For most of us, basements tend to serve rather functional purposes. They are used to store numerous items and utilities such as boilers are often present. However, transforming a basement into a living space will provide you with several unique advantages. Not only is this an excellent idea if you are expecting long-term guests or you wish to create a man cave, but a comfortable basement will also dramatically increase the resale value of your home. One of the most common stumbling blocks when performing this task involves the presence of moisture. High levels of humidity can lead to issues with paint, wood and drywall.
They can also cause basements to become breeding grounds for mould and unhealthy bacteria. What are some of the ways in which you can eliminate any moistured that may be present? This is an important concern to address before any substantial renovations should begin. Let’s take a closer look.
Identifying the Source of the Moisture
In the majority of cases, excessive levels of moisture within a basement will originate from two sources:
- The surrounding walls
- The underlying floor
This is particularly relevant if you happen to live within an area known for a high water table. First, begin by looking for any obvious signs that such areas have been compromised. Cracks and discoloured areas will normally indicate where the problem lies. Fill in any cracks (regardless of how small) with a waterproof mortar. This can usually be found at your local home and garden store.
Once the cracks have been addressed, you will need to purchase a heavy-duty sealant that can be applied with a paint brush and roller. The purpose of this substance is to keep any outside moisture from permeating through the walls and the floor. Please note that two or more coats may need to be applied. Allow at least 24 hours for the sealant to dry before applying a second coat and make certain that the basement is properly ventilated during the application process.
Additional Preventative Measures
Let us note that it is just as wise to employ a handful of long-term solutions. Most basements should be equipped with a hygrometer. This device measures the moisture content in the air; enabling you to discern whether or not an issue is present. Also, it could be prudent to purchase a submersible pump. In the event that the basement is flooded or a pipe happens to burst during the colder months of the year, any standing water can be immediately removed before it causes a massive amount of costly damage.
Transforming a basement into a comfortable living area will open up a world of interior design possibilities. The good news is that unlike the majority of other home renovation projects, you will normally not need to obtain any type of planning permission before the project begins. Still, effectively dealing with moisture is critical if you hope to get the most out of what this wonderful space ha to offer.