Basement Remodeling Update and Installing Subfloor to Prevent Water Damage

Project: Basement Finishing and Family Space, Episode 8, Part 1

Bob is back in the nearly completed basement family room in Melrose, MA. The new space has progressed from a dingy, damp lower level to a finished family room. He reviews the basement finishing system from Owens Corning that completes the room with walls, ceiling, and doors. To keep the space moisture and mold-free, Basement Systems has installed perimeter drainage and now a dehumidifier designed to remove water from the air at lower temperatures. An interlocking basement floor system is also installed to protect against water seepage and rot from contact between water-conducting concrete and organic flooring materials. The interlocking floor panels are attached to the floor, covered with padding, and topped with carpet tiles arranged to create a unique pattern. Easy-to-assemble, plywood-based Slide-Lok cabinets are configured and assembled to bring storage and work-surface space to the basement. These customizable storage units have adjustable plastic feet that keep them off of the floor and accommodate uneven floors. Upstairs, California Closets has inventoried the clothing and designed a storage layout with a hanging wall, shoe display, shelving, bureaus, vanity, and makeup space. Chimneys are repaired and relined with flexible, stainless-steel liners, and a remote-controlled, programmable gas fireplace insert is installed in the living room.

Part 1: Basement Remodeling Update and Installing Subfloor to Prevent Water Damage
Bob recaps the work done so far in the basement remodeling project. The Owens Corning Basement Finishing System has provided the walls and the ceiling for the new basement family room. One of the most important facets of this project is preventing moisture from causing damage in the basement. Bob talks with Larry Janesky of Basement Systems Inc., about the equipment being put in place to prevent moisture damage. An underlayment is being put on the floor to prevent water transfer. The underlayment is a plastic interlocking subfloor made specifically for basements. Organic material, like wood, should not come into contact with the concrete subfloor because water vapor rises up through the concrete and can create problems with mold. Traditionally, people remodel basements by putting visqueen down on the concrete, laying down pressure-treated 2x4's, insulating in between the boards, and then laying down a plywood subfloor. The ThermalDry inorganic underlayment is a better solution as it has tracks to allow some air circulation. With a traditional subfloor, water vapor condenses into water underneath the visqueen then transfers to the wood and organic materials in the subfloor, causing mold and rot. Plumbing leaks can also result in a wet subfloor, causing the plywood to buckle and mold to grow. ThermalDry underlayment is quick to install, which saves time and money. The panels lock together with teeth and a shiplap design to stop the water vapor. The tiles allow for a little expansion and contraction and take up only a half-inch of the basement's ceiling height. This underlayment system costs about the same amount as the traditional method but, unlike traditional subfloors, does not require replacement after a water episode. If there is a water problem, the tiles can be lifted up, dried, and put back in place once the water issue is addressed. On a flat floor, the tiles will lay flat and the perimeter tiles will be secured to the floor. The completed floor will be made up of three layers: the underlayment, the pad, and the carpet. These multiple layers will minimize any sound from the rigid plastic coming into contact with the concrete slab. The Melrose home has a wavy basement floor, so extra fasteners will be put in to hold the underlayment down. A dehumidification system will be put in the basement to draw water out of the air before it becomes a problem. It's important to use a dehumidifier designed specifically for basements as most dehumidifiers are rated for 80 degree temperatures and basements typically are much cooler than this. In this project, the dehumidifier installed was a SaniDry Basement Air System which has air filtration built in and is Energy Star rated.
Part 2: Carpeting the Basement and Organizing the Home
Part 3: Repairing the Chimneys, Installing a Gas Fireplace Insert and Completed Cabinets in the Basement Family Room