If you are planning a basement renovation your main enemy will be unwanted moisture coming into your home. Moisture not only causes rust and rot, it encourages the growth of mold. Today we will look at ways to minimize mold during both the planning and construction stages of a basement renovation.
Mold Is A Silent Issue
Unless visible damp and mold is present on walls, most homeowners never think to check for it. Home inspectors often offer mold inspections and check attics, crawl spaces and basements where homeowners never think to look. Mold, if left unchecked, can cause lasting health and breathing issues in people exposed to it over the long term. When renovating your basement it is essential to guard against moisture issues and eliminate the possibility of mold occurring.
Top Tip: DIY Moisture Test
The three main foundation types found in Canadian homes are slab-on-grade, crawlspace and basement. As you are renovating your basement, you obviously have the latter type but what you may not realize is that all types of basements can become susceptible to mold. The reason for mold is usually that builders fail to incorporate a proper drainage system. Prior to your renovation, you can detect the presence of non-visible moisture with a simple DIY test. Simply take a 6-inch square of aluminum foil and tape it on your basement walls. After 24 hours, remove the foil and if you see beads of moisture behind it, you will know you have got water trapped inside your walls. Here are the three ways to minimize moisture and mold in your renovation.
Step #1. A Perimeter Drain
Whether you are using the services or a custom renovation firm or dealing directly with contractors, the first line of defence against basement mold is a perimeter drain. Perimeter drains allow moisture to flow away from your internal walls, fittings and fixtures. The absence of this drain is the top reason behind basement mold issues.
Step #2. Sealed Concrete And Underlay
Most basement floors are poured concrete slab. This needs to be properly cured and sealed to prevent rising damp. Traditionally molded rubber with bumps to minimize surface area is used underneath flooring but you can get damp-proof roll underlay and lay 12mm+ laminate directly on top.
Step #3. Internal Or External Membranes
Most contractors use a waterproof membrane on basement walls to prevent moisture penetration. While this is effective for most situations, it is best to hire a specialist foundation or renovation firm to check the moisture in your walls before you start to renovate. The longest lasting solution (also the costliest) is to excavate around your basement and fit external membranes to stop water penetration. Whether you are dealing directly with contractors or using a remodeling firm such as those with experience of home design in Calgary for example, you must make the necessary checks first before you start installing your basements walls and floors. Mold will be far costlier to address if you try to cut corners and continue with your basement renovation on the cheap.