Finishing a Basement: Steps You Mustn’t Skip
June 28, 2021
A lot of homeowners have realized that turning an ordinary, dark, dusty basement into a comfortable living space can come in handy. Some use that area to create guest bedrooms, others opt for second living rooms, and those who like to work out usually use that space for a home gym. Parents who need a place where they will watch the games and hang out with their friends without disturbing the kids use the basement as a fan cave.
Regardless of what you intend to do with your basement, transforming it into a living space is an enormous project, so it can easily happen that you forget a thing or two. Of course, some things such as waterproofing your basement can be done later on, but it is much simpler and even cheaper to protect your home against moisture and water damage while the construction is still in progress.
Before you can move on to the important things, you should clean out your basement. Over the years, you may have left a ton of boxes and broken appliances down there, so it is time to take everything out and perform a moisture test. Is your basement completely dry or are there any leaks? Locate the source of the moisture and fix it. Maybe you have wet soil under your basement or perhaps there are cracks in your foundation. To avoid plain guessing and ensure that your basement is completely safe and waterproof, you should contact professionals. Expert contractors in your area can inspect your basement, fix the damages, and install waterproofing systems, therefore ensuring that your basement will stay dry for years to come.
So, before you move on to installing the drywall, laying tiles, and painting the walls, here are some things area basement waterproofing experts could do to keep your basement safe from any water damage.
Installing an Interior Drainage System
If you decide not to install an interior drainage system, you could be just one rain away from a damaged basement. During the storm, the excess groundwater will damage your drywall and insulation and you will have to rip them out and start all over again. Although you could wait and see whether the rainwater will damage your basement and opt to install the drainage system afterward, it is much easier to install it right away and save yourself the headache. With a reliable interior drainage system protecting your basement, you could sleep better knowing that after a rainy night you won’t wake up to find a damaged basement.
Installing a Sump Pump
What would you do if there is suddenly a lot of water in your basement? This could happen due to heavy rains or a burst washing machine hose, so you need to be prepared for this scenario. Getting rid of all that water with a mop and a bucket can take hours and it is rather exhausting. A sump pump will easily fix this problem and discharge large volumes of water from your basement in no time. It could work even if there is a blackout with help from a battery backup.
Sealing the Basement Walls
If you think that the basement's concrete walls will save this space from moisture, you are mistaken. Keep in mind that basement walls are absorptive, so they will let moisture in in the form of water vapor. Soon the moisture in your basement will cause mold infestation and other problems. Local contractors could cover your walls with a vapor barrier that won’t let the moisture in, so you can enjoy your dry and comfortable basement for years to come.
Getting a Dehumidifier
Another way you can ensure that your basement stays dry and free of moisture is to get a state-of-the-art dehumidifier. This device will keep your basement protected from mold and mildew and prevent rot. Even if you have installed a fantastic waterproofing system, you could benefit from a dehumidifier. The soil that surrounds the basement walls is full of moisture, so this device could help you keep your basement dry. Even though you could get an ordinary dehumidifier from your local store, keep in mind that those are not professional devices and do not have the power to keep large spaces dry. Therefore, ask the contractor what they recommend.
Regrading the Yard
After the professionals have installed the necessary systems to keep your basement waterproof, you should make sure the water isn’t directed toward your home. If your yard is graded so that excess rainwater is pitched away from the house, you are golden. However, if you notice that every time it rains the water goes toward your basement and foundation, you should regrade your yard as soon as possible.
Remodeling your basement and transforming it into a cozy living space is a great idea, but to do everything properly, you should contact your local basement waterproofing experts. This way, you will be at ease knowing that your new gym, guest room, or maybe a second living room won’t get moldy after the first rain.