Finishing Your Basement? Waterproof It First!
For the most part, basements usually aren’t finished to the same degree as the first or second story of the average modern house. After all, they aren’t meant to be a third floor of living space so much as a place to store the furnace, the things you don’t use very often, and possibly the laundry machine. Finishing the basement with carpet, drywall, and paint is an excellent way to add value to your home, but at the same time you should probably have an expert inspect your walls before you go covering them up.
Adding Comfort Is Good…
While the basement may not automatically be a third floor of living space, it can be. If you’ve got the skills you need for home improvement, covering up the bare concrete and exposed insulation in your basement can be an excellent way to add what’s effectively another 33-50 percent to the living space in your house, depending on how many floors you have aboveground. Even with a split-level you stand to gain another 25 percent. And if you can do it without any professional help, finishing your basement may be one of the most effective investments you ever make.
But Adding Safety Is Better
However, there is one major disadvantage to adding wall-to-wall carpets and drywall to your basement: it covers up every potential trouble spot and makes it hard to repair the concrete without tearing up the carpet or the drywall in the process. In addition, if there ends up being a mold problem, both materials can wind up hosting the fungus, which means that both would have to be removed and either replaced or else washed in very hot water.
But as the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you want to finish your basement, you should bring in a waterproofing specialist first to examine the state of your basement and give you some advice before you go covering everything up. By nailing down such problems ahead of time, you ensure that your unseen basement walls and floor will be in good condition for decades to come.