Basement carpeting

Old 03-29-04, 09:23 AM
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Basement carpeting

I would like to re-carpet my basement. Currently I have rubber backed shag and it is attached via two sided tape. Generally my basement is dry, although on days with heavy rains a small amount of water does seep in. I would prefer a wall to wall as we spend a lot of time in the basement. Any suggestions? Thanks.
Old 03-29-04, 07:03 PM
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Basement carpet

All moisture issues should be addressed due to hazards of mold and mildew in padding and carpet. Take into consideration that moisture conditions could worsen after investment in new carpet and padding in basement.

Are gutters clean and downspouts carrying away excess moisture away from foundation? Is soil landscaped away from home to carry water away from foundation? Is soil above sill plate and allowing moisture penetration? Is there a foundation problem such as cracks? Do basement walls or foundation need to be sealed? Is there a drainage problem? Is concrete sealed?

Many recommend a padding for basements that has an anti-microbial agents built into it to keep it from supporting mold or mildew as well as an olefin fiber carpet that is chemical resistant should it need cleaning with bleach to disinfect mold and mildew (such measures will have no effect on padding beneath, thus many recommend a glue down basement carpet).

Make sure carpet is entirely constructed of synthetic products--NO JUTE BACKING. Jute backing looks like sacks in which potatoes and grain use to be bagged, and they simply do not hold up to moisture because they are made of natural plant material.

If you have evidence of moisture in basement, a dehumidifier is a must because mold and mildew love damp, poorly ventilated places. Do everything you can to promote a well-ventilated and dry area to prevent mold and mildew and to promote greater comfort and health in the basement. Dehumidifiers to control humidity and moisture levels and fans to improve air movement will tend to keep mold and mildew at a minimum.

Because you say you have problems only when there are heavy rains, then chances are the problem may be ground water. Water pressure can force water through cracks, joints, and porous areas in concrete walls and floor, or cracked or crumbling mortar. This may be because structure was poorly contstructed or there are clogged or no footing drains. There may be no or poorly applied waterproofing on foundation.

Double check to may sure gutters are clear and downspouts carry water away from foundation. Make sure soil around foundation is graded so that during heavy rains that water is carried away from foundation. Make sure soil is not above the level of the sill plate of the home which may cause water to pass sill plate and down walls. Window wells around basement windows should be free of debris, have good drainage, and be properly sealed at the wall. If you can't find the source of the problem and make DIY corrections, then you will need to contact a foundation engineer or contractor who specializes in foundation problems.

If foundation walls are covered with drywall or panelling, you may not have the ability to seal cracks in foundation. If such evidence is discovered, then you should contact a foundation engineer to address problems.

If basement wall is visible and not covered with drywall or panelling, then apply a coating to the wall. There are both paint- on and plaster-on coatings which tend to be cement based. Epoxy coatings get the most raves. Masonry sealers can be found at home centers and masonry supply centers.

Cracks in walls and floors can be patched with Portland or hydraulic cement patching compound. Even in wet areas, hydraulic cement expands and dries quickly. Cracks less than 1/8 can be chiseld out so bottom of crack is wider than top to prevent pressure from popping out sealant. Most prefer a hydraulic cement product for patching mortar joints.

If your inspection reveals that water that comes through cracks in concrete floor or through the joint between the floor and wall, this is due to hydrostatic pressure (water pressure). This problem is typically overcome by installing drains in floor, adding sump pump, or laying a floor covering over a waterproof membrane.

Remember that water and carpet and padding tend not to be allies and tend to promote mold and mildew. Water that comes through cracks in a concrete floor or through the joint between the floor and wall is caused by hydrostatic pressure. Sometimes installing drains under the floor, adding a sump pump, or laying new floor covering over a waterproof membrane placed on concrete are required. Should you not be able to find the source of moisture yourself and DIY methods tend not to produce results to eliminate moisture problem, then consultation with a professional should hopefully produce a resolution before you consider type of basement floor covering.

Last edited by twelvepole; 03-29-04 at 07:13 PM.

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