Remodeling your basement is a smart move. In addition to adding more livable square footage to your home, it also provides a space where the kids and their friends can hang out without disturbing the rest of the household or where in-laws can enjoy a space of their own when they visit.
Before Remodeling Your Basement
Basements are notorious for being damp and musty — code for moisture and mold issues. Thus, there are a few things you’ll want to do before beginning the remodel.
- Moisture test. Condensation is one of the most obvious clues that a home has moisture problems. Purchase clear plastic sheeting at a local hardware store. Cut it into two-foot squares and tape them in various locations on the floor, walls and ceiling. Allow them rest for a couple of weeks. If condensation occurs on the underside of the plastic, it’s a sign that the foundation will need to be sealed. If condensation forms on the top side, humidity levels are too high and you’ll need to use a dehumidifier.
- Schedule a fuel-burning appliance inspection. Carbon monoxide and other noxious gases are automatic byproducts of fuel-burning appliances. These gases are often heavier than air, so they sink to the bottom levels of the home. A professional HVAC technician can provide an inspection of fuel-burning appliances as well as household ventilation systems to verify healthy carbon monoxide levels. As long as you have a pro in the house, ask about whether a zoning system would increase efficiency and whole-basement comfort. Note: Remember that you furnace and hot water heater need air for combustion. DO NOT ENCLOSE THEM without reviewing the plan with your HVAC pro to make sure that you don’t create a dangerous condition that could develop carbon monoxide.
- Seal and Insulate. Insulate the walls to create an efficient and habitable year-round space. Before you close them in, insulate both hot and cold water pipes to prevent heat loss and protect interior wall spaces from condensation. It’s also a good idea to insulate floors. Basement insulation requires different products and techniques than insulation in upstairs spaces for adequate air leak and moisture protection.
Schedule an inspection with P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling before remodeling your Cleveland basement. From appliance inspections to sealing and insulation, we’ll get your basement in shape.