Whether you are looking to add some family entertainment space, or a place to where you can banish the teenage child, finishing your basement is an investment in time and money. A number of key questions must first be answered before you make the trip to the lumber yard, or call in the renovation professionals.
If your basement is unfinished, conducting a basement renovation is the perfect way to increase your living space and can even increase the energy efficiency of your home during the cold winter months.
“Renovating your basement will allow you to get the most enjoyment out of your home by creating additional liveable space for optimal comfort,” says David Flood, insulation expert at Owens Corning. “A renovated basement will also help increase the value of your home and help you save on energy costs during the cold winter months.”
Are there traces of moisture or mould on the floor or walls?
Is there a persistent musty odour in clothing and other objects that are stored in your basement?
Has basement flooding ever occurred?
Are humidity levels often above 55 per cent in the winter?
Moisture problems can ruin even the most expensive renovations and make your basement unliveable. So, if the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” here are some tips on reducing moisture sources:
Avoid drying clothes indoors. Vent dryers to the outside.
Cover any exposed earth in the crawl space or basement with heavy polyethylene, sealed and weighted down.
Slope soil away from foundations to keep the basement walls and slab dry. Patch any foundation leaks.
Don’t use humidifiers, unless humidity levels are below 30 per cent R.H.
Avoid drying firewood in the basement.
One of the biggest threats of moisture is condensation due to inadequate insulation in basement walls. In the winter, condensation can occur when heated interior air escapes through an under-insulated wall cavity and meets a cool surface. To avoid future moisture problems caused by condensation, it is best to insulate foundation walls with an insulation that also works as an air barrier.