For experienced and new homeowners, the idea of having a finished basement can mean a variety of opportunities to not just improve your home’s comfortability, but also its overall value. But before you jump into picking your type of flooring and how you’re going to turn your basement into the ultimate personal movie theater, you should consider taking the steps to prepare and protect your finished basement project. There is especially one problem that basements tend to eventually come across: moisture and groundwater intrusion.
From the porous nature of concrete to the possibility of cracks in your foundation wall, there are a variety of ways that moisture and water can invade your basement. If not addressed, this could lead to costly repairs due to water damage, mold growth, and moisture-loving pests like termites—it could be disastrous for a finished basement. Fortunately, below are some tips on how you can keep that finished basement of yours protected so that you can enjoy your new space!
Repair Any Foundation Damage
Before beginning your finished basement project, it’s time to assess the condition of your basement and foundation. You’ll want to inspect your basement floor and walls for any cracks. If you have spotted any basement floor or wall cracks, you should have them inspected to see if they require any repairs. This is especially important if you have noticed these signs:
- Cracks that have been growing over time
- Signs of water leaks around those cracks
- Stair-step cracks in the basement
- Bowing basement walls
Getting your foundation repaired will not only keep you safe from a wet or flooded basement, but it will also help maintain the structural integrity of your home as well.
Inspect Your Basement Ceiling and Supports
If moisture has been infiltrating into your basement, there’s the possibility that the wooden floor joists in your basement ceiling may have been affected. The same can be said for any other wooden beams that are providing support to the basement ceiling. Have these wooden structures inspected for any signs of mold, termites, or wood rot as excess moisture in the basement can invite any of these problems.
Waterproofing Your Basement
Even after you’ve had those foundation cracks repaired, it’s always possible for more cracks to occur in the future. The reason for this is because of how groundwater can come to sit against your foundation, generating what’s called hydrostatic pressure. This immense pressure is what encourages moisture vapor to penetrate through your concrete foundation, and it is also what can lead to basement cracks as the concrete begins to give way to that pressure. Those cracks can then lead to groundwater leaking in.
There’s no way to prevent all moisture and groundwater from reaching your basement—but you can control where it goes so that your basement remains dry, and your foundation is relieved of that hydrostatic pressure. That’s why you should consider having an interior basement waterproofing system installed before beginning your finished basement project. An interior basement waterproofing solution can redirect incoming moisture and groundwater to the outside of your home, reducing the surrounding hydrostatic pressure, and relieving your foundation of stress.
Call a Professional Basement Waterproofing Company
After these steps, you can think about putting in insulation, flooring, and whatever else your heart desires. But it’s important to make sure your basement waterproofing is done right. Once your finished basement project has been completed, the last thing you’d want to do is tear it up just because your waterproofing wasn’t installed properly. When searching for a professional contractor, be sure to find one that has many decades of experience, a lot of positive reviews, and offers a strong warranty to back their work. One such company is ’58 Foundations, which specializes in basement waterproofing, foundation repair, and crawlspace encapsulation.