Basements aren’t just for storing your unused items. Most of the time, many homeowners use their basement as a space to hide cleaning products and do laundry. However, some homeowners choose to use their basements as an extra room in their home.
The reality is that basements are versatile spaces that many homeowners often overlook. It’s not uncommon that many people use their basement for storing goods. Basements can be challenging to maintain due to their humidity and lack of air circulation. These underground spaces are often home to pipes, water tanks, and washing machines.
Whether you’re an interior design buff who uses their basement as the ultimate hangout spot like Nick from Freaks of Geeks or a homeowner who stores their items in their basement like Tony Soprano from The Sopranos, here are five tips you should never forget.
1. Keep your basement moisture-free
Since basements are underground, they get little air circulation and sunlight. Due to this, they can get humid quickly. This makes basements highly vulnerable to mold growth and water damage.
Water damage that’s left unchecked can eventually lead to mold growth. So, you must keep your basement free from any moisture. You can do this by repairing any cracks or leaks since these are sources of moisture most of the time. ,
Another thing you can do is keep your items or furniture dry by properly drying your laundry or furniture after washing them to avoid mold growth. Mold on hard surfaces are easy to wipe off, but when it comes to porous surfaces such as wood or fabric, it can be difficult to remove.
2. Invest in sturdy furniture
If you’re looking to decorate your basement and make it into a livable space, the best thing you can do is invest in sturdy furniture. Sturdy doesn’t just mean durable. It means that it has to withstand the humid climate of a basement and requires little maintenance.
Certain types of wood tend to expand in humid climates. So, the best choices to go with would be teak, oak, or maple. However, keep in mind that these wood types must have the proper finishing durable in humid climates. If possible, opt for non-porous surfaces or anti-microbial furniture to avoid the chances of mold growth.
It’s also important to think about what you’re looking to use your basement for. For example, in Full House, the Tanners used the basement as a bedroom. If this were the case, you would need to invest in quality furniture that’ll last for a long time.
3. Fireproof your basement
Due to their humid climates, if a fire were to break out in a basement, the results can be fatal. A basement fire can cause a great deal of damage to a home.
A few simple things to fireproof your basement are not to store trash in the basement, keep flammable materials stored safely, and opt for non-flammable materials instead.
Trash is a great source of fuel for a fire. Also, you shouldn’t be storing trash in your basement. Not only is it a biohazard, but you might turn your home into a giant bonfire.
If you have a lot of clutter in your basement, another option you can consider is getting a self storage unit to store your unused goods. This will save you a lot of space and reduce trash from piling up.
You should store flammable materials such as oily fabrics correctly in a container. During summer months, where temperatures are high, a tiny spark can set that oily fabric ablaze and cause a fire.
If you want to reduce the chances of a fire from breaking out, try resorting to non-flammable materials. If your furniture or item was made before 1990, you might want to consider replacing it with items made since 1990 since they’re more flame resistant.
4. Store chemicals or fluids safely
Your basement is usually a great place to hide liquids or chemicals that you might not want other people to see. Whether it’s laundry detergents, cleaning agents, or other chemicals, your hidden items will be safe from the public eye since the basement is a place that guests don’t usually wander into.
However, if you leave your chemicals lying around, the chances of them spilling are pretty high. This could lead to fires. Although the possibilities might seem slim, it’s always better to take extra precautions.
Keep your chemicals contained in a safe place. You can keep them in containers and place them in cool and dry areas away from sunlight.
5. Routinely check your basement
Lastly, whether your basement will be your next bedroom or storage space, you should always make time to inspect it for any issues. Sometimes you might not realize that your pipes are leaking until you see a puddle formed inside your basement.
Most pipes are placed in the basement or crawl spaces. Taking some time to observe your basement and its surroundings can help you in the long run since it prevents damages from worsening.
Tony from The Sopranos made a huge mistake of overlooking his water heater problem which resulted in a giant leak. If your basement is a living space, you need to check furniture and walls for any water damage or mold growth signs. If you catch these issues early on, repairing them will be much easier.
Diana R. is the business community manager at Basement Guides which is a perfect place for all basement-related problems and projects. She helps spread the word about useful and updated guides for anyone interested in basements and restoration.