Top tips for remodeling a basement


Moist drywall and carpet in a basement can grow mold and mildew, causing musty odors and decay. This can become a health risk for those who live in the home.

A remodeled basement can add comfort and value to a home. In fact, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2013 Cost vs. Value Report, basement remodels are still one of the top remodeling projects and typically consist of about a third of the entire home’s available space.

When it comes to finishing a basement, whether it’s for a “man cave,” laundry room, playroom or home office, hiding concrete or cinder blocks behind drywall, wood and carpet is the easy part.

However, building new spaces that won’t encourage mold and mildew or become damaged by condensation is much more difficult. That’s because since concrete is porous and in contact with the cool ground, it can become a condensing surface for water vapor.

As a result, moist drywall and carpet can begin to grow mold and mildew, causing musty odors and decay; this can even become a health risk for those who live in the home.

High relative humidity in the basement can also affect the electronics, furniture, woodwork, painted surfaces, and personal belongings that are stored there. To help, here are some tips.

Moisture control techniques
1. To manage exterior moisture, ensure that the rain gutters are in working order and the foundation is properly graded to carry water away from the house.

2. To manage interior moisture, fix cracks and faulty seams and add the proper vapor barriers and insulation.

3. Use proper construction methods and materials to control water, air movement and vapor diffusion.

4. Use an Energy Star-rated dehumidifier to control high humidity levels.

Several organizations, including the Environmental Protection Agency, American Lung Association, and American Medical Association, all recommend using dehumidifiers to maintain humidity levels of 50 percent or less in the home, like the ones offered by Santa Fe.

Santa Fe high-capacity dehumidifiers are designed to be energy efficient and operate effectively in the cooler temperatures of a basement. That can help maintain the structural integrity of your home, inhibit mold growth, and improve the indoor air quality of your home by removing odor-causing moisture.

Also, remember that air in the basement is also circulating through the rest of the home, contributing to poor indoor air quality and causing uncomfortably high humidity levels. This may lead to costly problems such as mold growth, increased air conditioner loads, and swelling of millwork and cabinetry.

To learn more, visit North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.


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