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What to Consider When Setting Up Laundry Units in Your Basement

Making it possible to do laundry in your basement home isn’t just about sticking the washing machine in a corner. You need to think about ventilation for the dryer and proactive waterproofing solutions to ensure a surprise flood and humidity generated by the machines won’t cause problems.

If you don’t have proper ventilation in the basement, you risk damaging your appliances or starting a fire. After reading this guide, you’ll know the best steps to take when setting up a laundry in your basement.

5 Things to Consider During a Basement Laundry Installation 

Installing an appliance usually has its own set of challenges that come with it; installing one in your basement only heightens those challenges! Here are some other things to consider as you set up laundry units in the basement.

1. Be Sure to Install Basement Vents 

When installing laundry units in your basement, be aware that your washer and dryer need to be vented to the outside. You’ll likely need to work with a professional plumber to make sure this process is done correctly. Typically, vent installation looks like this: 

  • Plumber determines the shortest route the venting pipes will travel to the outside. 
  • A 4¼ inch hole is punched on the outside of the wall. Alternatively, the vent dryer is made to go through the window. 
  • A dryer vent cap is secured against the side of your home with screws then caulk applied around the edges. 
  • Duct tubing is cut to length and joined to the exhaust with multiple sections being reinforced with foil tape. 

Also, remember that your washing machine will need to be connected to your home’s water line. A plumber can also take care of this for you. Don’t try to install a washer unit (or any other appliance) in your basement with DIY methods. Doing so could lead to flooding if a pipe bursts during the installation process.

2. You May Deal With Water Leaks 

With any appliance that uses water, leaks are always a possibility. You can get on top of leaks in a number of ways:

  • Replace the plastic or rubber lines with stainless steel lines or rubber hoses.
  • Update or install a sump pump system in your basement to capture water.
  • Invest in an interior drainage system for your basement for extra protection from leaks.

You can never know when a leak will appear, but you can take steps to mitigate the damage caused by one. If you do want to take preventative measures, our team uses a comprehensive approach to basement waterproofing. When installing the laundry units, be sure to speak with your plumber about other ways you can prevent leaks as well.

3. Laundry Drain Blockages Are Possible

Some washing machines drain directly into a sink with drain filters. These components catch grime, particles, and debris. Be sure to check the drain and empty the drain filter from time to time. Debris can accumulate and cause the drain to block, leading to floods. 

Remember to check the sink for debris and blockages. These are signs of major plumbing issues. If the sink doesn’t have a filter, get one. In the meantime, try to use a drain snake or pour a chemical drain opener. Should both fail to work, it might be time to call a plumber. 

4. Conduct Routine Maintenance 

Check the manufacturer’s manual to see how often you should inspect your washer and dryer. Scheduling regular maintenance and keeping an eye on your machines is a great way to keep them running smoothly for years to come. Here are a couple ways you can accomplish this: 

  • Maintain your washer: Make sure it’s as dry as possible. Leave its lid open when it’s not running. Check the hose that connects to the washer for leaks. Ensure all the washer connections are properly attached. To avoid overflows and toxic fumes, install a p-trap. 
  • Clean and monitor vents regularly: Routine cleaning will prevent lint buildup and ensure your ducts move hot vapor out fast. Remove lint regularly so moisture can escape through the vent. Clearing lint also helps prevent accidental fires. 

When your stay on top of your appliances with regular maintenance, you greatly reduce the chances of water damage occurring in your basement. Don’t ignore your laundry units for too long, especially if you suspect there might be an issue.

5. Consider Waterproofing the Basement 

Your laundry machines may lead to increases in humidity and moisture in your basement. If you want to avoid structural damage, or other issues like musty odors or mold, you should consider waterproofing the entire basement.

Besides drains and sump pumps, you can also install a wall vapor barrier and dehumidifier. That way, your basement is completely protected from all forms of moisture. Your appliances will also stay safe from rust as a result!

Schedule a Free Basement Inspection With Tar Heel Basement Systems

Thinking about installing laundry units in your basement but unsure if your basement is properly prepared? We can help! We’ve been waterproofing basements for homeowners in North Carolina since 2003 and we’re always ready for the next challenge.

Our goal is to make sure your basement is as safe and comfortable as possible so you have the freedom to use it for whatever you need. Get in touch with Tar Heel Basement Systems for a free basement inspection and quote. We’ll make sure your basement stays clean, dry, and functional for years to come!

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