If you're going to store things in your attic or basement, there's no reason not to use them during the winter months too! But if you do decide to keep things in your basement, here's everything you need to know before doing so.
The basement is often seen as a mysterious place for children and perhaps many adults. Rarely do we consider the dank, dirty, low ceiling, and dusty basement as offering the opportunity. Yet, with planning and elbow grease, you can transform even the most daunting basement into an ideal spot for storing off-peak items. Plus, many improvements you might pursue to make the surroundings suitable for storing could also improve your home's overall climate control and energy efficiency. You're in no danger of losing out on any potential benefits! So read on to discover what other homeowners choose, then determine which ones are best suited for where you live.
Most people considering converting a basement into a home gym would probably say they're interested in getting fit. But what if I told you that you could do both? You can transform your basement into an exercise room without lifting a single weight! And you can also make your basement feel like a spa retreat without spending any money.
If you see signs of water damage—such as wet floors, walls, ceilings, or wood framing—you're likely dealing with an issue that needs immediate attention. Water damage can lead to serious health issues, so don't wait! You should call a professional right away.
Before safely storing anything in a crawlspace, you must get rid of the water. It's important to note that even if you've already done so, you may want to consult a contractor who has experience dealing with the basement/crawl space department.
Moisture Control in Crawl Spaces
In crawl spaces, much humidity and moisture come from the soil floor. Line the bottom (and the foundation walls) to contain that moisture with a plastic vapor barrier. Proper vapor barrier installation depends on your climate and the product used, but generally speaking, the liners overlap with taped seams to leave no patch uncovered.
You'll need a vapor barrier that is thick and durable enough to stand up to heavy use from people walking through the basement.
We recommend using a vapor barrier only if you're confident installing one properly. Otherwise, use poured concrete.
Crawl Space Insulation
Insulating the walls and floor of the basement helps prevent condensation and keeps pipes from getting too cold. It also reduces the risk of frozen pipes during the winter months.
There are many different kinds of insulation, but only a rigid board is suitable for this project. It will resist water penetration better than any other type of insulation.
Install rigid foam insulation boards against the foundation walls—not along the ceiling—using either construction adhesive or mechanical fasteners. Once the insulation is in place, the vapor barrier goes up on the walls.
It may be wise to insulate the earthen floor below the vapor barrier if you live in a cold climate. If you need help finding someone to advise you, ask for recommendations from friends or neighbors.
Crawl Space Ventilation
Crawling spaces are often controversial topics. Building code requirements for years dictated that crawling spaces should be vented, and some people continue to believe these vents are essential. However, new research suggests that these vents may not accomplish what they intended. One study found that vents can encourage condensation inside homes because they allow humid outdoor conditions to enter the home's interior. Other studies suggest that vents aren't effective at preventing mold growth either. So, if your home doesn't already have a vent system installed, you might consider installing one.
Crawl Space Conditioning with Dehumidifier
Consider installing a dehumidifier if you're concerned about water damage caused by condensation inside your walls. These devices work by removing excess humidity from the air in your house through evaporation. They might sound complicated, but they're relatively easy to set up. You'll need to ensure that any ducts leading into your attic are sealed off to prevent the air from circulating them, and then run a hose from the best crawl space dehumidifier with pump to the outside wall where the vent is located.
Even though you may not think about it much, your home's foundation plays an essential role in maintaining its structural integrity. In addition to providing support for the building itself, the ground beneath your home helps keep water out of the house. To prevent problems such as flooding, ensure that any foundation cracks are repaired immediately. If damages occur during construction, they must be filled in correctly. Once the foundation is complete, waterproofing measures should be taken to ensure that water doesn't seep into the structure.