Many homeowners imagine their unfinished basement becoming a family recreation room with flat screen television, pool table and wet bar, a hobby room or home office space, maybe a quiet bedroom refuge away from the hustle bustle of the rest of the house. Remodeling magazine reports that among all midrange projects, a renovated basement has approximately 67% return on investment.
All that said, prevention is key when considering a basement remodel. A finished basement can hide potential problems, such as; surface water penetration of foundation walls, water back up through floor drains, burst pipes or non-functioning sump pumps. These disguised issues can cause damage through humidity, mold and mildew.
So how do you practice prevention prior to your dream basement remodel? Make sure water is diverted away from the foundation of your home. Make sure all gutters remain free from debris, so they do not overflow onto the foundation and that you have positive drainage away from the home. Check all walls and floors for any cracks that can allow water and moisture to seep in, if found, have your basement water-proofed prior to renovating. Maintain your sump pump by cleaning the pump annually, the sump pit also. Consider a battery-backup sump pump to insure your basement doesn’t flood in the event of a power outage during a storm.
When planning your basement remodel consider the type of flooring that you will use and find one that is manufacturer recommended for below-grade installation. Also, you could select a carpet that is made with a rubberized backing that can be easily removed, if you are still concerned.
In regards to appliance or fixture overflow consider using stainless steel-clad hoses for your washer, which are less likely to burst compared to rubber hoses. If there is a refrigerator with an ice maker confirm that the icemaker line is installed correctly and is not kinked. Water heaters have a life expectancy of about 10 years, if the present one is over that age than consider replacing during the new renovation to avoid any water damage due to leakage. If a bathroom is included in your basement remodel make sure that all supply lines have a shut off valve to stop overflow. Mark all of your shut off valves, especially your main shut off.
If you have recently experienced water damage due to a storm, drain or appliance overflow or burst pipe etc. Contact a local water remediation company to have the water removed immediately and then begin the drying out process. These expert companies can offer advice on the best way to assure your basement will be a safe place for family and not a place for mold or mildew. A remodeled basement can afford a family added living space without the higher cost of an addition. This “within the foot print” renovation can be an ideal way to provide the family the much needed bedroom, play room or teen hang-out that is easy on the budget and great for resale value.