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Waterproof Before Finishing Your Basement

When you waterproof your basement, you’re investing in a safe and dry space for endless possibilities.

Finished basement with recess lighting

So, you’ve decided to make the most out of the extra space in your home by finishing your basement. Maybe you’ve picked out a concept, wall colors, and furniture. Or maybe you don’t have any plans at all yet and are just entertaining the thought. Regardless of what your end goal is with your basement, your first step should be to waterproof it before beginning cosmetic alterations.  

Finishing a basement takes up time, effort, and money. Unfortunately, all of that can go to waste with one bad rainstorm if your home isn’t properly equipped. Find out why waterproofing before finishing your basement is vital and gather some ideas for how to deck out your newly waterproofed space.

What Can Happen if You Don’t Waterproof Your Basement Before Finishing It?

Damaged Valuables. Mold, pests, and leakage can damage the décor or valued items in your basement if you finish without waterproofing.  

Wet Flooring. Flooring is a vital part of finishing a basement, but whether you choose hardwood or carpeting, water infiltration can easily ruin both. Even if you think you’ve dried it out of cleaned it up, locked-in moisture can cause wood rot or mold in your new floors.  

Wet Drywall. Many homeowners believe that slapping on coats of waterproof paint will do the trick in the basement. However, this is far from the truth. Waterproof paint by itself will simply lock in moisture, and you may notice water bubbles popping up in your drywall. This will easily cause damage to your new basement drywall through water stains, mold, or even disintegration.  

Mold and Mildew. Mold and mildew tend to form in dark, humid spaces. It can form in dark, wet corners, or out in the open in a finished basement. This issue is inevitable in places where the moisture is out of control. You may find mold in your finished basement behind storage spaces, objects lined on the walls, bathrooms, or closets.  

Nasty Smells. A telltale sign of an un-waterproofed basement is a pungent smell of mold. Unfortunately, once you detect this smell, mold spores are likely traveling through the rest of your home. Taking waterproofing measures before you finish your basement can ensure that your new, beautiful space doesn’t get ruined by an unsettling stench.  

What Goes Into Waterproofing a Basement?

Interior Drainage. Interior drainage, like the AquaStop BasementGutterTM, works as a catch for water leaking in your home through sweating walls or leaking joint coves. This system is installed on the interior perimeter of your basement; when there’s heavy rainfall, the basement gutter collects water, and redirects it to your sump pump, where it’s drained far away from your home.  

Sump Pump. A sump pump is a water drainage system that pumps water away from your basement if the water table fills up too high. Expert installers will build a basin in your basement for water to collect during heavy rain. Once the water rises to a certain point in the basin, the pump then drains it all away from your home. This helps regulate moisture levels around your foundation, and will help prevent leaking or flooding. 

Vapor Barrier. A vapor barrier can help keep excessive moisture and humidity out of your basement; in doing so, it can also help with temperature regulation, which can contribute to lower energy bills. A vapor barrier can also make it more difficult for pests to creep into your basement. Pests like roaches and rats not only emit smells but create an uncomfortable environment, too.  

Egress Windows and Window Wells. Egress windows are commonly required in basements for safety purposes. Sometimes egress windows can be the source of leaks in the basement during a heavy rain if they’re not properly drained or poorly installed. That’s where window wells, or egress wells, come in. Window wells include a carved-out space around your egress window with drainage stones that can help regulate moisture and water flow around the window to prevent leakage or flooding.  

Dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers are appliances placed in basements or crawl spaces to manage the moisture levels of indoor spaces. They can also purify the air in the space, as basements can also become dingy due to a lack of ventilation. Dehumidifiers help in preventing the formation or spread of mold in your basement, which creates a toxic environment not only in the lower levels of your home, but all over.  

How Can You Use Your Finished Basement?

Game Room 

Whether it’s for the kids or for the inner child within us all, the basement is a perfect space to go all out with a game room. Cultivate a space for your family and friends to gather for food, drinks, and some friendly competition. Large gaming tables for ping pong, pool, or foosball can be an eyesore anywhere else in the house—with a game room, you can confine these interior design downers into one place where it fits. Not to mention, a game room is where you can allow the kids or grandkids to give some insight on amenities and décor, so you can focus on the rest of your home.  

game room with pool table in basement

Extra Storage Space

From storing holiday decorations to seasonal clothing to canned goods, the basement is a popular space for at-home storage. After finishing your basement with permanent waterproofing solutions, you can build out shelves and organizers to neatly stow away household items. For extra protection for valuable items, buy plastic containers. This not only adds an extra layer of protection, but they can also conceal your items to give the appearance of cleanliness and organization

plastic storage containers in basement waterproofing

Home Office

Modern work is changing. Converting your basement into an at-home office is the perfect way to solidify a work-life balance, even from home. In your basement-converted office, you can create a space for razor-sharp focus, then easily disconnect by walking upstairs to the rest of your home. Adding in recessed lighting and even a nice backdrop for teleconferences makes the perfect touch for comfort and professionalism.  

home office in basement

Fan Cave

Most people have a favorite athletic team they root for when that season comes around. If you collect memorabilia, you may be looking for a place to display it in all its glory. That’s how your new basement fan cave is born—the perfect room to display your team pride without the challenge of incorporating it in with the rest of your home’s decor. When it’s game time, head down to the basement where you’ve set up the perfect viewing room. See how NFL and NBA fans have made their own legendary fan caves.

The Possibilities are Endless with Groundworks

Your home is your greatest asset—it’s the only place where you can make every square foot your own. To make that last, protect it with permanent, reliable basement waterproofing solutions with Groundworks. Our nationally-backed warranties on our solutions ensure that your basement stays protected in the long term; you can pass that protection along to the next homeowner should you decide to sell.  

Finish your basement the right way the first time by beginning with waterproofing. Contact us for your free home inspection and no-obligation quote for services today. Our qualified basement experts will assess your home and work with you to figure out the right solution for your unique home and lifestyle. Getting started is easy. Call us today or select the link below to have us contact you soon.