There are many reasons why property owners would like to renovate their basements, these reasons being: as an extra living space, wine cellar, game room/arcade, children’s’ play area, home theater etc.
However, there are factors that may stop property owners from fully appreciating their basement renovation mentioned below as well as possible solutions.
1) Poor Moisture Control
Despite you newly renovated basement being below ground, moisture is still present and if moisture isn’t carefully controlled, mould and mildew (a type of mould or fungi) may appear and start infesting your basement, causing all sorts of discomfort. If your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system can be upgraded to have a moisture controller component added, consider adding it. If is not possible, purchase a high-quality dehumidifier which has been designed to effectively an area the size of your entire basement.
2) Using Porous Building Materials
This issue sparks a lot of debate. There are many home improvement professionals who believe that certain porous materials are safe for basement use, as long as they’ve been rated as “water-resistant” or something similar. However, experts disagree.
Porous materials which include wood (even treated wood), drywall and fiberglass should not be used as materials for the basement. When the plaster of drywall is mixed with water, heat is released as well as some fumes containing sulphurous compounds which can be extremely toxic. When fiberglass insulation is wet, it loses nearly all of its insulating properties as well as providing an ideal breeding ground for mold and mildew. When renovating your basement, keep in mind to use materials specifically created for the basement, materials with the ability to withstand moisture and even floods.
3) Poor Sump Pump Backup
A sump pump is what keeps excess moisture out of your basement. However, most pumps are electrically operated. Sump pumps are needed to remove excess moisture including pipe leaks, their most common use being during rainstorms. However it is during rainstorms that property owners are at a disadvantage in depending solely on sump pumps because the pumps are rendered useless when the electricity is disabled during these troublesome rainstorms. As a result, property owners can do nothing other than watch as their newly rendered basements are completely soaked in water. To avoid such a scenario, it would be highly recommended that a battery or generator version of a sump pump be used when the electricity has been disabled.
4) Ignoring Your Foundation
It is a common mistake to ignore externally and internally waterproofing your basement foundation because it’s very time consuming and labour intensive. However, it is essential in protecting and prolonging your new investment. Seek a trusted contractor when considering waterproofing your basement foundation.