Basement waterproofing and crawl space repair in CT Basement waterproofing and crawl space repair in CT Rod decided to repair his damp crawl space to prevent serious health and structural issues <p>Rod Martin, owner of Complete Basement Systems of CO, recently purchased a new townhome and noticed that the dirt crawl space below his home was allowing moisture to enter the living space above through the floor joists. The porous concrete walls were also letting in water and cold air.</p> <p>Having consulted hundreds of homeowners on crawl space water problems, Rod knew that if left untreated, this could lead to serious issues, including mold growth, radon gas exposure and possibly structural issues. In addition to mold, Rod was mainly concerned about wasted energy and unusable space.</p> Tue, March 19 2013, 13:44:41 -500 Anthony couldn't ignore his wet basement problem any longer! <p>Anthony's basement typically only flooded during torrential rainstorms, so he was never too concerned about it. But after several "100-year" storms struck the northeast in the past couple of years leaving a lake on his basement floor each time, he knew the problem would only get worse and he had to do something about his flooded basement.&nbsp;</p> <p>His basement had water infiltration from two sources: leaking concrete around Bilco-style doors, which caused water to enter the basement and pool on the floor around the door, and ground water infiltration from under the floor due to a rising water table after heavy or continuous rains. This caused flooding of the entire basement and ruined the flooring on the finished side of the basement.</p> Thu, September 6 2012, 16:26:09 -500 The next time a huge storm batters the northeast, David's house will be ready (and dry)! Thu, September 6 2012, 16:04:53 -500 Hiring Web Account Manager <p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="border-collapse: collapse; font-family: Calibri, Verdana, Helvetica, Arial; font-size: 15px;">The Treehouse Web Agency is looking for an outgoing and energetic Web Account Manager.<br /><br />We're a web marketing agency that delivers spectacular results. We have a client list that continues to grow and we're looking for someone with a great communication skills, and outstanding attitude, and a willingness to learn!<br /><br />This is a great opportunity for a website builder who can communicate well and wants to learn the marketing side of the Web OR for a great Customer Service Rep with Web skills. &nbsp;If you like to be challenged, perform at your best all the time, and be part of a diverse team of developers, SEOs, SEMs, SMMs, designers, content writers, and coders -- where you'll learn all aspects of Internet marketing -- then send a cover letter and resume.<br /><br /><br /><strong>The ideal Website Account Manager</strong><br /><br />Our 36-person Internet team manages more than 200 sites &acirc;&Acirc;&Acirc;&Acirc;€&Acirc;&Acirc;&Acirc;“ is bringing on new clients &acirc;&Acirc;&Acirc;&Acirc;€&Acirc;&Acirc;&Acirc;“ and needs help! &nbsp;We are looking for a Web Account Manager who can help analyze, market, and improve these sites.<br /><br /><br /><strong>Requirements:</strong><br /><br />The ideal Web Account Manager:<br /><br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;* MUST have great communication skills.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;* MUST know HTML, FTP, CSS and can implement changes to Web sites.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;* Has at least a basic understanding of SEO.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;* Has at least a basic understanding of analytics.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;* PHP, MySQL, DNS a definite advantage.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;* Experience with social media platforms a bonus.<br /><br />The Treehouse has won two gold and one silver innovation prize from the Connecticut Quality and Improvement Award Association for our workspace and custom-built software platforms, an email marketing award from MarketingSherpa, two Website Marketing awards from the Better Business Bureau, and the company was voted the 6th Best Place to Work in CT. Last year, owner Larry Janesky (<a style="color: #1c51a8;" href="" target="_blank"></a>) was selected as Business Person of the Year. Follow his blog at&nbsp;<a style="color: #1c51a8;" href="" target="_blank"></a>.<br /><br />Send Resume and Cover Letter about the Web Account Manager position to <strong>careers</strong> (at) <strong>treehouseworkspace</strong> (dot) <strong>com</strong>.</span></p> /1382-hiring-web-account-manager.html Fri, June 10 2011, 00:00:00 -500 /1382-hiring-web-account-manager.html TreeHouse web team adds another member <p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="color: #08527d; font-size: 11px; white-space: pre-wrap; -webkit-border-horizontal-spacing: 1px; -webkit-border-vertical-spacing: 1px;">The TreeHouse web team has added a new member on April 30 2009. Lisa Pantaleo will be helping the internet call center listening to recorded leads and answer phone calls from customers. Lisa has been working in Connecticut Basement Systems for over 5 years and now helping the TreeHouse web department with call overflow and lead tracking. </span></p> /234-treehouse-web-team-adds-another-member.html Thu, April 30 2009, 00:00:00 -500 /234-treehouse-web-team-adds-another-member.html French Drain Innovations: Out with the Old, in with the New <p>The standard in basement waterproofing for many decades was to install a drainage system outside of the foundation walls in order to catch water and drain it away from the house. Unfortunately, exterior foundation drains are failing all over the country, causing basements to flood at great inconvenience and expense to the homeowner.&nbsp;</p> <p>Failing exterior French drain systems damage furniture, boxes, books, and anything else stored in the basement, and they require the water to be manually pumped out. Flooding basements can encourage mold growth and create odors that can rise up to the rest of the home. Flooding can also lead to wood rot, lowering of the home&rsquo;s market value, and eventual foundation damage.</p> <h3>Failing French Drains</h3> <h3><img src="" alt="" align="right" /></h3> <p>When French drains are installed around a home, they are typically laid in a thick bed of gravel to protect them from mud and soil around the home. In some cases, a layer of filter fabric is also said to further protect the material from this soil. While this solution sounds ideal, over several years, mud and sand will make its way through the gravel and into the drain, clogging the pipe. If filter fabric is used, it&rsquo;s only a matter of time before it clogs entirely and keeps foundation water from entering the drain at all!</p> <p>Sooner or later, the French drain and their filter fabric will need to be cleaned. When they do, the entire perimeter of the foundation must be excavated. Your foliage, gardens, steps, sidewalks, porches, and other landscaping located around the edge of the house will need to be removed. The process is invasive, and a year after the soil has been filled back into the excavated area, it will settle and need to be regraded so that water is not directed towards the home. The new system that&rsquo;s been installed around your foundation will be the same as the old one that failed, which means that you can look forward to a similar situation in another few years.</p> <p><img style="width: 166px; height: 123px;" src="" alt="" align="left" />To make matters worse, the exterior <a href="">French drain</a> is expected to discharge the water away from the foundation with no sump pump. This means that the French drain must run downhill to be effective- a situation that&rsquo;s not often possible. French drains that discharge to a septic system often run uphill, and they can&rsquo;t discharge more than the holding size of the system.&nbsp; Alternatively, if they run to a septic system, they often are installed improperly, running uphill so the water will not naturally flow through the pipe.&nbsp; Even if does run uphill, it can only discharge what the septic system is able to hold, which is often not enough to keep the basement dry all the time.&nbsp;</p> <h3>Interior French Drains</h3> <p><img style="width: 132px; height: 177px;" src="" alt="" align="right" />Alternatively, the entire excavation can be avoided by installing an interior perimeter drainage system. With this process, the basement floor is removed around the perimeter without damaging the footing. As water flows in through the foundation wall floor joint, it filters through a bed of gravel and into a perimeter floor drain system designed to be superior in shape and design to a French drain. From there, it&rsquo;s directed to a sump pump and drained beyond the foundation soil. In the unlikely event of a clog in the drainage system, it can easily be serviced without the need for external excavation. With an annual maintenance of the sump pump <a href="">basement waterproofing</a> system, it can be kept running smoothly, ensuring a dry basement all the time.</p> <p>At one point in history, a French drain was the best option for foundation waterproofing. However, with more basements flooding every day, newer and better systems have been created that can better preserve your subterranean space. When it comes to <a href="">foundation waterproofing</a>, it&rsquo;s time to get rid of the old and embrace the new advancements in the industry.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> /109-french-drain-innovations-out-with-the-old-in-with-the-new.html Wed, November 30 -0001, 00:00:00 -500 /109-french-drain-innovations-out-with-the-old-in-with-the-new.html $4.6 Million Annually Saved Through Crawlspace Encapsulation <p><img style="width: 255px; height: 170px;" src="" alt="" align="right" />Vented crawlspaces have a disastrous effect on your home. When they were originally created, they were built, vented and ignored. Before long, they would become dank, leaky, and smelly. Mold, mildew, and rot flourish in them, and they become a happy habitat for rodents, pests, and snakes to live and die in. Termites are attracted to the moist, soft wood in the crawlspace, and dust mites release their fecal material in the air. <a title="Crawl Space Vents" href="">Vents in the crawlspace</a>bring cold air in the winter and humidity in the summer. And with recent flooding across the Midwest and heavy rainfall across the entire country, standing water in crawlspaces is making these problems worse. But most people don&rsquo;t use the area, and they fail to see why this is a problem. The thinking is this: &ldquo;Why should I care what happens in my crawlspace?