Categories Restoration Tips

Importance of a Basement Dehumidifier

Dehumidifier for a Basement

High humidity, moisture, and water damage are real problems for many basements. Dehumidifiers for basements are essential to help homeowners over come basement moisture issues.

A basement provides additional space that a great deal of homeowners really enjoy. Moisture can be a real problem for many basements and Dehumidifiers for basements is a necessity to help over come moisture.

Whether you use it for entertainment space, a play area, storage or all the above, a little extra room in a house never hurt anyone…or did it?

While there are advantages to having a basement, there are also risks that homeowners should be aware of.

By nature, a basement goes against certain building principles that are put in place to keep homes, and their occupants safe. When water, and more specifically rain water flows, it follows the path of least resistance to its final destination. Read more about Basements.

Since a basement is nothing more than a fancy hole in the ground it is often the preferred location for excessive rain water to settle. Due to this fact, builders have developed elaborate drainage and sump pump systems that take the water that flows into your basement and pumps it away from the structure.

So let’s assume that these precautionary measures are working fine. (In actuality basement drains and sump pumps have all kinds of issues. See Easy Ways to Troubleshoot a Sump Pump for more information on that.)

Basement Humidity

Even if that is the case the volume of water that is transferring through your basement, especially during the spring and summer months, can create high levels of relative humidity that can lead to mold and mildew growth.

These things can compromise your structure and make you sick. That is why it is important to run a dehumidifier in your basement to help control your humidity levels.

Recommended Basement Dehumidifier

Like any product these days there are hundreds of different options. However, if your basement is a standard size (1500 sq. ft. or less) any residential dehumidifier like the Frigidaire should work fine. They run anywhere from 150 to 300 bucks, give or take.

Regardless of which dehumidifier you buy I would recommend making sure it has a humidity controller and a continuous drain option.

The humidity controller allows you to set the humidity percentage you want your basement to stay under. As a rule of thumb your basements relative humidity should never get higher than 50%.

The continuous drain option automatically empties the water in your dehumidifier into a floor drain or sump pit when it gets full.

If you didn’t have this option, like the one in my basement, you would have to manually dump the bucket once or twice a day. These two features allow you to dehumidify your basement while exerting the least amount of effort possible.

Lets be honest, you have enough on your plate already without having to check humidity levels and empty a bucket of water every day. Why make it harder on yourself than it has to be?

Basements are a nice feature, but they are extra susceptible to water damage since they are buried under ground. By making sure your basement stays properly dehumidified you lessen your chance of having to deal with mold or mildew issues that can compromise your extra space and potentially make you sick.            

Dehumidifier for Basement
Commercial LGR Dehumidifier for Water Damage Restoration
Categories Restoration Tips

The Myth of Waterproof Flooring

Waterproof Laminate Flooring

As I watch TV these days, I continue to see commercials for a new type of flooring that is 100% waterproof. The advertisements claim that with this new technology homeowners don’t ever have to worry about water damage ruining their floors again.

Hallelujah! Those engineers have really outdone themselves this time, right!?

Well, not exactly. While these commercials aren’t lying, they’re not being completely truthful either. If you plan to invest in “waterproof flooring” in the future, there are a few things that you should know beforehand.


Basics of Waterproof Flooring

Certain areas of your home are more susceptible to water damage than others. Areas like kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms are vulnerable since water hook ups are present. To avoid future headaches certain types of flooring are better suited for these areas than others.

For example: Flooring like tile, linoleum and sheet vinyl are a great fit because they are water resistant. On the other hand, hardwood flooring and laminate are not because they do not react well to water damage. Even a small leak can ruin these types of flooring and lead to expensive repairs.

So what about this new flooring? Wouldn’t it be a no brainer to install in those areas over anything else?


What is Waterproof Vinyl Flooring?

The new “waterproof flooring” I keep referring to is known as vinyl plank flooring. It takes all the advantages of sheet vinyl, laminate and hardwood, and combines them in hybrid form.

  • The vinyl element of the floor allows it to be water and scratch resistant. (Notice I said resistant…)
  • The laminate, or floating element of it allows it to expand and contract throughout the seasons.
  • Lastly, the hardwood element gives it that visually pleasing look that homeowners crave.

You may be saying to yourself at this point, “Wow Brian, this stuff sounds pretty great, what’s the catch?”

To be fair to vinyl plank flooring, it is a great product in my opinion. The trouble arises when advertisers claim it, or any other type of flooring, is waterproof.

The hull of a boat is waterproof…

A pool liner is waterproof…

Flooring is not waterproof…


The Truth of Waterproof Vinyl Plank Flooring

While the individual planks may be waterproof, the building material around and underneath it is not. As a result, if significant water damage occurs, the flooring still has to be removed and replaced in order to dry materials like sill plates, drywall and subfloor.

This renders the fact that the flooring is “waterproof” essentially useless.


Basement Waterproof Flooring Example

We helped a customer with a flooded basement that had “waterproof laminate flooring” installed.  Initially the customer thought we wouldn’t have to remove the flooring because it was waterproof…

Unfortunately, we had to inform her, that although your floor is “waterproof”, the basement structure is not and the flooring would need to come up in order to dry her basement back to its original moisture content.

Now, we did consider removing the flooring carefully to possibly re-install it after the basement was dried, but when we attempted to unlace the pieces they began to tear the click clock system.  The flooring wasn’t meant to be taken apart and put back together.


Conclusion: Waterproof Laminate Flooring

The moral of the story is know what you are buying.

If you’ve done your research, then vinyl plank flooring is a great option for any home.

However, if you haven’t done your research beware. After significant water damage you may learn that your new flooring isn’t as “waterproof” as advertised.

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