Reduce Moisture in a Basement
LESLIE: Now we’re going to talk to Janice in Connecticut and what’s going on with your basement?
JANICE: Well, I had – I have sheetrock in the basement. The basement has been remodeled. And there – it seems to get moisture down there. We do run a dehumidifier but it does still seem to get moisture down there and I wanted to put in a flooring and I wasn’t sure what kind of flooring to put in over the cement that would be the best for basement for looks and for durability.
LESLIE: OK, now Janice, when you say you see moisture, are you seeing water on the floor or do you just feel it in the air?
JANICE: I feel it in the air and sometimes, you know, the smell of dampness and once in a while a little bit on the wall on – you know, if a piece of furniture is up against the wall too close there’s one area where I did see a little bit of darkness on the wall.
TOM: OK, Janice. Well, first things first. Let me give you some tips on how to reduce that moisture and then Leslie can give you some flooring suggestions. When it comes to the moisture, you have total control over that. It usually sources outside your house. So you need to make sure that your gutters are clean and free-flowing; that the downspouts are extending away from the foundation perimeter; and also that the soil around the house is sloping away. If you manage the water on the outside you will have far, far less humidity on the inside.
LESLIE: You’re still going to need to run the dehumidifier but you will see you can control that moisture situation so much more greatly.
Now, for flooring choices it really depends on what kind of style you’re looking for. There’s a laminate flooring which can look like tile; it can look like wood; it can look like slate; it can look like brick. Those are completely made from manufactured plastic. They’re printed in such a way that depending on whatever you pick from the wood to the tile looks very natural. Because they’re plastic they’re really made for a high-moisture situation. If you want something that looks more like a hardwood there’s an option also. It’s something called engineered hardwood and it’s built in a way similar to how plywood is put together, with opposing grains, and then the top layer is the actual hardwood veneer and that’s also excellent for a basement, a bathroom, a kitchen. Totally depends on what your look is and of course you can do tile. Excellent choice; can go right on top of the concrete; great for moisture. So it’s all about your budget and what look you’re going for down there.
JANICE: Well, thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Janice. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.