Measure Your Moisture Before Your Basement Remodeling Project

You might be excited about your basement remodeling project, but don't start bringing in the gypsum drywall and putting down the shag carpet until...

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Measure Your Moisture Before Your Basement Remodeling Project
Friday, 11 June 2010 16:09

You might be excited about your basement remodeling project, but don't start bringing in the gypsum drywall and putting down the shag carpet until you survey the basement for moisture mayhem. Moisture problems can creep up slowly, and in many cases a small, unseen problem can escalate into an avalanche of moisture-related catastrophes. Water and moisture problems can add staggering expenses, or even halt the basement remodeling project.

To make sure you can avoid moisture mayhem, you can start with a simple home moisture test on your basement using just foil paper and tape. Simply cut square patches of aluminum foil and use tape to completely seal them onto various spaces of your basement walls and floors. Make sure you have a patch on each wall, upper and lower. Look for foundational cracks on the floor and walls, as these are likely spots for water. Leave the patches in place for at least a week. If you see moisture droplets under the foil paper after a week, moisture is seeping its way through your basement walls from the outside. If the moisture droplets are on top of the foil paper, it's condensation - simply from warm air hitting a cold wall.

A faulty foundation or plumbing problems are likely the culprits for any water-related problem. Start investigating before you start remodeling. Brown stains on floor joists are signs of leaks. If you poke the stain with a screwdriver and it's spongy, you have a leak. If it's stained but not spongy, the stain could be from an old leak that has since been repaired. If you don't find and correct the problem before remodeling, walls will crumble, mold will grow, allergies will be aggravated and shag carpets will turn into sponges. If your house isn't yet in the Registry of Historical buildings, you'll find that many moisture problems can be remedied with modern appliances and materials.

Test your moisture, find the cause, fix it, retest and remodel when all is well. It might take some time and even delay an exciting, eagerly anticipated basement remodeling project, but it will save you and your budget from moisture mayhem in the end.