pipes are cold, and in turn, keeps humidity levels down. You should also make certain to check your pipes routinely for signs of leakage.

Your local concrete contractor will be able to provide you with more suggestions on how to keep your basement as dry as possible.