Whether you are basement waterproofing in Milwaukee, WI or in another geographical location, you’re going to want to make sure you’ve taken the necessary precautions before you finish your basement. The Environmental Protection Agency lists six items to check and fix before renovating or remodeling. These include: combustion appliances, airflow, moisture, radon, flooring, and windows.
Any appliances that burn fuels need ventilation. While these appliances are normal in the home and generally safe, conditions like spillage and back drafting can yield deadly pollutants into your house. The basement is the usual spot for many of these appliances, such as the furnace, water heater, and clothes dryer. If you plan to make your basement a space where people will be spending time, it’s imperative that you have correct ventilation of these appliances.
While proper airflow is important throughout your home, you must pay special attention to it in the basement. This will keep air fresh, help reduce moisture, and help make it a livable basement. The EPA suggests a mechanical ventilation system.
Moisture is the bane of basements. Small water problems turn into big water problems rapidly if you don’t fix them. Termites, dry rot, mildew, and sometimes even toxic mold can be the result of neglecting a moisture problem. Fixing these issues is sometimes as easy as altering the path of your downspout and/or re-grading your yard to slope away from the foundation. Make sure any cracks and seams are sealed. Basement waterproofing in Milwaukee, WI is essential to removing mold and moisture. Any water that does make its way in will need an exit, so install interior drainage and a sump pump system (including back up pump) to ensure a dry basement. Remodeling the basement without addressing moisture problems is just asking for trouble.
The second leading cause of lung cancer, radon is a colorless, odorless element found in homes in gas form. The only way to know if you are exposed to radon is to test for it. You can buy a simple and cheap home test at your local Wal-Mart or Home Depot. If your home does have a radon problem, it can be remedied with a radon mitigation system. These are usually cut into the floor of the basement, so it will be less intrusive and cheaper to take care of this before you remodel.
Be careful where you put carpeting in the basement. Any water source should be kept far from carpeting. The carpet will absorb water and breed mold underneath, where you won’t notice until it’s too late. Carpeting in the basement is especially susceptible to mold because it covers the cold concrete of your foundation. Any moisture that condenses between the concrete and the insulation of the carpet will be likely to grow mold, and it’s likely you don’t regularly check under your carpet for such things.
Older windows are known to cause energy loss and let moisture in. Installing new windows will save money in the long run and add to a brighter, cleaner looking basement. If you plan to have a bedroom in your basement, safety codes will require an egress window for fire escape purposes. The bottom of the window must be a maximum of forty four inches from the floor and have an opening of at least 5.7 square feet. The foundation for such a window must be at least three feet from the foundation.
This short checklist will go a long way toward your remodeling process. Getting these things done before you start remodeling will save you loads of time, money, and hassle in the future.