Waterproofing Basement Finishing and Repair
Basement finishing is simply the act of transforming a finished basement (usually the original basement when the home was constructed) to a usable, livable space. Such a project usually involves repairing or replacing floor joists, installing new insulation, sealing and painting walls, or reconfiguring the plumbing. A re-finish job typically involves updating a basement that has experienced moisture or water damage. In some cases, a basement finishing project may be required in order to fix structural damage that is beyond the ability of a home owner to repair on his own. Either way, a few well thought out ideas can transform an otherwise unsalvageable basement into a home that both breathes and looks forward to being used.
Basement flooring is an important part of any basement finishing project. It is also one of the most overlooked aspects when it comes to completing a basement. Basement flooring needs to be durable, easy to clean, and easy to maintain in a dry and wet environment. There are several considerations to keep in mind when choosing a basement flooring product.
For a completed basement finishing system, one of the most popular options is a suspended ceiling system. A suspended ceiling is simply a series of overhead beams (or trusses) with no exposed rails. Instead of traditional wood planks, a suspended ceiling has the look and feel of ceramic tiles. The beauty of a suspended ceiling is that it allows for the same amount of design versatility as a traditional wood floor, but with none of the care or time involved in installing wooden flooring.
For a finished basement finishing project, it is also important to take into consideration the electrical and plumbing utility of the property. Electrical work may include installation of wiring throughout the property, including electrical outlets and electrical conduit throughout the space. Plumbing includes the plumbing fixtures for faucets and sinks, and may include the installation of piping for septic or sewage systems.
One of the most daunting tasks for a basement finishing project is moisture control. Moisture is an enemy of every flooring surface – concrete, marble, tile, or wood. One of the easiest ways to control moisture is with waterproofing. By sealing surfaces against water infiltration and egress, you can keep water away from your finished basement surface. In addition, by sealing and/or installing a vapor barrier, you can prevent moisture from entering the interior of your walls and causing mold or mildew to grow.
If moisture problems do not already exist, it is important to address them prior to completing the basement finishing project. One way to accomplish this is through the installation of a perimeter drain. Perimeter drains are installed just below the finished floor surface, with a connected long and wide guttering system that directs excess water away from the basement finishing project area and directed away from the home. This ensures that excess water that seeps into the basement does not end up sitting on your finished basement floor and causing problems for mold and mildew.
When installing a perimeter drain, remember that installing too many PVC pipes or electrical wires can create a dangerous “sink hole”. These types of sinks holes are very common in basements where there are multiple plumbing or electrical wires. While installing electrical and plumbing pipes is generally safe – it is always best to hire a professional to ensure the best protection and installation. It is also always best to hire a professional to install new flooring over existing plumbing or electrical wires. Not only can new flooring be damaged by water, but the wires themselves can become unstable and break inside the basement finishing project if they are not installed properly.
Finishing and waterproofing a basement finishing project is an important task that must not be taken lightly. There are many ways to avoid moisture damage and mold growth which will lead to water damage and mold growth. Always make sure that you work with a reliable and certified company that can handle any basement finishing or waterproofing needs you may have. There is nothing worse than getting caught with a basement finishing project and having water damage and mold buildup.