The basement is a great space to add a living space. Many basements are left unfinished by the builder and it is up to the home owner to decide what to do with them. When finishing your basement there are key elements you must always look out for.
The call sign of a problem in your basement is dampness or standing water. Any kind of moisture leak into your home could potentially be very dangerous and costly. Improperly sealed windows and joints can allow moisture in which could lead to mold or mildew growth. Mold and mildew can grow in just about any area of the basement, from floors and walls to beams and frames. These growths could cause a potential health risk to your family and must be addressed immediately.
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Moisture problems can also be detrimental to the structural issues of a home. Water tends to find its way into cracks causing them to expand and into wooden beams causing them to warp. If these issues are not addressed immediately your small home renovation could end up costing a fortune in future repairs. Be cautious and diligent in your inspections of all possible trouble areas including windows and any area where pipes penetrate walls. Make sure items such as your water heater and washing machine were properly installed and sealed. Consulting a professional at the beginning of this process is a great way of keeping a simple remodel from becoming a costly clean up down the road.
By thoroughly inspecting your basement before starting and by installing the proper insulation during your renovation, including a vapor barrier to keep moisture out, you can rest assured that you have done what you can to keep your family and your home safe from water leakage and moisture damage. Consult your building codes to insure your project adheres to safety standards and give your family and yourself the extra space and comfort a finished basement can bring.