&rdquo;</p> <h3><strong>The Stack Effect</strong></h3> <p><img src="" alt="" align="left" /></p> <p>What happens in your crawlspace matters because warm air rises. Through the same science that causes hot air to rise through a chimney, warm air moves upwards from the lower levels and out through the upper levels. When this happens, air is sucked up from the lower levels (including the basement and crawlspace) to fill the vacuum. It moves into the main area of the house, and anything in this air-- including <a title="Mold and Moisture" href="">mold spores, dust mite feces, odors, and humidity</a>-- come with it. And this air is cold and humid- the worst kind of air for heating and cooling your home. In fact, Larry Janesky, president of Basement Systems reports that, &ldquo;Even at this early date, we calculated that we have saved our customers $4.6 million dollars in natural gas, electricity and heating oil each year- and many times more in rot repairs and mold remediation.&rdquo; A vented crawl space raises heating and cooling costs 15%-25% per month and increases the likelihood that mold removal and rotted wood will need to be replaced.</p> <h3><strong>Crawlspace Mold</strong></h3> <p><img style="width: 194px; height: 145px;" src="" alt="" align="right" />While most people are not allergic to mold spores, some are. Combined with dust mite feces, more and more people will be affected as the percentage in the air rises. Mold is also known to aggravate Asthma, sometimes be toxic, and it can also irritate eyes, ears, noses and throats. The elderly, young, and pregnant women are especially vulnerable. In some instances, mold can grow so thickly and be so damaging to health and the structure of the home that it must be removed by a professional through a long, expensive home renovation. As Gene Austin of the Seattle Times states, &ldquo;Any water in a crawl space is a problem.&rdquo;</p> <h3><strong>CleanSpace</strong>&nbsp;</h3> <p><img style="width: 270px; height: 175px;" src="" alt="" align="left" /></p> <p>To protect your crawlspace against these issues, Basement Systems- the first company to patent a crawl space encapsulation product- seals off the vents and installs the patented CleanSpace <a title="Crawl Space Vapor Barrier" href="">Crawlspace Encapsulation System</a>. This innovative crawlspace encapsulation product separates the home from the environment of the surrounding earth with a 20 mil thick durable material that&rsquo;s similar to a pool liner. It&rsquo;s a thick, durable material that&rsquo;s clean enough for normal use by servicemen and has a 25 year warranty against holes. Once installed, the crawlspace will be surrounded in heavy duty, clean, white material that makes it usable as personal storage, freeing up that space in your home for other uses. With an installation time that usually takes less than a day, the installation is fast and painless.</p> <h3><strong>Crawlspace Sump Pumps</strong></h3> <p>If you have water leaking into your crawlspace or wish to protect against plumbing leaks filling up your crawlspace liner, we recommend installing a <a href="">SmartSump Crawl Space Drainage System</a>. Equipped with a 1/3 horsepower high-quality cast-iron Zoeller sump pump, it installs in your crawlspace floor in a bed of clean gravel and is compatible with a drainage swale, trench system, or perforated drainage piping system to direct the water to the pump. It&rsquo;s designed with an airtight lid that makes a perfect seal with your CleanSpace installation, and a special ball and cup design on the pump lid allows water from plumbing leaks to drain through to the pump. In case of pump failure, an alarm sounds so you&rsquo;re informed right away.</p> <h3><strong>SaniDry CSB</strong></h3> <p><img src="" alt="" align="right" /></p> <p>Once you encapsulate a crawlspace, it becomes part of the housing envelope. The SaniDry CSB Crawlspace Dehumidifier can make a crawlspace drier, cleaner, healthier, and more usable as storage space. As it dries the area, the air becomes easier to heat and cool in your whole house, and wood structures that were wet and rotting in your crawlspace will dry out. As an <a title="Energy Efficient Basement Dehumidifier" href="">Energy Star rated dehumidifier</a>, it can remove 100 pints of water from the crawlspace using the same energy as 40-pint models. The SaniDry CSB can drop the humidity of the crawlspace below 60%, making it an environment where dust mites and most molds cannot live. And with a filtration system able to remove odors from the air as well as particles as small as two microns, your air will be clean and healthier to breathe.</p> <h3>T<strong>he Best Crawspace Experts In Your Area</strong></h3> <p>On June 10, 2003, Basement Systems patented CleanSpace- the first patented crawlspace encapsulation system, establishing them firmly as leaders in the crawlspace market. With the largest basement and crawlspace network in the world, they have a sterling reputation among their customers as the best and highest quality dealer around. They have experienced contractors across the country who we train and support through our national headquarters in Seymour, CT.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> /106-46-million-annually-saved-through-crawlspace-encapsulation.html Wed, November 30 -0001, 00:00:00 -500 /106-46-million-annually-saved-through-crawlspace-encapsulation.html Basement Waterproofing: When to Start <p>&ldquo;Is my basement leaking enough to need waterproofing?&rdquo; This is a question that resounds with nearly every homeowner who is unfortunate enough to have a wet basement problem. If the basement is leaking only once a year, or the leaks are small, the decision can seem like a difficult one. As professional basement waterproofing specialists who have been in the business for 20 years, Basement Systems has found that there are these several key times when homeowners decide to waterproof their basement.</p> <h3>When building the home</h3> <p><img src="" alt="" align="right" /></p> <p>Basements are imperfect concrete structures that will eventually begin to break down. Sooner or later, water is going to be able to make its way through cracks in the basement walls, floors, and through the foundation wall floor joint around the perimeter. As a preventative measure, most homes are built with a footing drain around the exterior of the home. Unfortunately, an exterior perimeter <a title="Drain Tile" href="">French drain</a> outside of the home will clog as soil from around the home gets into the system. When filter fabric is laid down with a French drain, that fabric will also clog. Either way, your basement will still be unprotected from foundation water. Servicing these drains requires excavation around the entire home- which means that gardens, porches, steps, and anything else up against the home will need to be removed.</p> <p>Instead of building an exterior drainage system, install an interior French drain system with a cast-iron Zoeller sump pump. An interior system is much easier to maintain and service, and you won&rsquo;t need to have an invasive excavation of your yard performed. New, more efficient French drians such as WaterGuard are installed on top of the footing of the foundation and underneath the basement floor, making them almost invisible in your home and fully compatible with basement wall products that can also protect you from leaking basement walls and floors.</p> <h3>Before finishing the basement</h3> <p><img src="" alt="" align="left" /></p> <p>Finishing a basement is a fantastic idea. At half the price of building an addition on the home and without the loss of yard space, a <a title="Basement Remodeling" href="">basement finishing</a> turns the single largest area of empty space in a home into a new living room, family room, game room, basement bar, basement bathroom, mother in law&rsquo;s suite, wine cellar, or anything else that can be imagined for the area. A national average of 75% of the price of the remodeled basement pays back for itself immediately in an increase in the value of the home and by 2010, when the housing market is expected to improve, this payback will be even better. Basements are naturally quiet, private spaces, and finishing them is a fantastic way to accommodate for a growing family.</p> <p>Unfortunately, a flooding basement will quickly ruin wood, drywall and furniture. And once the immediate flooding has been pumped out, organic materials in the basement- including carpeting, wood sub floors, furniture, and other storied items will be ruined and in need of replacement. Drywall (even mold-resistant drywall and green board) can also easily be ruined by water. The investment made on the home is quickly lost, and the basement remodeling is wasted. Because of this, it&rsquo;s extremely important that a basement waterproofing system be installed before the basement is finished. In fact, some homeowners will take the precaution of installing a perimeter drainage system and sump pump inside the home before the basement remodeling in order to ensure a long payback for their home improvement investment.</p> <h3>Before selling the home</h3> <p><img style="width: 127px; height: 188px;" src="" alt="" align="right" /></p> <p>If you&rsquo;re looking to sell your home, a wet basement can be a deal breaker. Home buyers are not looking to purchase someone else&rsquo;s problem, and if they find out that the basement floods, they will often back out of the deal. Home inspectors are trained to find the signs of wet basements, and they will make finding these signs a top priority.</p> <p>In fact, 10% of the home&rsquo;s market value is lost with a wet basement. And because buyers will be reluctant to buy the home even at a discount, it will take much longer to sell it. In the end, fixing the basement properly with a sump pump and perimeter waterproofing system is a fast process- with a quality <a title="Wet Basement Experts" href="">basement waterproofing contractor</a> completing the job in 1-3 days- and it restores a great deal of value to your home.</p> <h3>Before using the space</h3> <p>Wet basements make terrible storage space. Basement leaks will destroy anything organic in the area- including wood sub floors. And when the basement is not leaking, hydrostatic pressure outside of the home will push water through porous concrete, mortar, and dirt around the foundation walls and cause humidity levels within a basement to skyrocket.</p> <p>As the humidity in a basement rises, so do the levels of mold and dust mites. As warm air rises out of the top levels of the house and new air is pulled into the lower levels, humidity, foul odors, mold spores and dust mite feces in the air will rise up into the rest of the home, adding allergens to the home environment. Additionally, humid air is difficult to heat and cool, and the energy bills of the entire house will suffer.