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Can You Finish a Damp Basement?


Finishing your basement is a great investment and one of the best ways to improve your home’s value. That said, it can be difficult to know what to do when you have a damp basement. Should you call basement waterproofing companies before scheduling your basement finishing service? Let’s take a look at this question. You need to make sure that you understand why it’s important to avoid finishing a damp basement and what steps you can take if you find yourself in that situation.

Damp Basements Are Hard to Finish

If you want to finish your basement, you’re making an intelligent financial investment. A finished basement can expand how much usable room is available in your home, make it more fun for your household, and increase your home’s market value. According to Reality Biz News, basements may account for one-third of one-half of a home’s total area. With that in mind, a finished basement can be a tremendous promotional detail when listing your home for sale.

As a result, it’s only natural that you’d want to open up your home and make a second sitting room or even a bedroom for your kids or yourself. Unfortunately, basements are typically the dampest part of any home. Since they’re underground, this dampness may be difficult to avoid and can cause issues. For example, any burst plumbing or floods in your home will only increase the humidity of your basement.

Basements may also experience foundation shifting, excess water exposure due to poor drainage fields, and other situations the rest of your house wouldn’t be exposed to. None of these issues will go away if you simply finish your basement. In this scenario, it would simply cover up a major problem without actually doing anything to resolve the issue properly.

Think about what you’re doing when you’re finishing a damp basement. If there are underlying issues with your plumbing, foundation, or other structures, you’re simply putting the new materials directly on top of these problems. As a result, the problems aren’t going to go away. In fact, they may worsen over time and affect the quality of your finishing materials as they go on unaddressed.

The reason behind this is that the dampness may remain beneath the new drywall and simply wear away at it over time. This can deteriorate your new investment quickly. Again, this may only worsen with time and could force you to either repair the finished basement or address the water problems and finish it a second time. Rather than make that mistake and waste time and money, it’s important to know what kind of mistakes may affect you and how to avoid them.

There Are Several Problems You Might Experience

Dampness in a basement is a problem that you simply can’t ignore, especially if you want to get it finished. While it’s technically possible to finish a basement in this condition, it’s never a good idea to do so. Simply put, basement dampness can damage your new materials and cause severe problems with the safety of the space.

How exactly can dampness cause such an issue? Imagine that mold is growing in your basement and you finish it with new wall materials and floors. That mold doesn’t go away if it hasn’t been treated. Instead, it could simply spread further throughout your home, including the new materials. If mold is present in large quantities, spores may reach your air ducts and be transported throughout the upstairs of your home where your family resides.

Even worse, dampness can cause problems like sagging floor joists that can threaten the safety and integrity of your home. These may also lead to warped floorboards that can make them uneven or form gaps between them. Problems like sagging joists typically take a long time to occur and happen outside your awareness. If you don’t have your home properly inspected, you may not notice that this is beginning to happen before finishing your basement.

Other problems like peeling wallpaper, damaged furniture, rotting carpet, and more can all occur if you don’t take this problem seriously. It’s important to talk with your local basement waterproofing companies well before looking into the finishing process. They’ll do a quick inspection of your basement and let you know if its moisture content is too high to move forward with having it finished. From there, you have a few decisions to make as a homeowner.

First, you need to decide if you want to hire one of the basement waterproofing companies for help. These professionals can help you understand the waterproofing process and whether it’s right for you. If you’re still not sure what to do, read on to learn more. The next section includes all the details you need to understand about waterproofing a basement with a professional rather than tackling it yourself with a DIY project.

Ways to Tackle This Issue

Although you might think you understand how to waterproof a basement, we recommend that you work with a professional whenever possible. They can perform the difficult inspections that need to be done to catch every possible issue. These experts start by examining every inch of your basement, checking for things like low-quality material, foundation shifting, and other issues that may make your home prone to a damp basement.

After doing a complete inspection, they’ll talk about a few solutions with you. One of these may include removing all the moisture from your basement with pumps or vacuums. Starting with a dry basement is critical because it can make it easier to repair other issues, such as damaged foundations. Once your basement is dry, they can typically fix any issues that may affect it.

For example, they may install various moisture barriers throughout your basement that stop water from coming in through the soil. Just as importantly, they’ll work with sub-contractors who can help you minimize long-term damage. Working with foundation professionals is critical in this situation as they’ll make sure that your home is stable and secure. Fixing the foundation often minimizes moisture-related issues.

Another step they may take could be fixing your water field. This may involve adjusting the slope of the ground around your home and aerating the soil. Aerating the soil helps water pass through the soil more easily and minimizes pooling around your home. Sloping water away from your home can help direct rainwater away from your foundation and keep it from pooling around your home.

Building contractors may also help by repairing various problems, like the basement walls and floors, to ensure that they sit smoothly on the foundation. They may even install various water management systems such as sump pumps that can eliminate any water that may build up in your home. All of these steps can help keep your basement in great shape before getting it finished by a professional. Contact your local basement waterproofing companies with any questions you may have.

Before you contact a finishing expert, make sure that your basement stays dry for a few weeks. Waiting might be hard if you want to get your basement done sooner rather than later. However, it’s a good idea to wait because you can make sure that the waterproofing has worked and there’s still time to contact those contractors for help if you need it. Checking in with the basement waterproofing companies afterward can be invaluable before you get started with finishing the space.

Taking these important steps before finishing your basement can help you avoid the common problems that plague damp basements. Contacting experts who can do the necessary repairs for you can ensure that things go smoothly and efficiently for your needs. Make sure that you reach out to basement waterproofing companies right away to get the attention that you need. Remember: DIY waterproofing is never wise, so avoid it. For more information or to get started with our services, contact A-Proseal today. We look forward to working with you.

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Don’t let a wet basement ruin your peace of mind. Contact A-Proseal for a free estimate and reclaim your dry, usable space today!