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6 Tips for Keeping a Finished Basement Mildew Free

Your finished basement is an investment to the home. You don’t want water damage to ruin your basement or the belongings kept there, and you certainly don’t want mold and moisture to challenge the health and integrity of your home. Fortunately, there are things you can do to protect the basement, keep it comfortable and ensure that it remains an extension to your home.


1. Install a Waterproofing System


If your basement has had groundwater seepage, it will greatly benefit from a waterproofing system. After all, things don’t get better; they only get worse over time. Therefore, ignoring water seepage issues will only create further problems down the road. Before you finish your basement or make any other upgrades, be sure to fix the problem at hand. Also, waterproofing systems are easier and cheaper to install before finishing your basement.


2. Install a Dependable Sump Pump


A sump pump will keep your basement dry, but it’s important to have the right type of pump for your home. For instance, it should have an alarm that lets you know when it’s not working so that you can act before the basement gets wet. You should also have a backup sump pump that will automatically start working if the power goes out. Sump pumps are necessary, but they can fail, so make sure you have a backup plan.


3. Seal and Finish Walls


Basement walls can leak higher up because they are underground, so it’s a good idea to invest in a high-quality waterproof sealant with a mold inhibitor. This will protect your walls from mold and mildew. You can finish the walls with paint or paneling; a waterproof paneling system is both attractive and functional in basements.


4. Choose Moisture Wicking Flooring


Since the basement floor is concrete, water vapors can slowly come up through the floor. So, if you lay carpet over concrete, the moisture will get stuck in between the carpet and concrete, giving the basement a damp smell and feel. Instead, choose a floor matting system that is made from polypropylene material and features tongue-and-groove tiles.


5. Inspect Basement Windows


Basement windows are known for being hard to open and drafty, and they can easily let in moisture. Energy efficient vinyl windows are the perfect choice for basements, and most styles feature smooth sliding operation, full screens and removable parts for easy cleaning.


6. Perform Exterior Maintenance


What you don’t do on the outside of your home can affect the inside of the home. The goal is to ensure that water is not collecting around the foundation and is instead being directed out and away. Make sure all downspouts are pointed away from the home, and be sure to keep the gutters free and clear. Also remove debris and leaves from window wells.

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