</p> <p>Meanwhile, mold is growing on anything organic in your basement. Boxes, cloth, leather, drywall paper on the walls and ceiling, wood, and anything else organic in the basement is a target. For the basement to be usable space, the relative humidity of the area should be brought below 60%. At this level, the area is comfortable for humans but dry enough to prevent mold and dust mites from thriving. Along with a sump pump and interior perimeter drain, an energy-efficient self-draining <a title="Energy Efficient Dehumidifier" href="">basement dehumidifier</a> is the best answer for a dry basement.</p> <h3>Before the rainy season</h3> <p><img style="width: 178px; height: 134px;" src="" alt="" align="left" />Wet basements are easy to ignore during dry weather. But when a major storm hits, the water that comes into a basement can be hard to predict. Homeowners that previously only had a small leak once or twice a year can be shocked and disappointed to find that their basement has several inches-even feet- of water seemingly out of the blue. How serious a basement flood can be is sometimes hard to tell, and unless the investment is made in a basement waterproofing system, the risk of such a flood is always present. If you know stormy weather is ahead, then it&rsquo;s a great idea to deal with the problem before it gets out of hand.</p> <h3>Right now!</h3> <p>In the end, the best time to dry your basement is right now. Why wait? Every time your basement floods, the problem gets worse and you lose more money. Basement Systems- the world&rsquo;s largest network of basement waterproofing contractors- has contractors across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom that are willing to give a <a title="Wet Basement Contractors" href="">free basement waterproofing estimate</a> and consultation. They use only Zoeller sump pumps and battery backup sump pumps in their systems- the best cast-iron sump pumps on the market. And their basement dehumidifiers are energy-efficient, self-draining and powerful enough to dry everything in the basement! Unlike other locally owned and operated basement waterproofing contractors, they have the backing of an international network- which means that you won&rsquo;t have to worry about them disappearing as they go out of business and leave you with a flood.</p> /117-basement-waterproofing-when-to-start.html Wed, November 30 -0001, 00:00:00 -500 /117-basement-waterproofing-when-to-start.html Choosing The Best Remodeled Basement Wall Products <h1>The Best Remodeled Basement Wall Products</h1> <p><img style="width: 162px; height: 162px;" src="" alt="TBF remodeled basement" width="162" height="162" align="right" border="1" hspace="6" />As housing costs slump and more and more people are finishing their basements instead of selling their homes, companies are designing their own basement remodeling wall panels. Unfortunately, many of these companies have products that have been hastily produced, poorly researched, or make misleading claims to the effectiveness of their final product. Before you make a final decision on which basement finishing products you want, ask yourself these five questions:</p> <p><strong><em>1. Is this basement wall product water resistant? </em></strong></p> <p>A basement water leak at some point isn't a matter of <em>how</em>, it's a matter of <em>when. </em>With all the pipes, sinks, and toilets in the house along with the water heater, washing machine, and water storage tank, something is definitely going to leak.</p> <p>Additionally, rain and ground water can leak through foundation wall cracks in the walls or floor as well as through the foundation wall-floor joint.</p> <p><strong><em>2. Will my basement wall product resist mold? </em></strong></p> <p><img style="width: 248px; height: 156px;" src="" alt="" width="248" height="156" align="left" border="1" hspace="6" />Even when your basement is not leaking, water can still come through the porous concrete, stone, or tile foundation walls because of hydrostatic pressure. This moisture will collect behind and under your finished basement wall product. If it has any organic material, this material is going to grow mold. Fiberglass, drywall, wood, and most other building materials used for basement walls have at least some organic material. Mold and dust mites growing on the organic material will release spores and fecal material in the air that will travel throughout the house and are two of the top allergens in a home.</p> <p><strong><em>3. How durable will my walls be? </em></strong></p> <p><img style="width: 222px; height: 181px;" src="" alt="" width="222" height="181" align="right" border="1" hspace="6" /></p> <p>Once you finish your basement, you're going to want to use it. This means that you may want pictures, shelves, cabinets, a plasma TV, a mirror, a wine rack, or any number of other items mounted on the walls. You're going to want a strong, reliable wall that can hold up. Additionally, it's important to have basement walls that can handle daily wear and tear without breaking, scratching, or becoming damaged. A product that washes easily is also important- especially if children and pets will be in the room. A good test to see if your wall is going to be able to handle stains is to draw a pencil line on a sample. If it can be easily removed, then you should be able to wash most stains from the wall. Beware of absorbent wall materials- if it absorbs moisture easily, it will also absorb spills and other liquids.</p> <p><strong><em>4. How much insulation does the wall product have? </em></strong></p> <p>In Canada and northern United States , a minimum insulation rating of R-13 is being written into local building codes. Whether or not this is required in your area, it's a good idea to add to the energy efficiency of the home by adding effective insulation to your walls. Hard foam insulation will add to the strength of the wall product overall, and if it also features a hardboard ceramic panel, then you will be able to mount heavy objects on the wall without the need to find a stud. Be sure that if you insulate your wall that it's completely covered with insulation around the entire perimeter, or your protection will have a hole for heat to pour out.</p> <p><img style="width: 170px; height: 128px;" src="" alt="" width="170" height="128" align="left" border="1" hspace="6" /><strong><em>5. How well can my basement walls keep sound out? </em></strong></p> <p>If you plan on making noise in your basement, you're going to want a wall product that can soundproof your home. Many products do little to keep sound out, and some products even help it travel around the house! Hardboard products tend to reflect sound back when it strikes them, making them a poor sound absorber but a strong sound barrier. Wall panels with soft insulation and a cloth covering absorb sound well and are effective at keeping a room quiet and peaceful.</p> <h2>Basement Wall Comparison Chart</h2> <p>This chart compares six different common basement finishing wall products. For the sake of this chart, any material not warranted for more than three years is considered ineffective in that category.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"> <table class="black" border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="3"> <tbody> <tr> <td width="101"> <p align="center"><strong>Product </strong></p> </td> <td width="91"> <p align="center"><strong>Water Resistance </strong></p> </td> <td width="92"> <p align="center"><strong>Mold Resistance </strong></p> </td> <td width="91"> <p align="center"><strong>Durability </strong></p> </td> <td width="89"> <p align="center"><strong>Insulation </strong></p> </td> <td width="86"> <p align="center"><strong>Sound Absorbing </strong></p> </td> <td width="70"> <p align="center"><strong>Sound Barrier </strong></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="101"> <p align="center">Wood Paneling</p> </td> <td width="91"> <p align="center">NO</p> </td> <td width="92"> <p align="center">NO</p> </td> <td width="91"> <p align="center">YES</p> </td> <td width="89"> <p align="center">NO**</p> </td> <td width="86"> <p align="center">NO</p> </td> <td width="70"> <p align="center">NO</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="101"> <p align="center">Standard Drywall</p> </td> <td width="91"> <p align="center">NO</p> </td> <td width="92"> <p align="center">NO</p> </td> <td width="91"> <p align="center">NO</p> </td> <td width="89"> <p align="center">NO**</p> </td> <td width="86"> <p align="center">NO</p> </td> <td width="70"> <p align="center">NO</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="101"> <p align="center">Mold Resistant Drywall</p> </td> <td width="91"> <p align="center">NO*</p> </td> <td width="92"> <p align="center">NO*</p> </td> <td width="91"> <p align="center">NO</p> </td> <td width="89"> <p align="center">NO**</p> </td> <td width="86"> <p align="center">NO</p> </td> <td width="70"> <p align="center">NO</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="101"> <p align="center">Soft Insulation Wall Panels w/Cloth Covering</p> </td> <td width="91"> <p align="center">NO*</p> </td> <td width="92"> <p align="center">NO*</p> </td> <td width="91"> <p align="center">NO</p> </td> <td width="89"> <p align="center">YES</p> </td> <td width="86"> <p align="center">YES</p> </td> <td width="70"> <p align="center">YES</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="101"> <p align="center">Hard Foam Insulation Wall Panels w/Hardboard Paneling</p> </td> <td width="91"> <p align="center">YES</p> </td> <td width="92"> <p align="center">YES</p> </td> <td width="91"> <p align="center">YES</p> </td> <td width="89"> <p align="center">YES</p> </td> <td width="86"> <p align="center">NO</p> </td> <td width="70"> <p align="center">YES</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> <p align="center">* <em>There is no long-term warranty offered to support these claims </em></p> <p align="center">** <em>Insulation can be added to these products as well. Be sure it's warranted against water and mold.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img style="width: 241px; height: 159px;" src="" alt="" width="241" height="159" align="left" border="1" hspace="6" />From this chart, you can see that wood paneling and any type of drywall (even mold-resistant drywall, whose warranty generally runs from 6 months to 3 years) are ineffective materials for basement finishing. Soft insulation paneling is a better material to use, with an average of R-11 insulation and strong soundproofing qualities, but it's unfortunately among the least durable and cleanable of the products, and mold and moisture can still damage it fairly easily. Additionally, its spongelike insulation soaks up moisture very quickly, making it very absorbent for unwanted spills and liquids. Wood paneling is more resistant to spills and liquids, but it can swell with water, causing it to warp, buckle, rot, and grow mold. Drywall deals with moisture poorly as well, and when it gets wet, it will generally need to be replaced.