Carpet Not Recommended for Basement
LESLIE: John in Utah is dealing with a situation in his basement. Tell us about what’s going on.
JOHN: Hi. I just went through – we had a lot of snow – more than usual – and it all started melting and not only my house but several homes around the area have got water seeping through the basements. And it came in through one of the basement floors that we have carpeted and paneled.
JOHN: Wondering how we can get that repaired so that we’ve got …
TOM: Well, a couple of things. First of all, whenever you have a heavy snowfall, just like heavy rainfall, you can get a basement leakage situation. Sometimes with snow it’s even trickier because the snow tends to sort of hold the water right where it lands; right there at the foundation perimeter. And so, you know, you say that the floor leaked but really the whole area is leaking. It just happened to find its way in at the floor. The secret here is to improve the grading and the drainage at the foundation perimeter so that the soil slopes away from the wall and so that the downspouts extend water away from the wall. If you improve it at the outside, that will stop it from coming on the inside. Now, in terms of those materials, Leslie, carpet is not such a good idea.
LESLIE: No, with carpet in a basement, you know, it may seem like it’s OK but even if you’re not dealing with water in the basement, at some point you’re going to be dealing with moisture, with dust mites, with all sorts of allergens that are causing even mold growth underneath the carpet and the padding that’s right on top of the concrete just because there’s too much moisture. So we always recommend get rid of it. There’s a lot of great options, as far as flooring goes, for a basement. You can go with a laminate floor, which is made to look like wood or look like tile; pretty much any product out there laminate mimics. You can even go with tile for a basement. And if you’re wanting something that’s a lot warmer and more natural-looking, you can go with a hardwood but it has to be an engineered hardwood because engineered hardwood is sort of built in a cross-ply construction, almost like a very durable plywood, so that it’s not going to warp or twist or have any sort of structural issue with all that moisture. And if you start with the outside and then work on the inside cosmetic, you’ll really do a great job of keeping that basement dry.
JOHN: Thank you both. Have a great day.