Whether you’re trying to increase your home’s value or you want to add extra living space, finishing your basement is a big job. You’ve got a lot of decisions to make and contractors to hire to get it all done. Before you get started, consider these things first.
Check for Water Issues
The most common damage to any basement is flooding and water damage. Before you go to the expense of finishing the basement, make sure there are no existing problems first. If you find them after the work has been done, it’ll be much more expensive to fix.
Look for certain things that indicate you’ve got a water problem somewhere:
- Pools of water
- Dripping walls
- Water stains
- Cracks in the foundation
Get these dealt with before you do anything else.
Prevent Future Flooding
Not all flooding can be stopped, but you can do several things to help waterproof your basement. Inside your basement, make sure you use mold-resistant drywall and vapor barriers to minimize problems. Outside there are a few things you can do to prevent water from seeping into your basement:
- Grade the soil in your yard away from the foundation
- Extend your downspouts so that water is diverted at least 10 feet away from your home
- Repair cracks in the foundation to avoid water seepage
- Install an efficient sump pump to deal with rising water. You may want to consider a main sump pump and a back-up in case of a big emergency.
Conduct Radon Testing
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause serious health problems such as lung cancer. There’s no way to tell it’s in your home without a test. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that you test the lowest lived-in level of your home. Since your basement is about to be finished, this is a good place to test. You can get a DIY test from your local home improvement store. If radon is found, it’s much less expensive to fix before you finish your basement rather than later.
Update Your Home Insurance
With a new lived in addition to your home, your home insurance also needs to be updated. The value of the policy will likely need to be increased. Not only have you added to your living space, you’ve also increased your personal possessions and added to the cost of rebuilding your home if the worst happens. If you don’t have flood insurance, now is the time to purchase a policy. Even with all of your preventative measures, basements can still flood. When that happens, make sure you’ve got the right kind of insurance to cover the costs to rebuild.
Ready to finish your basement? Have other big remodeling projects planned for your home? Contact Charlotte Insurance today so we can make sure your home insurance covers your entire home once the work is done.