</p> <p>While hard-board insulation wall panels do reflect sound, they have the most advantages of all basement finishing wall products. Basement wall panels like <a href="">Total Basement Finishing's EverLast Wall Panels</a> have a 50 year warranty against mold and are durable enough to have a 684 pound shear rating without studs. A half inch drywall board using nylon wall drills has a 17.5 pound safe shear rating, and most soft insulation wall panels can hold no more than ten pounds! Hard-board wall panels with dense foam insulation can still act as a sound barrier and will not allow sounds to pass through, and they're much more durable than any other material when it comes to impact damage. A quality dense foam insulation product will easily meet the re<img style="width: 231px; height: 151px;" src="" alt="" width="231" height="151" align="right" border="1" hspace="6" vspace="6" />quired R-13 insulation rating, ensuring that the materials will be code-compliant for many years to come. Additionally, hard-foam insulation and paneling that's properly installed will often have a Class A fireproofing rating, making your home safer than ever!</p> <p>To summarize: You want a water-resistant, mold-resistant, durable material for your walls. It should have soundproofing properties and at least an R-13 insulation rating. The best way to make sure you're using a product you can count on is to ask many questions, do a lot of research, and above all, <em>check out the warranty</em>!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> /105-choosing-the-best-remodeled-basement-wall-products.html Wed, November 30 -0001, 00:00:00 -500 /105-choosing-the-best-remodeled-basement-wall-products.html Wood Sub Floors are a Rotten Choice <p><img src="" alt="" align="right" />For many homeowners, the idea of a basement finishing is to remodel the area the same what the rest of the house has been designed. This means they&rsquo;ll want their ceiling to be made of drywall to look like the rest of their house. The furniture should be the same decor, and their floors- the wood sub floors and beautiful, thick carpet laid on top- should be placed downstairs as well.</p> <p>Unfortunately, this is not going to work. A drywall ceiling is going to give little or no access to pipes running along your basement ceiling, and a single plumbing leak will cause enormous damage to it. The basement walls have fewer windows than the rest of the house, and if you lay wood on a concrete basement floor, it&rsquo;s going to lead to a home improvement disaster.</p> <p>The problem is this: concrete is porous like a sponge. If you have moisture in the earth around your basement floor, the concrete floor will soak that moisture up from the ground and release it into the basement air in the form of water vapor. The dirt around your foundation was backfilled in when the foundation was built. Because of this, it will always be looser and more porous than the virgin earth around it, and water will always collect against your home&rsquo;s foundation more than anywhere else. <a href="">Click here for more information.</a></p> <p><img style="width: 181px; height: 136px;" src="" alt="" align="left" />As this moisture soaks through to the basement and is released, it will collect on anything lying on your basement floor. If you&rsquo;ve laid a wood sub floor and carpet on the floor, then you can count on that to soak up this moisture and grow mold, mildew, and rot. Your basement will fill with mold spores, dust mite feces, and unpleasant odors as your wood sub floors and beautiful carpet decays. In a few years, the damage will be more than you can stand, and the whole finished basement floor will need to be ripped up and replaced. The solution to this comes in two easy rules:</p> <p><strong>Rule 1:</strong> <em>Never install wood floors in a basement.</em> Whether it&rsquo;s in the form of moisture coming through the concrete, a foundation leak, or a plumbing leak from within the house itself, water will reach the <a href="">basement floor</a> sooner or later. It only takes about 48 hours for mold to start growing, and there&rsquo;s no easy way to dry wood sub floors out. Installing wood sub floors in a basement is a risk at best and a disaster at worst.</p> <p><strong>Rule 2:</strong> <em>Add a reliable plastic vapor barrier to your floor, then lay your carpeting on top.</em> A thick pile carpet will add warmth to the room and will absorb sounds, making the finished basement quieter than ever. It&rsquo;ll be softer under foot and will make the room as comfortable as possible for children to play in.</p> <p><img style="width: 261px; height: 153px;" src="" alt="" align="right" /></p> <p>Once you&rsquo;ve done a <a href="">basement waterproofing</a>, Basement Systems recommends and installs ThermalDry floor matting on your concrete basement floors. It creates a waterproof vapor barrier on your floor that will protect your carpet from basement moisture while insulating the floor to make the surface as much as ten degrees warmer than the concrete floor beneath. Our floor matting last twice as long and take only 3/8&rdquo; of head room from the basement as opposed to the 4&rdquo; that wood sub floors can use. Our sub floors outlast several generations of carpet, come with a written warranty, and will not support the growth of mold and rot. What more could you want?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> /112-wood-sub-floors-are-a-rotten-choice.html Wed, November 30 -0001, 00:00:00 -500 /112-wood-sub-floors-are-a-rotten-choice.html Basement Waterproofing Systems: What to Look for <p><img style="width: 150px; height: 120px;" src="" alt="" align="right" />A basement waterproofing system is a much larger investment than what you spend on the system. When you choose to install a <a href="">sump pump</a>and perimeter drainage system like old-fashioned French drain or one of the new perimeter drain innovations in the field, you&rsquo;re not just investing in the system. You&rsquo;re also investing in everything that you keep in the basement from that point on that could be damaged by flooding. And a basement is a huge section of your home- an entire floor of space!</p> <p>This is too important a job to rush. When installing a basement waterproofing system, ask yourself these questions:</p> <h4>1. Does my basement waterproofing contractor specialize in the field?</h4> <p>Plumbers and carpenters may offer to install a waterproofing system in your basement for you. But this makes about as much sense as having a landscaper do your plumbing: it&rsquo;s not what they specialize in. Instead of hiring someone to improvise the job, find a qualified <a href="">basement waterproofing</a> contractor to help you install a quality system.</p> <h4>2. Is my basement waterproofing contractor part of an established business?</h4> <p>50% of home improvement contractors have their business fail in the first five years. What does this mean for you? If you purchase a basement waterproofing system and it fails, you may not be able to count on your contractor to be there to stand by their work. You need a contractor who has a long-established business or is part of a network of waterproofing contractors so you know that there&rsquo;ll always be someone available to help you.</p> <h4>3. Will my system be made out of quality products?</h4> <p>Many plumbers and unreliable <a title="Wet Basement" href="">basement waterproofing</a> contractors will cut costs on your basement waterproofing system by installing plastic sump pumps and old-fashioned French drains that can clog and cause your system to fail. Find a company with patented and award-winning products that have been long-proven on the marketplace as the best in the business. If you install a sump pump, it should be cast-iron and come with a large sump pump liner so your system is sure to be long-lasting.</p> <h4>4. Make sure your system comes installed with an extra line of protection.</h4> <p><img style="width: 281px; height: 182px;" src="" alt="" align="left" />What will you do if your power goes out, your sump pump fails, or the system is overwhelmed? Make sure you have an extra line of defense before you need it. Battery backup sump pumps, backup sump pumps, and sump pump alarms come with the best sump pump products on the market. If you install a battery backup sump pump, make sure that it has the charge you&rsquo;ll need to keep your basement dry long enough for the power to return without the system failing you.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s a wide variety of quality among different basement waterproofing contractors. Make sure the one you use is the best available so your basement stays dry all the time. At Basement Systems, our <a href="">basement waterproofing contractors</a> are available across the United States, Canada, and the UK. We offer written warranties, patented and award-winning products, and the best battery backups and sump pump alarms on the market. Written estimates, free no-obligations consultations, and a complimentary 90-page full-color basement waterproofing guide are all a phone call away!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> /110-basement-waterproofing-systems-what-to-look-for.html Wed, November 30 -0001, 00:00:00 -500 /110-basement-waterproofing-systems-what-to-look-for.html Basement Contractors - Choosing the Best One for You <div id="body"><img style="width: 132px; height: 106px;" src="" alt="" align="left" /> <p><span style="font-weight: bold;">Waterproofing</span> and <span style="font-weight: bold;">finishing your basement</span> does wonders for the value of your home. A home with a wet basement is virtually impossible to sell, and leaves the largest single room in your house wet, moldy and useless. That space can be finished into a beautiful living space at half the cost of an addition. However, one basement contractor is not the same as another. Make sure that you protect yourself from scams and potential problems by finding a basement contractor with an excellent reputation and quality products.</p> <h3>Reliable Basement Contractors</h3> <p>The best way to find out about great basement finishing and waterproofing contractors in your area is to ask your family, neighbors and coworkers. You're likely to be surprised by how many have had work done! Gather the names of as many honest basement specialists in the area that you can find.</p> <p>Once you've developed a list, look into their professional reputation. Most importantly, make sure that they have an established business, as 50% of contractors will fail within the first five years. An established company will be there if you need them. Be sure to also check with the <a title="Better Business Bureau" href="">Better Business Bureau</a> to make sure they have a reputation of satisfied customers. A good company will also happily provide you with references from recent jobs- follow up your research by calling them.