For many homeowners, a finished basement is on the list of goal projects. A finished basement both increases living space and adds to home value. Plus, it is exciting to have space in the home that can be turned into anything you wish. Think: play room, family room, man cave, home bar, den, wine cellar, game room, home gym, art studio, music practice space, yoga studio, second kitchen, extra bedroom, sports memorabilia showcase, craft room – the list goes on. And sometimes it can be a combination space. But before a basement can be finished, you must think about basement waterproofing.
Typically, depending on the area in which you live, it costs anywhere from $30 – $75 per square foot to finish a basement. It’s expensive to turn a raw and unfinished space into living quarters – especially a space that is underground. Some folks hire a professional contractor, others take it on as a do it yourself project. Either way, it’s a big job. It’s an extremely important one, too. It will increase your home’s value significantly as well as your family’s quality of life.
To make the investment of time and money worth it, the first step is making sure that the basement will stay completely dry. You need to make sure that your unfinished basement is in the best shape possible before the construction work begins. If you don’t take the appropriate basement waterproofing steps, all of that work could be ruined. Imagine minor to major water seepage, mold, and furniture-warping humidity.
Basement Waterproofing Best Practices for an Unfinished Space
Before you begin a basement finishing project, the interior walls of your home – as well as the foundation – should be inspected for any damage. Basic structural repairs, such as interior wall stabilization and fixes to the foundation, are essential. You should also:
Ensure Proper Drainage
To make sure that water stays out of your basement, you need to make sure that water drains properly. This will prevent major leaking, flooding, and all around damage. Check all piping systems and replace any pipes that are old or damaged in anyway. Sometimes the installation of a sump pump, or a backup sump pump, is required. It will be well worth the investment.
Seal Walls and Floors
Over time, as a house settles, walls and floors will crack. Sometimes the cracks are hairline, other times they are quite significant. Wall and floor cracks can be repaired by injecting the cracks with an epoxy and urethane paste which strongly adheres to the concrete. Once the repairs are complete, it’s also a good idea to coat the concrete walls with a waterproofing substance. This will keep any moisture out of your house so you can safely hang drywall and not worry about mold growing behind the walls.
Prevent Water Flow Towards the House
Before finishing a basement, you must think about the exterior of your home as well. If you have water flowing towards your house, because of poor drainage or uneven grading, it can cause major problems for the interior of your home. All of those cracks that you just repaired could be compromised once again. To ensure that water flows away from your home, think about the grading of your property or installing a French drain.
If you are thinking about finishing your basement, contact us today for a complimentary basement waterproofing estimate.