Natural enemies. Carpet and wood subfloors don't mix in a basement. Water that enters a basement can become trapped in a carpet, leading to mold, mildew and rot.
A basement floor covering needs to be made of material that won't be ruined by damp or wet basements. Even if you have a basement waterproofing system and your basement is no longer leaking, this moisture can still make its way into your living space. The problem lies with concrete being naturally porous and the earth around your home being moist. In some of the newest homes very conscientious builders are beginning to install plastic vapor barriers underneath the house before pouring the floor. Unfortunately, these installations are new and still very rare, making it unlikely that you have one.
Water passes through a concrete slab very slowly. As it travels through the floor, it evaporates immediately, so your basement floor is not likely to appear wet even if moisture is escaping through. If you lay a carpet or wooden floor panels down on your basement floor, moisture will seep through and be captured in the absorbent wood or carpeting. The organic material in the carpet, combined with that moisture and the warmth of the house, creates an ideal environment for mold and mildew. Inevitably, this leads to odors, moldy carpeting, moldy walls, and rot.
The air flow in a house operates like a chimney (this is called the "stack effect"). This means that the air moves from your basement upward through the rest of the house, escaping from the upper levels. Anything in the air in your basement will eventually make its way through the rest of your house. If you allow mold to grow in your basement, mold spores will constantly be carried throughout your home. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences cites these spores as causing allergic reactions, worsening allergies, and leading to a variety of other health issues.
Another common mistake. Wooden subfloors with carpet flooring can lead to costly and frustating repairs.
One element commonly found in a finished basement is a wooden subfloor with carpet laid on top. This sounds like a great option — until the basement begins to rot, grow mold, and smell.
Along with collecting moisture from the basement floor, wooden floors are vulnerable to plumbing leaks. Additionally, unless you've installed a TripleSafe sump pump system or one of the other Basement Systems sump pumps with an UltraSump battery backup sump pump, power failure WILL cause your sump pump to turn off, and your basement will flood.
Regardless of how your basement gets wet -- a pipe freezing and bursting, a water heater leaking, or one of the countless other pipes leading to your tub, toilets, dishwasher, shower, refrigerator, washing machine or sinks bursts, leaks, or overflows — water flows downhill. If you finish your basement with wooden subfloors, your plywood or chipboard basement subflooring and carpet will be ruined! It can't be easily removed, so you'll be forced to wait for it to dry out, which takes a very long time. Mold begins to grow on wet materials in 24-48 hours and will be well established in your basement by the time the floors dry out. Eventually, you'll have to choose between living with the mildewy smell in your finished basement, the rot in your floors, and the mold spores filtering throughout your home, or you'll have to pay to have the entire carpet and subfloor ripped out to start over.
One final warning: Some hardware stores sell basement subfloor tiles made from chipboard with dimpled plastic material attached to the bottom. These are not the solution! Not only will the wood still get wet, but once the plastic dimples fill with water, they seal your floors down, making them even more difficult to remove when the wood rots. Simply put: ANY wooden floor in the basement is a bad idea.
This begs the question: "I have a basement waterproofing solution from Basement Systems and have protected the full perimeter of my basement with WaterGuard or DryTrak, but my basement floor is still damp! Is finishing the basement with carpeting impossible?" People who have survived a series of expensive and discouraging wet basement situations may think it is.
The answer is no. Once you've prevented your basement from leaking, the door is open to finish your basement by laying down ThermalDry Carpeted Basement Flooring or ThermalDry Floor Matting and carpeting of your own.
ThermalDry Floor Tile and MillCreek Waterproof Flooring are the only solutions for finished basements. These products provide a subfloor that is unaffected by water, water vapor and mold: plastic. When it comes to taking a wet basement and turning it into dry, comfortable finished living space, there is nothing better. Not only are they water resistant, but both ThermalDry Floor Tile and MillCreek Waterproof Flooring are designed to create an effective vapor barrier that prevents moisture from coming through the basement floor and reaching your flooring material.
A second major advantage to ThermalDry Floor Tile and MillCreek Waterproof Flooring is that both products are specially engineered to create a thermal break between your basement floor and the finished basement area. This makes your basement more energy efficient while the appealing look and feel of all our products make your basement more comfortable and pleasant to be in.
Basement Systems and Total Basement Finishing has the best solution for your basement finishing project: a finished basement that will last without rotting, smelling musty, or growing mold. Our products are durable, practical, and superior to other products in every way. Our Total Basement Finishing Products help to make your finished basement as comfortable, healthy and livable as your upstairs! Contact one of our basement finishing contractors today!
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