</p> <p>If you're having your basement finished or waterproofed, it's important to find a specialist in the area. A carpenter can't renovate or waterproof your basement any more than a basement finishing contactor can build a porch. Many states require a basement specialist to be licensed and registered- check their credentials with your local building department.</p> <h3>Quality Basement Finishing and Waterproofing</h3> <p>It's a good idea to find at least three estimates if you're serious about having the work done. The best basement remodeling and waterproofing experts are confident enough in their products and work to offer free estimates, so you have nothing to lose. Be sure to teach yourself about the <a title="Wet Basement" href="">basement waterproofing</a> products and have some basement finishing ideas ready when you meet with the specialist.</p> <p>There are many products available, and each one will have different strengths and weaknesses. If you're finishing your basement, make sure that all the products you install are resistant to mold, moisture and flames. Wood is always a bad idea in a basement, and carpet should never be laid directly on the basement floor. The best basement waterproofing system for your money will be a perimeter drainage system with a cast-iron sump pump. It's not always best to take the least expensive estimate offered- make sure that you're getting the most bang for your buck.</p> <h3>Basement Remodeling and Waterproofing Pitfalls</h3> <p>Most contractors ask for a 30% deposit up front, and almost all offer financing. However, read all financing information carefully, as there are many scams where the contractor will sign you up for "financing" that is really a home equity loan. These loans tend to have very high fees and interest rates. The contractor is often paid by the loan company for their effort and will typically not be interested in doing the best job they can for your basement.</p> <p>Do not allow the contractor to push you to sign the contract before you're ready or without reading the paperwork. Be very cautious about paying in cash and treat basement contractors who ask you to obtain your own permits with suspicion, as they may not be licensed to do the work. Extremely long warranties on a product are usually too good to be true.</p> <p>When agreeing to have your <a title="Basement Finishing" href="">basement remodeled</a> or waterproofed, ask for proof that the contractor has worker's compensation insurance for themselves and all other subcontractors. Otherwise, any worker that's injured while on your property can become your financial responsibility, which leads to lawsuits and demands that you cover the expenses and hospital bills for their injury. This can be a very expensive and stressful situation!</p> <h3><img style="width: 197px; height: 147px;" src="" alt="" align="right" />The Right Contractor for You</h3> <p>If you prepare yourself properly, a basement finishing and waterproofing can add a great deal of value and usable space to your home. But if you decide to go ahead, make sure that you've covered all bases and done your research. Visit <a href="">Basement Systems</a> and <a href="">Total Basement Finishing</a> online to see what we can do for you. We're both well-established companies with fantastic reputations. Take some time, research us, then give us a call for a free, no-obligation estimate!</p> </div> /100-basement-contractors-choosing-the-best-one-for-you.html Wed, November 30 -0001, 00:00:00 -500 /100-basement-contractors-choosing-the-best-one-for-you.html Executive Athletes: Work Hard, Play Even Harder <p>It takes drive, determination and passion to become and stay a successful executive. It takes focus and an ideal combination of smarts and leadership. Some throw all they've got into a career, but some have a bit left over to devote to play. And then there are some who leave the executive life to follow their dreams.</p> <p>Look Ma, No Hands!</p> <p><strong>Larry Janesky, president of Basement Systems</strong>, shares Montesi's need for speed. But Janesky's sport is more about jumps and tricks. Motocross, the sport of riding dirt bikes on a dirt track with jumps and tricks, is something Janesky took up eight years ago. His younger brother took up the sport first, but soon Larry Janesky jumped on board.</p> <p>"He's still better than me in freestyle," he acknowledges.</p> <p>In order to race motocross, you need to be in very good physical shape, from head to toe. This is especially true in the beginning, he explains: "It's very physically punishing. It can be violent in the beginning when you're still learning the sport."</p> <p>If people saw Janesky doing his sport today, he knows they might think he's nuts, but for him it's just another day at the track.</p> <p>"I love it," he says. "It's thrilling to get in that zone. It requires total concentration."</p> <p>Motocross is mainly a self-taught sport, so Janesky rides twice a week, honing his skills while pushing the limits.</p> <p>"More than that is too hard on the body to recover," he says. "You're going about 25 feet high and jumping up to 80 feet horizontally." And we all know that what goes up must come down and in motocross, the landing isn't always soft.</p> <p>Janesky has his own track and is always building bigger and better jumps. He has been racing, but he prefers to simply to ride.</p> <p>"You get more riding in when you're not racing and waiting around for it to be your turn," he explains. "With three kids and a business, I don't have a whole lot of time. Now I'm getting really good at this and I'd like to compete and show my stuff."</p> <p>Janesky may bring his sport to work, but he doesn't bring his work on the track. Riding takes the stress away from work, he says.</p> <p>"When you're out there, you're in the woods and you forget about everything.," he explains. "Physically it keeps me in shape, which gives me more energy and allows me to handle my day much better."</p> <p>In addition, "It has changed the way I approach risk and difficult situations," Janesky says. "If you can handle what I do, it makes some of the day-to-day things seem more manageable. If I can jump a motorcycle 100 feet, I can handle a little bit of challenge here in the office."</p> <p>Around the office, photos of Janesky in action are a good reminder to employees that the boss knows how to have fun. Several men who work for Janesky and are around his age (42) ride together.</p> <p>"Some people view it as a rebel teenager thing to do, but mature people are into this," says Janesky. "Most of the people in motocross are into their 30s. They ride all the time and it is these guys who love it and stick with it. I hope that my employees [he has 135 of them] see what I do and it encourages them to go out and do things they love, too."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> /80-executive-athletes-work-hard-play-even-harder.html Wed, November 30 -0001, 00:00:00 -500 /80-executive-athletes-work-hard-play-even-harder.html Soggy basements put contractors in short supply And the wait may get longer as more storms hit <p>Susan Bithell first noticed flooding in the basement of her Mount Baker home in November, but repair work on it didn't begin until Friday. Jason Ando, with Aqueous Basement Systems, uses a jackhammer to install a drainage system. First came the rain, now comes the wait.</p> <p>After the recent windstorm and rains busted pipes, flooded basements and sent water dripping through leaky roofs, desperate homeowners are now facing waits of up to a month or longer for home repair relief.</p> <p>Roofers, drainage specialists and other contractors say they can't keep up with all the requests. Many are booked through the end of next month -- even with all their crews out working.</p> <p>"The phone has not stopped ringing," said Perry Keeler, general manager of Aqueous Basement Systems, which is based in Tukwila and part of a national network. Even people who have never had flooding before are now calling to report pools of water in their basements, she said.</p> <p>One of the wettest months on record followed by one of the worst windstorms in Seattle has added up to a nightmare for many homeowners.</p> <p>Susan Bithell noticed the soggy carpets in her finished basement as early as November. But the repair work didn't get started until Friday when a three-man crew from Aqueous jackhammered several inches of her concrete basement to install an interior drainage system at the foot of her foundation.</p> <p>"The rains hit in October and after that these guys were just inundated," said Bithell, who bought her house a year ago and didn't have water problems in her basement until this winter.</p> <p>Bithell called for bids in early November and said she waited between two to three weeks before she even got bids on the work. Then it took another three weeks to get the crew to come out.</p> <p>"They were very busy. At that point, it gave me time to study up on things," said Bithell, who works in the insurance industry. "I've learned more about this than I ever wanted to."</p> <p>Solutions for wet or flooded basements could range from the simple -- sealing cracks in walls and steering downspouts away from the house -- to more elaborate drainage systems inside the basement or outside the house.</p> <p>The soil around Bithell's Mount Baker house became increasingly saturated and water began seeping into her basement. It soaked the carpet of a newly remodeled spare bedroom and media room and warped a wood bedroom set.</p> <p>While she waited for the work crew, Bithell vacuumed out about a half-inch of water from the spare bedroom every day to minimize the damage.</p> <p>"When the ground becomes so saturated, the water table starts to rise," said Christie Merrill, with PermaDry Waterproofing based in Renton, who added that they were booked about a month out. "The water from the surface is trying to level itself out."</p> <p>There's no place for the water to go but down -- and into the basement.</p> <p>And the worse may not be over for Seattle area homeowners. The National Weather Service is predicting more rain and wind this weekend and into early next week.</p> <p>"We're handling as many (calls) as we can," said Michael Kennicott, general manager of Seattle-based A Better Roofing Company. "We're about 1 1/2 weeks out to go see a roof, but we're booked out until the end of February."</p> <p>Most people were asking for patch jobs on their roofs, said Kennicott, who added that homeowners, for the most part, were waiting and not panicking.</p> <p>If you can't wait, he advised hiring a handyman to put a tarp on the roof to cover any leaks until you can fix it permanently.</p> <p>"Beware of storm chasers," and make sure you're dealing with license and bonded contractors, he added. "Some people get desperate and get that guy knocking on the door."</p> <p>Bodine Construction is booked with jobs through the end of February, mostly related to flooded basements.