If the freeze/thaw cycle has damaged your basement, refinishing may be necessary to restore it to livable condition.
Finished basements and the extra living space they provide have become standard in American homes. Years ago, basements were dark, musty places that were home to your washer and dryer, unused ski equipment and a host of spiders. Now, they’re rec rooms, playrooms, home theaters and more.
But if you live in an older home, your basement may not have been constructed with the idea of it ever being a living space. It’s easy enough to come in with hammers, saws and lumber and transform the area, but there’s more to the job.
Know the Risks
Utah’s relatively dry climate makes for a fairly hospitable environment for basement living. However, some other, outside factors can affect the integrity of your basement, resulting in costly, sometimes recurring, repairs.
If your home is located near a river, stream, lake or other body of water, your basement is more vulnerable to flooding than those in higher, drier areas. And speaking of drier, any home that’s situated lower than an adjoining property or doesn’t have adequate drainage also is left open to damage.
A home with a dilapidated gutter system, or one in need of repair, also may suffer water damage. If your gutters are kept clean and work well but you have no extensions on your downspouts, you may simply be relocating rainwater to the perimeter of your home.
Protect Your Investment
A basement that has flooded (not due to a burst pipe) has the potential to flood again. Before you embark upon any repairs, get a definitive diagnosis on what the problem is and try to remedy it.
You can make changes or repairs to your gutter system, but you can’t do much about your home’s location. If every rainstorm or spring thaw leaves your basement soggy, you need to take care of this, pronto.
A sump pump might be a good idea, but truthfully, they’re expensive and prone to failure. Lots can go wrong with a sump pump, not the least of which is an inability to function due to loss of power. That is, if a big storm knocks out the electricity, your pump won’t turn on and your basement will flood. Even one failure can ruin your carpets and furniture.
Make Sure it’s Watertight
The best thing to do is to consult a waterproofing company. Vet the companies carefully. Waterproofing is expensive, and if it’s not done perfectly, it’s worthless. Waterproofing is not like a paint job that can simply be redone if the contractor does a poor job or uses the wrong color.
If you remodel based on the assumption that your basement is leak-free and it is not, you are back to square one as far as damages and expenses go.
Once you’re sure your basement will stay dry, call Falk Construction to talk about options for remodeling. We can rip out all that musty wallboard and malodorous carpeting, have a licensed professional take care of any mold that might be present, and make your basement clean, bright and beautiful again. Trust FCI, the local experts, with your basement refinishing project.