Basement Refinishing 101Basement Refinishing 101


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Basement Refinishing 101

When it comes to expanding your home living space, one of the most effective ways to do it is to finish the basement. You can turn a full basement into an entire floor of extra living space. You may even be able to create bedrooms, install a kitchen, and add a bathroom. I created this site to share my experiences with basement renovations and construction. My hope is that sharing what I have learned will help others to see that it's easier than you think to finish the basement and create the space you have always envisioned in your home.

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When Is It Time To Waterproof Your Basement?

Having water pour into your basement is going to be terrible for anything you have stored in the basement, as well as your foundation. While you should always have the basics covered, there are some additional reasons to make sure your basement is extra watertight.

If You Are Planning on Finishing Your Basement

Adding a finished basement to your home is a significant investment, and it makes sense to try to protect it. Many basic building materials, such as drywall, will degrade quickly if exposed to moisture regularly. Even if your basement stays pretty dry, you should have a waterproofing expert come in to look for possible problems. Once these areas are closed up behind insulation and drywall, it will be much more difficult to address a leak.

You should also look into getting a dehumidifier for your basement, and possibly a sump pump. The dehumidifier will tackle the natural dampness in the air so that your furnishings and electronics are not damaged by the humidity. While a sump pump will cost a bit to install, it too will go a long way to protecting your new finished basement. While it doesn't do anything to keep water out (unless it is connected to a drain tile system) it will automatically get rid of water as it comes in. Rather than coming home to a basement that has been flooded all weekend, you can come home to a basement that is damp and already starting to dry, since the sump pump got rid of the water for you.

If You Have Already Worked On Your Exterior Drainage System

Sealing your walls isn't going to do you any good if the water pressure outside your basement is so high it keeps creating new cracks in the foundation. That is why the first thing a waterproofing expert should check is the external waterproofing measures. In particular, you should keep your gutters clean and in good repair to ensure that they are carrying the water away from your home.

Under the surface, more homes use a drain tile system to collect water and encourage it to drain away from the home, especially in areas where the water table is high or the natural grade of the land would keep your foundation wet all the time. A final reason that moisture is pooling near your walls is a septic system that is either improperly installed or failing. This is definitely not the kind of water you want in your basement, so if you discover that your septic system is causing flooding issues, you should deal with it immediately.

If You Notice that You Are Getting Water In the Basement

Even small amounts of water coming in through the walls are a serious concern, no matter how much you might want to wait. Cracks in your foundation walls are not always easily visible, and the sooner you catch them, the easier the repair will be. Small cracks can be repaired with strips of carbon fiber, which can be laid to blend in with the rest of the surface of the wall. Once the crack opens up, however, the only way to fix it is to use a large steel beam to brace the foundation. This very visible repair will get in the way if you decide to finish your basement or want to sell your home.

Water in your basement is something you should never ignore. However, there are a few occasions where you need to address the issue sooner rather than later. Call in professionals like those at Rite-Way Waterproofing to assist you in your repairs.