</p> <p>Ken Harris with Lynnwood-based Bodine said the Dec. 14 storm is the worst he has seen.</p> <p>"I've lived here 48 years. This is the worst that I can ever remember," he said. "The ground got so saturated it couldn't handle that amount of water."</p> <p>Many Seattle homes were built in the 1920s and '30s with "coal cellars," where homeowners kept coal to heat their homes, Harris said.</p> <p>When these "cellars" -- those that didn't have a separate exterior entrance -- were finished, many were done without installing proper drainage systems.</p> <p>"We get what we had in November and my gosh!" he said.</p> /79-soggy-basements-put-contractors-in-short-supply-and-the-wait-may-get-longer-as-more-storms-hit.html Wed, November 30 -0001, 00:00:00 -500 /79-soggy-basements-put-contractors-in-short-supply-and-the-wait-may-get-longer-as-more-storms-hit.html Basement Waterproofing Creates New Living Space without Having to Build an Addition, Explains Latest Episode by Bob Vila <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="" align="right" border="0" /></a>The current episode airing on Bob Vila deals with basement waterproofing prior to a basement finishing project. According to Vila, the biggest challenge to any basement remodeling project is keeping water out. It is relatively simple and inexpensive.</p> <p>(PRWEB) <span style="text-decoration: underline;">November 14, 2006</span> -- The current episode airing on <strong>Bob Vila deals with basement waterproofing</strong>prior to a basement finishing project. New living space in a home can be attained by two means: either by building an addition or by finishing a part of a home that is currently unfinished. Of these two methods, only basement remodeling is relatively simple and inexpensive.</p> <p>As Bob Vila says in the episode, the biggest challenge to any basement remodeling project is keeping water out of the basement and making it a dry basement. If making an investment in a basement finishing project, be sure to protect the investment with a basement waterproofing system. The system being installed in the Bob Vila episode is <strong>Basement System's WaterGuard basement waterproofing system.</strong></p> <p>Finishing a basement increases the living space in a home by one-third in a two-story home and doubles the space in a one-story home. If a basement is wet and unusable, the home owner is still paying for this useless space. This makes the cost per square foot higher in the livable upstairs space. Plus, the items typically stored in the basement are now upstairs, taking up valuable usable space.</p> <p>A basement waterproofing system is the right start. The next step is to make the space comfortable and energy efficient, and in Bob Vila's basement remodeling episode, Bob takes a look at <strong>Basement System's ThermalDry Wall System</strong>. This pre-finishing wall material prevents water vapor and also works hand-in-hand with the WaterGuard system as it drains wall leaks into the drainage system. Bob Vila also points out the energy conservation idea behind ThermalDry Wall System, the membrane acts as a radiant barrier that reflects heat back into the basement, saving energy and money.</p> <p>After any groundwater, plumbing, or other leaks are addressed prior to the basement remodeling, using a <strong>SaniDry Basement Air System</strong>is the solution to keep a basement free of mold and humidity. The SaniDry can remove four times the water out of the air, while using the same amount of energy as a household dehumidifier. Since dry air is less costly and easier to heat and cool, this amounts to significant energy and money savings. The SaniDry also boasts a two-stage filter system to keep the air clean, creating a healthier environment for the homeowner's family.</p> <p>Installing a vapor barrier for a basement floor is important, especially if planning on putting carpet in a finished basement. Basement Systems has a patented sub-flooring product called <strong>ThermalDry Basement Floor Matting</strong>, a specially engineered polypropylene tile that insulates the floor and does not allow water vapor to condense. The tiles lift the carpet off of the cold concrete floor creating a more comfortable, softer floor surface in a home.</p> <p>By using Basement Systems' patented basement waterproofing products, a homeowner can rest assured that a finished basement will be protected, as well as the family's well being.</p> <p>For more information on Basement Systems basement waterproofing and finishing products, visit or call 800-261-5705. To see Basement Systems on the Bob Vila Web site visit <a class="blue" href=""></a></p> /78-basement-waterproofing-creates-new-living-space-without-having-to-build-an-addition-explains-latest-episode-by-bob-vila.html Wed, November 30 -0001, 00:00:00 -500 /78-basement-waterproofing-creates-new-living-space-without-having-to-build-an-addition-explains-latest-episode-by-bob-vila.html Quality Vacuums and Air Systems Keep Allergens out of your Life <p>Vacuuming does more than improve your home&rsquo;s appearance. A proper vacuuming also makes the area a cleaner, healthier place to live. If you or someone else in the house suffers from asthma or allergies, then carpet-borne particles from pet dander, dust mites, dust mite feces, pollen, and dust are all eagerly waiting to agitate your condition. In fact, the environment indoors, where people spend 90% of their time, can have a pollutant level 2-5 times higher (or even more) than the outdoor environment! At Basement Systems, we&rsquo;ve seen more than our share of problems caused by mold, dust mites, and other airborne pollutants. A reliable vacuum cleaner is one line of defense.</p> <p><strong>Lurking Pollutants</strong></p> <p><img src="" alt="" align="right" />The size of most airborne pollutants is measured in microns (one-millionth of a meter). Common and harmful airborne particles range in size from 2.4 microns to .3 microns. Below are some common household particles and their width:</p> <p>Human Hair: 60-100 Microns<br />Dust Mites: 125 Microns<br />Dust Mite Feces: 10-24 Microns<br />Pollen: 10-40 Microns<br />Mold Spores: 2-10 Microns</p> <p>Unfortunately, the average vacuum cleaner will only filter particles from 30-50 microns in size, meaning that dust mite feces, pollen, and mold spores are not being effectively removed. Animal dander is especially difficult to remove, with particles about 2.5 microns in size that can stay airborne for hours. Some models of vacuum can actually increase the airborne allergen levels in a home! It&rsquo;s time to kick things up a notch.</p> <p>Dust mite feces can create more than 200 times its body weight in fecal material in a single lifetime.&nbsp; As this allergens is breathed in, adverse health symptoms such as wheesing, coughing, itchy eyes, sniffles can occur.&nbsp; In more severe cases, Asthma, eczems, and allergic rhmitis can also become agitated.&nbsp; According to American Family Physician, sensitivity to dust mite waste is present in 10% of the population in general and 90% of asthmatic patients.</p> <p><strong>Window Shopping</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img style="width: 168px; height: 203px;" src="" alt="" align="left" /></a></p> <p>Consumer Reports states that high-priced, feature-laden machines will not necessarily do a better cleaning job. In many cases, you&rsquo;ll be able to find a quality upright model that can get the job done. They especially recommend upright models for carpets, but warns that they&rsquo;re awkward on stairs and do not have the cleaning power of central units.&nbsp; Additionally, they're a louder, heavier unit that is much more awkward and inconvenient to use.</p> <p>If you suffer from allergies or asthma, however, a central vacuum system may be the best answer. While new vacuum cleaners make many claims, such as High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) cleaners that can remove 99.97% of the particles from the air, a central vacuum cleaning system removes 100% of the particles because the air is being ejected outside of the house. Most central vacuum systems have 3-5 times the suction power of a portable system, which means less time vacuuming with better results. While they have a higher initial cost than portables (often less than $2,500), they can increase the value of the home's resale value as much as $2,000 and can last 20-25 years!&nbsp; And through the course of a central system's lifespan, it will cost about the same as repeatedly replacing portable models.&nbsp; Even basements can usually be retrofitted with a central vacuum system in a day or two by a pair of servicemen.&nbsp; And ultimately, it provides better cleaning, extending the total life of carpeting and lessening the total cost of floor maintenance.&nbsp; Click on the picture to the left and below to visit and price top-quality vacuum cleaners!</p> <p><strong>Taking Care of Business</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img style="width: 174px; height: 208px;" src="" alt="" align="right" /></a>When you think of vacuuming, you&rsquo;re probably thinking &ldquo;carpet&rdquo;. That&rsquo;s a great starting point! Hit the visible carpet area, and be sure not to neglect areas under and behind furniture, where heavy amounts of allergens collect. And take your time- it&rsquo;s easy to vacuum too fast and miss the dirt and debris lying in wait deep within the carpet. Run over all surfaces several times to ensure that they&rsquo;re cleaned properly. Hard floors should never be neglected, as they can also accumulate dust, mold spores and debris. Make sure to change the vacuum bag when it&rsquo;s about three quarters full, and change the filters often. Don&rsquo;t stop vacuuming with the floor. Dust mites and other asthma triggers love upholstered furniture. Be sure to take some time on the couch and chairs, and if your drapes and curtains have been hanging untouched all year, it&rsquo;s time for some TLC. And here&rsquo;s a pop quiz: what&rsquo;s the difference between a mattress and a floor when it comes to dust, mold spores, pet dander, and allergens? The answer? You sleep on your mattress! Vacuum it frequently to keep it healthy. To recap, you&rsquo;re sleeping, sitting, and walking in areas laden with mold spores, dirt, dust, dust mites, and pet dander. And to add injury to injury, dirt is grinding continuously against the carpet and wearing it out. The right vacuum cleaner used properly will help stop this. Simple solution, right?</p> <p><strong>Take it to the Next Level!