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Basement Part I

Basement flooring (part 1)    
 
If your home sits (or will sit) on a basement foundation,
there is a great potential for finishing off some portion
of that space as living space. But prior to dreaming
about that space, first address the reality of moisture.
 
 
 
If yours is, or will be, a newly-built home, check to make sure specifications call for installing a moisture vapor barrier underneath your
concrete basement floor. This is critical in minimizing
moisture that would "wick" up through the porous
concrete from the earth around your home. The
second step for reducing potential moisture problems,
which can be used for existing as well as new
construction, is sealing the concrete basement
slab from the top. Side benefits of sealing the basement
slab include a cleaner appearance and easier cleaning.
Realtors will tell you a sealed concrete basement floor
is preferable to a raw concrete basement floor in terms
of helping you sell your home. Additionally, both the
moisture barrier beneath the slab and sealing the slab
from the top help reduce the likelihood of radon gas
seeping into your home through the basement floor.
 
Finally, being at least partially underground, basements
are naturally cooler than above grade floors in hot
weather. When that warm moist outside air comes
into contact with the cooler basement air, condensation
can happen. You may literally see water dripping off
exposed pipes and joists. Air conditioners ARE
dehumidifiers and if your central air conditioning
system was designed properly, it should keep basement
humidity levels in the recommended 30-60% range.
However, you may find you need to run an additional
dehumidifier if your central air system is not removing
enough moisture from the air. Next time: basement
flooring material choices!


   
Resource links
moisture control by energy.gov
moisture problems by Concrete Network



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