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Finishing a basement

Posted by Bruce M on January 5th, 1998 10:45 PM
In reply to Hey Bruce M - Re: Finishing My Basement by Robert K on January 5th, 1998 12:12 PM [Go to top of thread]

Hi Bob:

JT's post is right on, but let me expand a bit on his points.

Yes, last (I believe) September, Fine Homebuilding had a big article on moisture proofing basements. Its a good read. You can order the back issue from the Taunton web site JT pointed out.

Paint, whether epoxy or otherwise, will hold back hydrostatic pressure for a while, but the water will always win.....ALWAYS. Yes, I put 4 mil plastic sheeting up against my basement wall cinder blocks, but I tucked the edge into the plastic waffle sheet that goes down into the French drain I dug around the perimeter of my basement. That way, any water that might come down the wall will be directed down into the plastic drain pipe buried around the basement's perimeter and drain down to my sump in the basements low corner and get pumped out. Unless you excavate on the outside of your basement wall, sealing it and putting in drain pipe, this is really your only alternative to ensure that you prevent any future moisture problems in your least the only sure way I can think of.

For summer humidity, this is a standard problem in hot and humid climates. I use a 40 qt dehumidifier, which has worked well to keep the moisture level down. I also put in a window A/C and set it to recirculate inside air, which in itself serves as a dehumidifier.

Before covering your concrete floor, I'd make sure there is no significant moisture coming up through it. To test this, tape down a 2' square of plastic and let set a couple of days, then remove. If moisture has condensed on the inside of the plastic, you will have a problem with almost any floor covering, as moisture will constantly be coming up into it. If this is the case, check with a local flooring specialist and see what he/she recommends. If the plastic is dry, you're probably safe putting down carpet with pad (as I did), hardwood, vinyl, etc.

Best wishes, and hope you enjoy your finished basement as much as I do mine :-)

Bruce M

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