</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img style="width: 305px; height: 226px;" src="" alt="" align="left" /></a>Now that your surfaces are clean, it&rsquo;s time to condition the air. Basement Systems has a veritable miracle machine that&rsquo;s perfect for the job. The <a href="">SaniDry Basement Air System</a> dehumidifies, deodorizes, and filters the air. It&rsquo;s able to remove particles as small as 2 microns- smaller than dust mites, dust mite feces, pollen, and even mold spores! While it&rsquo;s cleaning the air, the SaniDry also dehumidifies it, removing 100 pints of water a day. With its Energy Star Rating, it does this at the same energy usage as a 40 pint model. It&rsquo;s self draining and needs no daily maintenance, and it can lower the humidity levels low enough to prevent the growth of mold and dust mites in your home. And with your humidity levels low, your house will be more energy efficient to heat and cool!</p> <p>You spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on your home, and it only takes a little more to make it healthy and comfortable. Your home is where you go to relax, recharge, and enjoy your family. Don&rsquo;t sweep allergens under the rug! Splurge.</p> /86-quality-vacuums-and-air-systems-keep-allergens-out-of-your-life.html Wed, November 30 -0001, 00:00:00 -500 /86-quality-vacuums-and-air-systems-keep-allergens-out-of-your-life.html From Basement to Beautiful - Steps to Waterproofing and Finishing your Basement <p><strong> The Monster in the Basement </strong></p> <p><strong><img style="width: 285px; height: 213px;" src="" alt="" align="right" /></strong>Picture this: Your upstairs floor leaks whenever it rains. Water is dripping in and pooling on the floor. Even when it's not raining, it always seems to be damp, humid, and musty up there. Everything you store there grows mold, and if you've laid wood floor and carpet, it's growing moldy, rotting, and the wood is buckling. The windows are rusting and jammed, with spider webs growing in them, and the floor is cold and clammy underfoot. The ceiling is sagging and moldy. Simply put: your upstairs is ugly, uncomfortable and unhealthy. You avoid it whenever you can. Under any circumstances, is this acceptable? Of course not!</p> <p>Then why would you let these conditions develop DOWNstairs?</p> <p>You shouldn't. It's unacceptable. A basement represents an entire floor's worth of space- a gigantic percentage of the potential living space in your home. To allow it to go unused is to deny the full potential of your home. And given the current housing market, this is a fantastic time to think about taking full advantage of every bit of space available in your home.</p> <p><strong> Make the Most of What You've Got! </strong></p> <p><img style="width: 246px; height: 183px;" src="" alt="" align="left" />Finishing your basement runs at about 50% of the cost of adding a new addition to your home. Remodeling Online reports that nationwide, finishing a basement can increase the resale value of a home by about 61%-97% of the cost of the installation! If you'd like to see the full report by Remodeling Online, stop by .</p> <p>All numbers aside, if your basement is leaking, you have an opportunity to take a problem in your home and change it into an asset. Here are some disadvantages to a damp basement:</p> <p>1. If you have cement or block basement walls or floors, water collecting around your foundation in the looser backfilled earth is seeping through your porous cement basement structure. Even if your basement walls do not look damp, you can be sure that the moisture is seeping through and being pulled up by the air, much like the dirt in a potted plant does when the soil is wet but the surface is dry.</p> <p>2. Humid basement air creates a reliable environment for mold growth. If you allow that moisture to remain, there's nothing stopping mold from collecting on any and all organic surfaces in your basement, including drywall, carpet, and hardwood floors.</p> <p><img style="width: 257px; height: 161px;" src="" alt="" align="right" />3. If your basement has a musty smell, that would be from the airborne fecal material from dust mites and mold spores in your basement air. Because this air travels upwards in your house (like in a chimney), these airborne materials will rise through your house and enter your lungs when you breathe. This has been known to create and intensify a variety of breathing related ailments.</p> <p>4. A leaking basement is not a reliable storage space. Any valuables you have there will be vulnerable to the flooding conditions.</p> <p><strong> A Beautiful Living Space </strong></p> <p>If you want to use your basement as a clean, dry area instead not using it and keeping it as a moldy, wet and health-compromising space, then you have no reason to invest in it. However, this is what your basement could become:</p> <ul> <li>A beautiful family room with couches, game tables and a TV</li> <li>A naturally quiet and secluded-feeling home office</li> <li>A home theater with a flat screen mounted on a hardboard wall</li> <li>A personal gym with mats, weights and treadmills</li> <li>A safe, secluded play room for the children</li> <li>A beautiful and sophisticated wine cellar</li> </ul> <p><img style="width: 252px; height: 168px;" src="" alt="" align="left" />To accomplish this, you're going to want basement finishing and remodeling products that can create a vapor barrier between your living space and the cold, wet basement surfaces. On the walls, I'd recommend a solid, free-standing cement board and hard foam insulation so you can attach shelves, pictures, a plasma TV or anything else to their surface without concern. Your windows should be double paned vinyl windows for optimal insulation and soundproofing. On the ceiling, you're going to want a drop ceiling that will absorb noise from the basement and above floors alike. The floors should be laid down in a way that blocks water vapor from the basement floor and creates a thermal break on your basement floors so they don't feel as cold as the concrete below. Finally, ALL surfaces installed in the basement will need to be resilient to water damage.</p> <p>Even if a basement is completely waterproofed and a vapor barrier is placed on all surfaces, your basement is still susceptible to leaks from water heaters, bursting pipes, overflowing sinks, bathtubs, toilets, dishwashers, refrigerators, washing machines, and the countless other things that hold water and can run downhill, creating a flood in your basement.</p> <p><strong> The Best Basement Waterproofing Contractor and Basement Remodeling Experts for You </strong></p> <p><img src="" alt="" align="right" />It's important to find a basement remodeling contractor that is still going to be in business if you need to service your installation or have warranty work done. The small business administration reports that 50% of contractors have their business fail within the first year and over 96% within five years. It's best to pick a company that you're confident will still be there when you need them.</p> <div> <p><a href="">Basement Systems</a> has been in business for more than 20 years and would like to help you with your basement waterproofing and finishing- as well as your foundation repair, dehumidification, and crawlspace encapsulation needs. Our basement waterproofing system will keep your basement from leaking while our finishing products create vapor barriers on all concrete basement surfaces. Our Total Basement Finishing basement finishing ideas insulate the room and make the whole house more energy efficient.</p> <p>Our finished basement wall panels can each hold a weight of up to 300 pounds, making them perfect for mounting heavy shelving, plasma TVs, large pictures or whatever your heart desires. Our windows are made of vinyl framing and beautiful crystal clear double thermopane glass, making them more than twice as long-lasting and almost three times better as an insulator than single paned steel basement windows. None of our products support mold growth, and they're all either water resistant or completely waterproof. All our dealersoffer a written warranty, a long history of business, and the international support from our company- the largest network of basement waterproofing contractors in the world. There's no doubt that we'll be here if you need us. <a href="">Call or visit us for a free no-obligation estimate, and we'd be happy to answer any questions you have!</a></p> </div> /87-from-basement-to-beautiful-steps-to-waterproofing-and-finishing-your-basement.html Wed, November 30 -0001, 00:00:00 -500 /87-from-basement-to-beautiful-steps-to-waterproofing-and-finishing-your-basement.html Drywall: Cheap and Dirty <p><img style="width: 243px; height: 162px;" src="" alt="" align="right" />Old habits die hard.&nbsp; The same goes for building practices.&nbsp; When it comes to finishing a basement, builders tend to do the same thing they&rsquo;ve always done- especially if it&rsquo;s a cheap solution for them.&nbsp; Why would they change what&rsquo;s making them money?&nbsp; I mean, it&rsquo;s not like they have to live with the job, right?<br /><br />The bottom line is this:&nbsp; a basement environment is different than any other place in the home, and drywall is simply not made for this environment.&nbsp; If you install drywall into a basement, it&rsquo;s probably not going to work.&nbsp; Even if it does, it won&rsquo;t be the best building material for the job.&nbsp; Below are four good reasons to drop drywall from your basement finishing plan.<span style="font-weight: bold;"><br /></span></p> <h4>Holding its Own</h4> <p>When it comes to shelves, cabinets, or anything else that weighs over 10 pounds, drywall is in for a real challenge.&nbsp;&nbsp; Generally, this means that you&rsquo;ll have to find wall studs to use to mount the weight, which can be a difficult and imperfect process.&nbsp; You&rsquo;ll be limited to places where studs are located and will find yourself at the mercy of sometimes unevenly spaced studs.<br /><br />Unfortunately, it&rsquo;s very popular to want to mount things such as shelves, cabinets, pictures, or perhaps a plasma TV on finished basement walls.&nbsp; And just as easily as it crumbles under too much weight, it&rsquo;s very easy for you, your children, or a well-placed doorknob to leave an unsightly hole in it.<br /><br />There are hardboard wall panels such as&nbsp;Total Basement Finishing&rsquo;s Wall Panels with dense foam insulation available that can have things mounted at any point on the wall with no need to find a stud.&nbsp; Because these panels are free-standing, they&rsquo;re also ideal for adding wall partitions for a bedroom or extra closet.</p> <h4><img style="width: 111px; height: 157px;" src="" alt="" align="left" hspace="5" />Drywall Dust</h4> <p>Dealing with drywall dust woes is probably the most painful part of a basement remodeling.&nbsp; Drywall installation is dirty work!&nbsp; As the heavy panels are cut to fit your basement, a thick and extremely fine dust will coat everything in the area.&nbsp; The dust is invasive and can kill ordinary vacuum motors as it quickly clogs their filters and causes the motor to work too hard and overheat.&nbsp; Professional drywall vacuums cost about $650, which is impractical for a homeowner and not often used by professionals.