New Finished Basement? Keep Basement From Smelling, Say No To Musty Smells. Pt 3

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The only safe way to lower basement humidity levels under these conditions is with a dehumidifier or air conditioner. With dehumidifiers you always want to make sure you get the right sized unit for your space.
Home » New Finished Basement? Keep Basement From Smelling, Say No To Musty Smells. Pt 3

Keep basement humidity right in your new finished basement. In the first 2 parts of this series New Finished Basement? Keep Basement From Smelling, Say No To Musty Smells. Pt 1 and New Finished Basement? Keep Basement From Smelling, Say No To Musty Smells. Pt 2 about the advantages of having no moisture in your basement and Eliminating Organic materials in your basement remodel. Next we are going to talk about: Basement ventilation and also offer up some additional Pro Tips. Read along as we delve deeper into these topics.

Keep basement humidity right in your new finished basement
New Finished Basement? Keep Basement From Smelling, Say No To Musty Smells

Tip #5: Ventilate Only When Conditions are Right –Basement Insulation Mold-Busting

If you think that ventilation is the best cure for keep basement humidity right. Ventilation can actually be a source of damaging levels of basement moisture. When it’s warm and humid outside, outdoor air transports moisture inside. As this outdoor air cools in the basement, it can’t hold as much moisture as it once did. It’s not unusual for outdoor air at, say, 75% relative humidity to skyrocket to 90% or even 100% relative humidity when it cools in a basement. Go ahead and open basement windows when outdoor temperatures are cooler than basement temperatures. That’s a good idea and will lower basement humidity levels in most cases. Just never open basement windows when it’s warmer outside than it is inside. The only safe way to lower basement humidity levels under these conditions is with a dehumidifier or air conditioner. 

The World Health Organization estimates that between 10 and 50% of the indoor environments where people live and work are damp. This can encourage the growth of mold, mildew and other bacteria, and cause health problems in the young, the very old and those with existing respiratory conditions like asthma.

Dehumidifiers: Keep Basement Humidity Right, Its All About The Right Size.

With dehumidifiers you always want to make sure you get the right sized unit for your space. Keeping basement humidity right is a science. Using an undersized, small dehumidifier is like expecting one window air conditioner to maintain a cool climate for your entire home. A mechanical impossibility. This is another good question for your contractor. What is the right sized unit for your space. After all you do not want to buy the wrong size and simply have a device humming and burning electricity adding to your bill all while accomplishing nothing. 

Don’t Be Swayed By Contractors and Basement Humidity.

If you look at newly-finished basements these days, most violate some or all the mold-busting strategies you’ve learned about here. So don’t let popularity or the “experience” of a contractor guide you in the details of how you finish your basement. Make sure your contractor stays up with the current trends in building science research. What’s commonly done today will be considered completely unacceptable tomorrow. Again, lead paint and asbestos insulation are prime examples.

Bonus Tip #1: Be Sure To Rim Seal

Impervious insulation is always an excellent idea for basement walls, but it’s absolutely essential where the floor joists of the level above meets outside walls along the edges of a basement ceiling. Most homes have fibre-based insulation stuffed into this place, partially covered by a feeble and pointless layer of polyethylene vapour barrier. But this barrier can never work because it can’t be properly sealed around all those joists. This is why the only mold-resistant way to seal and insulate the rim joist area in your basement is with closed cell spray foam. You need at least 3” to prevent hidden condensation behind the foam.

Bonus Tip #2: Six Smart Recreation Room Refinishing Precautions

Got an old, previously-finished rec room you’re refinishing? It’s virtually guaranteed that mold will be revealed when you tear into those old walls and floors. Follow these six mold-safe demolition features and you’ll stay safe and eliminate mold spores that could otherwise grow back:

  1. Seal off the basement from the rest of the house before demolition begins.
  2. Buy and wear a HEPA-rated respirator before you begin demolition work. You don’t know when you’ll encounter mold before you find it.
  3. Remove all building material back to the foundation walls and move gutted material out from your basement to the outdoors as soon as it comes off.
  4. Have a dumpster or construction site trash bag waiting.
  5. Allow two weeks for the bare basement to dry out before you rebuild walls or floors. Ventilate well if outdoor temperatures are lower than basement temperature. Use a dehumidifier if it’s warmer outside than it is inside.
  6. Use basement drying time to inspect for existing mold. Kill it with a registered, non-toxic fungicide. Use a fogger or spray equipment to get mold control products into all infested areas.

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