You’ve got the plans and you know what it is you want. Maybe it’s a game room to play Halo in, or a home theater where you can watch the latest Blu-ray or the big game. But whatever your basement remodeling plans are, don’t start them until you know your home’s most vulnerable space is ready. Here’s how to prepare your basement.
Waterproofing must precede remodeling
The last thing you want is for all that expensive new furniture and electronic equipment to be ruined by water damage. That’s why it’s important to make sure you enact a thorough basement waterproofing regime before you start your basement remodeling project.
Install a sump pump
Your basement’s sump pump is responsible for removing all the excess non-condensation moisture from your basement. To be thorough, you should purchase a sump pump with a battery backup, so your basement will still be protected if the power goes out (something that often happens during the big storms that cause basement flooding).
Check for plumbing leaks
Just because your foundation is firm and doesn’t allow any outside water to infiltrate through cracks, it doesn’t mean your basement is totally waterproof. Plumbing pipes run through your basement, and if they break or leak, your basement finishing project could wind up nothing more than an expensive mess. Check all your pipes before remodeling, and fix any potential leaks.
This is as simple as buying one or more dehumidifiers to run regularly in your basement. Also, avoid drying clothes in your basement, as the escaping water vapor has nowhere to go.
Inspect the windows
Just like your foundation, your window wells can develop cracks and imperfections that allow water in. Leaks can also come from improperly sealed windows. Make sure your windows are properly caulked, and your window wells don’t collect water when it rains.
Know what to avoid
Hardwood floors might look good in your living room, but in the basement they’re a terrible idea. Even if you follow the most rigorous basement waterproofing plans, there’s always the chance something will take you by surprise, and your basement is the most likely place in your home to take on water. One flood — even a small one — can warp a hardwood floor irreparably.
Try ceramic, porcelain or even vinyl tiles, which will stand up to any water. Even carpeting is cheaper to replace than wood floors, and therefore a better choice!
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