&nbsp; On top of that, the gypsum in drywall is irritating to eyes, lungs, and sinuses.&nbsp; Drywall should be installed carefully- with masks, goggles and gloves.&nbsp; Whenever possible, drywall dust should be cleaned up immediately after installation.</p> <h4>Service and Renovation Woes</h4> <p><img src="" alt="" align="right" />Drywall ceilings in a finished basement are a nightmare when it comes time to service or renovate a basement.&nbsp; Drywall ceilings provide poor access to pipes and wiring when they need to be serviced or new ones need to be installed.&nbsp; Occasionally, the drywall may even need to be removed or damaged for the sake of the job.&nbsp; While a service panel will make this access easier, it can&rsquo;t replace a suspended ceiling, where every ceiling tile doubles as a service point.&nbsp; To make matters worse, installing heavy drywall on the ceiling can be a work-intensive and expensive process, and if you later decide to renovate the basement or the first floor of your house, you&rsquo;ll spend hours and hours running wires and pipes under the floor and learning where already existing ones lead as you&rsquo;re remodeling.&nbsp; And there&rsquo;s a reason that drywall is filling up landfills all over the country!&nbsp; It&rsquo;s constantly being replaced and reinstalled as water from a leaking basement, plumbing leaks, and moisture from concrete basement walls, mold, and impact damage ruin it.</p> <h4>Black Mold Blues</h4> <p><img src="" alt="" align="left" />Even mold and moisture-resistant drywall does not stand by their claim with a warranty.&nbsp; Why?&nbsp; Because drywall is made of a core of gypsum laid between layers of heavy processed paper.&nbsp; The gypsum absorbs water and stays wet for a long time, keeping the paper facing saturated long enough for mold to grow.&nbsp; As mold grows on your drywall, it becomes increasingly aesthetically unattractive.&nbsp; Signs of mold include peeling and cracking paint, bulging behind the paint, musty smells, and discolored walls.&nbsp; Drywall can support the growth of toxic black mold as well, which is particularly dangerous.&nbsp; But even when toxic molds are not present, mold spores in the air can agitate asthma, and cause breathing problems as well as other health issues.&nbsp; Very often, the entire drywall installation may need to be removed and replaced by a trained professional.</p> <h4><img style="width: 211px; height: 140px;" src="" alt="" align="right" />A Better Solution</h4> <p>Total Basement Finishing has products that are guaranteed to be mold-resistant that are made specifically for the basement environment.&nbsp; Their wall panels and ceiling tiles are perfect for a basement finishing project.&nbsp; Their products install cleanly without the mess of drywall, make service easy, and their wall panels can hold 300 pounds per panel without a problem!&nbsp; They offer free estimates, and they&rsquo;d love to help you!</p> /97-drywall-cheap-and-dirty.html Wed, November 30 -0001, 00:00:00 -500 /97-drywall-cheap-and-dirty.html Complete Basement Systems of MN Finalist for the Better Business Bureau Integrity Award <p>Saint Paul, Minn &ndash; The finalists for the prestigious Better Business Bureau Integrity Award have been announced by the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB).</p> <p>Each year the BBB invites customers to nominate a business they feel demonstrates exceptional ethics. Nominated businesses are then offered the opportunity to submit an entry to the BBB, where an independent panel of judges reviews the entries and decides on a winner or winners. Companies compete in three different categories by number of employees. The Integrity Award is presented each year to companies who display outstanding ethics and integrity toward their employees, vendors, and customers.</p> <p>To read the rest of the press release, please <a href="">click here to go to the press release on Basement Systems of Minnesota's website</a>.</p> /88-complete-basement-systems-of-mn-finalist-for-the-better-business-bureau-integrity-award.html Wed, November 30 -0001, 00:00:00 -500 /88-complete-basement-systems-of-mn-finalist-for-the-better-business-bureau-integrity-award.html The Best Shower Head Adds Value to your Finished Basement Bathroom <p>As any good basement remodeler will tell you, it&rsquo;s the little things that really make the difference. Installing a <a href="">basement bathroom</a>is a great idea, and it pays back for itself by 80% or more when the home is sold. If you could make a major difference in how much you enjoy your remodeled space by spending another $50 or so, wouldn&rsquo;t you choose to?</p> <p>There are few ways to make a bigger difference with very little money than by choosing the best shower head for your new basement bathroom. Enjoying a relaxing, comfortable shower is a guiltless pleasure. And with a growing family, it can be your few precious private moments alone before a busy day.</p> <p>To help you make the most of these moments, <a href="">Total Basement Finishing</a> has this advice for choosing the best shower head:</p> <p><strong>1. Choose a handheld shower head.</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img style="width: 170px; height: 170px;" src="" alt="" align="left" border="1" /></a></p> <p>While fixed shower heads that are mounted to the wall may give a sleek designer look to a shower, they can be much more difficult to repair than handheld models and also lack many advantages. A handheld shower head can be mounted in a cradle to operate like a fixed shower head or removed for more convenience for children and seniors. Additionally, cleaning the tub, cleaning items in the tub, or washing pets is much easier with a handheld shower head. Be sure to pick one with a durable, high-quality hose that can stand up to water pressure without blowing out and will endure daily use without kinking or wearing down. If you strongly prefer a fixed shower head for your finished basement bathroom, keep in mind that it&rsquo;s possible to install multiple shower heads in a single shower on one or both ends of the shower area.</p> <p><strong>2. Find a shower head with flow options that fit your preference.</strong></p> <p>Shower heads are available to fit any partiality in regards to water flow and pressure. If your basement bathroom is built in a home with very low water pressure and you like the relaxing feel of pounding water, there are shower heads on the market that can increase the volume of water coming through the shower head. More expensive models can adjust the water pressure from a gentle mist to champagne drops (the standard setting), a deeply relaxing massage, or a strong, invigorating jet of water.</p> <p>If saving water is your top priority, low flow shower heads are available that can save a half gallon of water every minute- or about ten gallons of water during a 20-minute shower. Cut-off valves can turn the water off while you&rsquo;re soaping up to save even more water.</p> <p>If you live in a home where you risk being scalded by hot water if a toilet is flushed or a faucet turns on, be sure to install an anti scald adapter or pressure balance valve. This can cost as little as $15 and installs between the shower arm and shower head, shutting the water off if it becomes too hot.</p> <p><strong>3. Pick a shower head that&rsquo;s built to last.</strong></p> <p><img style="width: 212px; height: 138px;" src="" alt="" align="left" /></p> <p>While shower heads can cost anywhere between $6 and $500, you won&rsquo;t need to spend a lot of money to find a high-quality and comfortable one. $30 to $80 should find you a shower head for your remodeled basement bathroom that gives you the best value for your investment.</p> <p>Brass shower heads are generally considered the best for a remodeled basement bathroom as a reliable, long-lasting option, but they&rsquo;re also much more expensive than other models. Whether you choose a shower head made of brass or of some other metal, check to ensure that it&rsquo;s easy to upkeep and will not tarnish.</p> <p>If you pick a plastic model, be sure to purchase one that&rsquo;s resistant to lime buildup so it will not easily clog your shower head. No matter which shower head you choose, however, it will eventually develop lime accumulation. When lime buildup slows the shower&rsquo;s flow in your finished basement bathroom, wipe the accumulation on the tip of the nozzle away then soak the shower head in a lime-away solution or a fifty-fifty solution of vinegar and warm water.</p> <p><strong>4. Add a shower head water filter to your finished basement bathroom shower.</strong></p> <p>Your shower water comes from the same source as your tap water. During a typical shower, you take in about one cup of unfiltered water and immerse every surface of your body in heated tap water. Any dirt, lime, chemicals, or impurities found in your well water will also be present in your shower. If there&rsquo;s chlorine in the water, it will both dry out and change the color of your nails, skin and hair. Chlorine will also strip the natural oils from your skin and will possibly cause mild skin and eye irritation. Heavy minerals will weigh down hair, and a variety of other health and beauty related effects can occur. Installing a proper shower filter can remove up to 98% of these materials, and because they only need replacement every 6 months or 10,000 gallons, they require minimal personal maintenance.</p> <p>A basement bathroom is a beautiful addition to a basement finishing plan in your home. Choosing the best shower head for your newly remodeled space is only one step in your exciting basement makeover. Total Basement Finishing would love to plan your basement renovation with you. We have the best finished basement wall products, basement floor products, and basement ceiling products available to fit your remodeling needs. We offer free consultations and written estimates and would love to visit your home to help you with this exciting home improvement step.</p> <p>A basement bathroom is a beautiful addition to a basement finishing plan in your home. Choosing the best shower head for your newly remodeled space is only one step in your exciting basement makeover. Total Basement Finishing would love to plan your basement renovation with you. We have the best finished <a href="">basement wall</a> products, <a href="">basement floor products</a>, and <a href="">basement ceiling</a> products available to fit your remodeling needs. We offer free consultations and written estimates and would love to visit your home to help you with this exciting home improvement step.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> /103-the-best-shower-head-adds-value-to-your-finished-basement-bathroom.html Wed, November 30 -0001, 00:00:00 -500 /103-the-best-shower-head-adds-value-to-your-finished-basement-bathroom.html