Converting a Basement? How to Pay Close Attention to Waterproofing
Are you always on the lookout for extra space at home? While you may not be able to build a conventional extension to satisfy your family's needs, perhaps you can finally upgrade your basement and turn it into a functional space. Yet, before you do anything else, you need to ensure that it is waterproof, and this may require a multifaceted approach to the issue. What do you need to think about?
Addressing the Foundations
If you live in a much older home, you may need to address some fundamentals. Building standards were different decades ago, and your property may not be equipped with any built-in drainage defence. You may need to look at the foundations, first and foremost, to see how they may contribute to any dampness problem. For example, concrete blocks may need to be modified so they do not hold water within and can instead release to a nearby drain if needed.
Taking Care of Other Issues
Have a close look at the guttering and downpipes around your home to see if they are doing a perfect job. You may need to conduct repairs here and there, but you may also need to add extensions to your downpipes. This will ensure that rainwater flows away from the property and does not pool around the edges. Further, make sure that you do not suffer from "negative grading." This means that the land around your house may slope backwards towards the exterior rather than the other way. If this is the case, it may be funnelling rainwater towards your foundations, adding to any drainage issue.
If you've taken care of those fundamentals, you may need to add a vapour barrier or a more extensive waterproofing system below the floor of your basement. Perhaps you need to add a sump pump that will siphon any moisture around the clock and ensure that, once modified, the basement is completely habitable.
Mould or Mildew
Remember, a damp basement is impractical and can lead to mould and mildew problems. If white or even black mould builds up on exposed wooden surfaces, microscopic pores could find their way into other parts of the home, leading to problems with allergies.
Beginning the Journey
While there may be a lot of work involved in converting your basement, it could be just the ticket for your expanding family. Begin your journey by talking to waterproofing professionals, and they will help you outline a step-by-step plan.