Home » Home Improvement

How to Improve Your Basement

Nov 25, 2007
You have a great amount of usable floor space if you have a basement. The typical basement of a one-story house has just as much floor area as the first floor. That's why it's often said that you can double the living space in your house by making full use of your basement.

Basement space is being used by enterprising homeowners in many amazing ways. One bowling enthusiast put an alley down there. A Long Island builder constructed homes with a basement swimming pool. A rifle enthusiast turned his basement into a range.

Fallout shelters are appearing in basements more and more. Basements have been used as music rooms, movie theaters, print shops, photo studios. Countless thousands of Americans have converted their space below grade into recreation rooms, hobby areas, laundries, workshops, bedrooms, even separate apartments. So what you do with your basement will be limited only by your own imagination.


The first step in improving your basement should be either to get rid of two hazards if they exist - excessive moisture and termites - or to prevent them. The wet basement has become a butt of cartoonists' jokes. But, except in rare cases, they can be made dry so that you can use the room in perfect comfort.

You can make a simple moisture test to insure that your basement does not have hidden water hazards. Place a piece of cardboard about two feet square on the basement floor with its edges tied down firmly by bricks or other heavy objects. If the cardboard remains dry for several days after a heavy rainfall, you can be fairly sure that you do not have an underground water hazard.

Make the same test on your walls. Tape the cardboard tightly to the foundation, about two feet above floor level. After a heavy storm, remove the board and examine the side that was against the wall. If the cardboard is dry, it has passed the test. But if it is even slightly damp, you probably should take extra precautions to keep water from seeping in.

Waterproofing of basement walls has been simplified by the development of easy-to-apply paints with a cement base. They are sold in powdered form. Following the manufacturers' directions, you merely mix them with water and brush them on.

Most cellar walls are bare, and the cement paint can be applied to them directly. But if the wall has been painted, it may be necessary to scrape the paint off. A water-soluble remover will do the job with wall paint. And muriatic acid, scrubbed on with a brush and rinsed off several times, will do the job for whitewash.

It is not difficult to apply cement-base paint. First wet the walls thoroughly with either a brush or spray. Then apply the waterproofing paint to the walls, working from the bottom up. After the wall has dried thoroughly - in two days or so - add another coat.

Sometimes a more drastic treatment is indicated. For example, intense water pressure may be built up outside and exerted against the foundation. You may reduce some of this pressure by cleaning out roof gutters and downspouts, and by otherwise making sure that all rain that lands on the roof is carried off harmlessly and given no chance to come back into the basement.

Once you have tackled this problem it may be time to see whether you have to deal with termites.
About the Author
Here's How To Carry Out Your Home Repairs By Yourself Just Like A Master Builder - Your Friends Will Be Amazed At The Professional Look Of Your Work

Click here for FREE online ebook!

Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 149
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources