Over the past few years I’ve seen more and more problems with wet basements and more and more of them are happening in fully finished basements. The homeowner in many cases stated “it was a dry basement, we’d never seen water until today” which is very true in most cases.
There are two facts about basements that we currently have to live with:
1.) All concrete will and can crack
2.) All basements will and eventually leak
These are two very hard things for most people to understand. We’re all in denial about bad choices that we’ve made in the past and not preparing your basement before you finish could be one that you could very well have to own in the near future.
The thing is that this lesson is totally preventable. Preparing your basement is much like prepping a patient for surgery. You can’t just throw them into the ER; you have to go through a series of steps before they’re ready.
With the basement, regardless of if you’ve ever seen water, water in its gas form (vapor) can travel through concrete quite easily. Airflow brings it into your home in your basement and then helps it to travel up into the home eventually. Increased amounts of humidity and an increase in a need to run you’re A/C are two signs that you might have a moisture control problem. There are other signs that you might come across as well such as condensation, puddle-ing, and damp walls.
Don’t think for a second because you’ve never had water on your floor that your basement won’t ever leak.
The first step in finishing your basement is to install a moisture control system that will reduce the amount of moisture vapor build up in the basement, protect from leaks and flooding and dehumidification to help circulate the air and filter it.
From here you’ll be working with a clean slate that’s protected and ready to be finished over.