Latest Discussions : Basement & Foundation


06:10AM | 08/10/07
Member Since: 08/09/07
5 lifetime posts
We are trying to refinish our basement for our 15 yr old grandson who lives with us and need the most efficient system (at the best price of course) to consider. I read about those basement wall systems, but have no experience with them. Any suggestions? We are retired and on a fixed income, so cost is a consideration.


06:51AM | 08/13/07
Member Since: 03/27/06
18 lifetime posts
You don't really say if you've got water problems, or any system to manage it. If you've been in the house a long time, and never gotten water, there's probably not much you need to do other than perhaps get a dehumidifier for the bedroom if you're putting one down there.

I think people could make helpful suggestions if they knew more about your situation. If you're not looking to spend a lot of money, and you have a dry basement, then just put up some drywall and build the bedroom. If you have seepage through the walls, then other things, including some type of wall covering, would be helpful. If you have standing water or hydrostatic pressure, you'll want to install drain tile. But not knowing any of this, it's relatively impossible to make a recommendation.


01:05PM | 08/13/07
Member Since: 08/09/07
5 lifetime posts
We instaled french drains years ago and dont have water problems, however, there is a dampness to the area which I assume is seeping in through the concrete floor.

I hang those humidity packs around and they always collect water, so the humidity is high.

In researching the wall systems I am getting the feeling that they are in the $30-$40K range - way outta our league. All I want to do is make a dry, comfortable area for my grandson (15 yrs old) and his friends to hang out in after school - not build a home theater.

Thank you for your feedback.


06:20AM | 08/14/07
Member Since: 03/27/06
18 lifetime posts
I would start by getting a dehumidifier - a good one that's rated for basements. You can get one in the $300-$400 range. See how quickly it fills up - if you are contantly having to empty it, then you may have more serious humidity issues, but if it can run for days without being emptied, you've got a normal basement and the dehumidifier will make it more comfortable.

All basements have water vapors that enter through the concrete slab - but if you have a working french drain, you should never get standing water as long as the pump doesn't fail. There are floor systems that create a barrier between the concrete and the floor covering, but they are expensive, and frankly I'm not sure how worth it they are. The company that put in my drain tile sells a system, but I opted for a good anti-bacterial carpet pad, and my basement is very comfortable (and I do have a home theater down there).

I would start with the dehumidifier - the one I have is from Whirlpool, although I don't use it all that much. It's designed to do exactly what you want - make the space more comfortable.


05:26PM | 08/19/07
Member Since: 08/18/07
8 lifetime posts
Put a Humidex system in rather than just a dehumidifier. It doesn't have to be emptied every day and has a multi-speed motor which adjusts to the humidity levels in the basement automatically. I found info on a while back. you can also check out and for more info or sources to help you.


08:52PM | 08/19/07
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
First of all dehumidifier don't need to be emptied every day. In fact they don't need to be emptied at allow.

They can be setup to empty into a drain, using a pump if needed.

And a humidex is often not the solution. In fact can make the problem worse.

The Humidex system depressurizes the house causes exterior air to leak into the house. In most parts of the country that air is HOT AND VERY HUMID during the summer. That causes air conditioner to run overtime to remove the humidity and cool the air.

Basements often have humidity problems because the walls are relatively cool.

Using a insualtion that is also a vapor retarder goes a far way towards solving the problem. Often eliminates it all together.


03:33AM | 08/20/07
Member Since: 08/09/07
5 lifetime posts
Thanks for the information. I was also looking at the floor systems but think they are cost prohibitive. Will go back to Bob VIlla's on line videos to rethink this.

From what I have been hearing a good dehumidifier seems to be step one in the plan.

I dont mind spedning the money for the Humidex system, but really don't see how it will be the answer for us in South Jersey where the humidity is very high and our AC runs constantly.


09:33AM | 08/20/07
Member Since: 03/27/06
18 lifetime posts
It's easy to find a way to run a hose out of a dehumidifier and into a drain so that you never have to empty it. The model I have does not requie a pump - there is a hole for a hose on the side that sits below the float - so before the water ever rises to a level that would shut the humidifier off, the water runs out of the hose and into the drain you run the hose to.

I suggested running it stand-alone at first, to see how much water was being removed. This would let you know if it was necessary or worthwhile to invest in more expensive things like floor or wall systems. If, for example, you got a dehumidifier rated for basements and found that it shut off (because the basin filled) every few hours, or even every day, then you know you've got significant humidity issues and may want to look at something more robust. I would think that if you had to empty it after two or three days, then the humidity level is pretty normal. If you have central air in the basement, I would presume that the thermostat is upstairs, so if the A/C is running, it is doing so because it needs to cool and dehumidify the upstairs. Try closing the vents in the basement for a day or so and see how much water the dehumidifier collects. I can usually run mine for a few days to a week before it shuts off.


06:36AM | 10/03/13
Member Since: 10/03/13
1 lifetime posts

My dehumidifier in basement fills with water every day. When I bought the house it was 45 years old. I had totally remodeled the whole house including have the basement finished. The contractor put down a ceramic tile floor. The walls are drywalled and we have drop ceiling. We put a lot of money in it and I am concerned about moisture. We do not get water, but there is a lot of water in dehumidifier. If it is not on the basement gets a musty odor. Is there something wrong?


02:41AM | 04/13/17
Member Since: 03/23/17
1 lifetime posts
Eliminate moisture problems from your basement. Don’t let musty odors, rusty metal surfaces and discolorations on walls and ceilings ruin your basement renovation. Start with identifying the climate in your area since different areas have different building codes. The material used for walls and ceilings should be according to the climate in your area. For instance an area where there is less rain and snow doesn’t need a waterproof exterior.

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