Here’s Why Finishing a Damp Basement is Not a Good Idea

Dampness is one of the most insidious forms of damage that a home can have. Treating it before you finish your basement is a must.

Get a Free Estimate

If you want to make the most of the space in your home, converting your basement into a living or sleeping space can be a fantastic way to make every square footwork for you. It is important, however, that your home is in the best of health before you begin the process of finishing your basement space. Underlying issues with dampness or structural instability may not prevent you from converting your basement, but it will continue to grow and spread over time. This could lead to you redoing work and undertaking costly and avoidable repairs. 

wet basement floor

The Damage Dampness Can Cause 

Dampness can get into your home in a number of ways. Internal leaks, external floods, and damage to your walls and foundation can all lead to standing water, humidity, and mold formation. Dampness and mold in your home can cause a number of issues for you and your property, including: 

  • Musty odors 
  • Sagging floor joists 
  • Warped floorboards 
  • Warped or rotting plasterboard 
  • Peeling wallpaper 
  • Increased energy bills 
  • Damaged soft furnishings and carpets 
  • Rashes and skin infections 
  • Respiratory problems. 

If you do not address the source of dampness in your home before you finish your basement, you will only mask the symptoms. This means that the problems will grow unchecked and unnoticed until they snowball into much more severe issues like bowing walls, a sinking foundation, or uneven floors. 

Once problems like these become evident, the required repairs will be extensive and expensive. Worse still, these issues will damage any basement waterproofing solutions you have in place and could end with you needing to re-do finishing work. If you deal with these issues in order to protect your home before you finish your basement, however, you will be able to kick back and really enjoy the new space without worrying about problems rearing their heads in the near future. 

How to Finish Your Damp Basement 

Thankfully, it is possible to repair most damage and undertake basement waterproofing as a part of the finishing process (as long as the damage is not too severe). In fact, it may be addressed in the normal course of finishing. Leaking wells in old basement windows, for example, could be replaced in the process of basement finishing because of the regulatory need for egress windows. 

So, if you are looking to finish your basement but you have concerns about possible dampness, you should always start by seeking a professional opinion. There are many choices in Raleigh, NC, but 

Tar Heel Basement Systems offers a free inspection with a same-day written quote, transparent pricing, and flexible payment options. Once a professional has assessed your basement, they will be able to tell you if there are any underlying issues to worry about. Better still, they will be able to suggest sensible fixes that suit your overall basement finishing plan. 

This is why it is a good idea, even if you are planning on doing much of the work yourself, to start with an expert inspection. Once you know where your home stands, so to speak, you can begin planning your work. Generally speaking, before finishing a basement, an array of waterproofing measures may need to be installed including interior drainage, a sump pump, vapor barrier, insulation, and a dehumidifier. But the specifics really depend on your home. 

Once you have waterproofed your basement and it is free of water, moisture, and mold, you can continue tackling your finishing project to transform this area of your home into a perfectly usable space!