My business, Legacy Remodeling, sends out a newsletter to customers called the Remodeling Report. Included in this are some nice informational articles regarding home improvements. One of these segments is a Q&A segment where I answer a question posed by a customer. I figured since the information covered is good stuff for homeowners to know about that I would post it here. If you are interested in receiving the Remodeling Report, please go to our website and sign up. Thanks!

Q: Dear Jeff,

My wife and I are interested in getting our basement redone so that we can use it as a playroom for our girls. However, we have some water damage. Can we still redo the basement?

Thanks, Rob, Wexford

A: Asking about water damage is one of the most common questions about the basement finishing system, Rob, and one that rings especially true in the Pittsburgh area.

By nature, your basement is the dampest area of your home, so dealing with water damage and flooding issues is something that many people face. Refinishing your basement will definitely be an option, but if you have extensive damage, working with a basement waterproofing company should be your first step. A waterproofing company will be able to correct any existing problems and ensure that no water can penetrate the basement in the future.

Once your basement is properly waterproofed, you'll be ready to move forward with refinishing it. Because of your basement's previous history with water damage, it's important to get a basement system that is mold and mildew resistant. Unfortunately, drywall, while fine in other parts of the house, can be a disaster in the basement. Basically, drywall can be a feeding ground for mold because it is an organic material. That's why it's important to find a basement finishing system that uses materials that will work with the basement environment, such as fiberglass. You can view a video of Bob Vila talking about this here.

While the process of getting your basement redone can be tedious, it's definitely worth the payoff in the end - increasing both your living space and property value, while decreasing allergens, mold, and most importantly...those winter heating bills!

If you're unsure if you need to have your basement waterproofed or not before you go through with refinishing it, give us a call and we'd be happy to help.