Monday, June 11th, 2012 by Tom Henderson
Des Moines Iowa
June 11th, 2012
The "Old Way" vs the "New Way" of Basment Finishing!
As time marches on materials, techniques and procedures change and improve. Experience shows us what works, and what doesn't work. Having said that, let's take a look at when we have been.
Historically the basement finish and remodel would start with a plan to finish the entire basement. Plans were drawn up, and a date to start and finish were put in place. During this process some consideration was taken, in that, the area we were going to remodel had damp or wet condidtions, and at the very least, high humidity, which are a contributing factor in mold growth. As you may already know, mold needs the right temperature, food, and of course the right amount of moisture to grow.
After the plan was made we all went out to the lumber yard, the flooring store, and the hardware store to purchase the products needed to build out the basement. Looking back, we didn't address the fact these organic materials are the food source in our mold growth. And, little did we know we were building a mold growth laboratory. The products generally were, wood studs, wood baseboard, drywall, paint for the drywall, carpet pad, and carpet. Both the carpet and the pad sat directly on the concrete floor. All of these are food sources and living quarters for mold and odors.
Looking at some old plans, there were some great layouts and designs. However, and over time, the basement(s) leaked, or flooded, and in addition, the mold started to grow. The basements began to get used less, and if there was a bad flooding or even a couple of bad flooding, the products were torn out, and the either replace at a great expense, or sometimes not replaced at all causing the homeowner to lose valuable and usable space for the family.
We have talked with many people who have replaced their basement finish three and four times, due to mold, leaks and flooding. This has been very costly. However, there is a new and better way of finishing the basement. For example, what if we just finished the area you wanted? In other words, just "right-sized" the project. What we mean by this is simply creating the perfect space to use for your families enjoyment.
During the design process let's take a look at the humidity in your basement, areas that have leaked or flooded, and let's fix and repair those areas permanently before finishing and remodeling your basement. Let's take a good hard look at your sump pump to make sure it works and is ready for use during the wet seasons of your neighborhood. Don't forget, you don't have to have a leaky basement to get the basement to flood. Plumbing leaks, and watermain breaks can get water into an otherwise dry and healthy basement.
After the design, and the layout is ready to go, we will install "Total Basement Finish" products. These products are all designed to get wet, and can be completely cleaned and reused should they get wet. In other words, if your basement does get wet, you don't have to go out and purchase all new products to replace the wet and ruined products. You simply clean and dry them, and get back to enjoying your basement. All of these products are non-organic, and have anti-microbial properties to stunt mold growth and odors.
In the end you will have the finished basement you want, the basement will be permanently waterproofed, the walls will be vapor barriered, and insulated. The flooring will be lifted slightly off of the concrete so there is more effective insulation. The ceiling will have mold resistant tiles as well. All in all, you will have increased the value of your home, increased your usable living space, and created a clean and healthy environment for your family to enjoy for the life of the home.
More information is available on our website at www.midwestbasementsystems.com
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