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Why You Should Deal with Damp Before Finishing Your Basement

Finishing your basement can hugely increase the value of your home, but it is best to deal with any underlying issues with water first.

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Your basement is a treasure trove of square footage that could double the size of your home when properly finished. Unfortunately for many homeowners, the damp and cool nature of basement spaces makes finishing them difficult. In fact, Cleveland, OH, can see some pretty wild weather, especially in fall and winter, when the average rainfall increases and the temperature drops. 

At this time of year, dampness problems can become apparent. This may make it seem like finishing your basement is a pipe dream, but it is in fact the best time to begin planning. Once you know where any dampness in your home is coming from, you can address the underlying causes and start turning your basement into a cozy and inviting living space. 

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Why You Should Deal with Dampness in Your Basement 

It can be tempting to ignore dampness in your basement, especially if there is no standing water or visible mold, but there are a few good reasons not to do that. 

First and foremost, if you don’t identify the cause of the dampness as benign, you could overlook more insidious problems, like a sinking or cracked foundation and bowing walls. These issues only worsen over time, so ignoring them is a disaster waiting to happen. 

Secondly, even if the source of the dampness is not immediately dangerous to the structure of your home, ongoing dampness and humidity can cause a number of problems in a finished basement. The most common side effects of dampness in living spaces are: 

  • Increased energy bills 
  • Lingering musty odors 
  • Mold formation 
  • Peeling or bubbling wallpaper 
  • Pest infestation 
  • Rashes and skin irritation 
  • Respiratory problems  

As such, it pays to have your basement inspected for damage and potential sources of dampness before you begin converting it into a living or sleeping space. If there are no obvious causes or damage, it may be that water is seeping through your walls. This is fairly common in poured concrete walls, especially in Cleveland, OH, and can be mitigated with reasonable ease. In fact, there are a number of very simple waterproofing measures that you can take. 

Fixes for Your Damp Basement 

There are some issues, like bowing walls, which you just can’t fix without skilled help and specialist tools. However, if you enlist professional help soon enough, you can avoid the larger, more costly repairs and instead get hassle-free fixes that make your basement safer and comfier. To combat general dampness and humidity in your basement, a professional may use: 

The most complicated one will be installing a dehumidifier. You must choose the right size for your basement in order to get the right results. To do this, you need to work out the volume of your basement and ensure the right machine is picked to keep all the corners and nooks dry and clean. 

Work with the Experts Before Finishing Your Basement 

So if you’re worried that you have issues with dampness that will damage your finished basement somewhere down the line, or if you simply want to leave the process in professional hands, please do not hesitate to book a free inspection with the experts at Ohio Basement Systems. Our team will assess your basement for all potential issues and suggest any necessary repair. Better yet, we will provide you with a same-day written quote that details the suggested work and all associated costs.