As much as buyers would prefer to find the perfect home, it’s a rare feat. Instead, many buyers make certain concessions to get a near-perfect home. This is especially true when budgets are tight. One of the most commonly, and reluctantly, made concessions is to settle for an unfinished basement.
More often than not, unfinished basements leave much to be desired. Sometimes it’s the cold concrete floor and sometimes it’s the hanging insulation, but it’s rarely ideal. Here are a few reasons to cross off finishing that basement from your home improvement list:
1. Increases Safety
Unfinished basements can be sneaky. They harbor hidden dangers that can inflict some serious damage on both property and health. Some issues may be relatively minor, like loosely fitted pipes, whereas others may be major – like radon gas or an uneven foundation.
One of the leading concerns about having an unfinished basement is the risk for radon gas. Radon gas can seep through basement walls and wreak havoc on the air quality in the home. In the worst-case scenarios, exposure to radon can even cause cancer.
Cracks are often indicative of foundational problems, and can go unnoticed by the untrained eye. An uneven foundation can cause major shifting in the house over time. Additionally, cracks often expose your home’s interior to moisture and can also cause basements to flood during heavy rains.
As part of any basement remodel checklist, contractors are on the lookout for these kinds of issues. As the renovation process unfolds, they watch for warning signs and correct them before it’s too late.
2. Protects Possessions
Usually, one of the first things homeowners do with any kind of basement is stow their belongings. Basements tend to be wide, empty spaces without a designated purpose right from the start, so storage just seems natural. However, unfinished basements tend to be damp.
The humidity that gathers in unfinished basements creates an ideal breeding ground for mildew and mold – especially in warmer months. Anything stored in that kind of environment needs to be sealed extremely well, or the mold will spread. Documents – birth certificates, taxes, photos – are severely at risk.
The good news is, finished basements have significantly better climate control, and so humidity is less of an issue. This is also why keeping an unfinished basement could be a mistake; not only can it be a cause of energy loss in your home, but it could also contribute to water damage and damage to any possessions you store in it.
3. Eliminates Odors
Some homeowners don’t mind the earthy smell of an unfinished basement, but they definitely mind the musty smell. Unfinished basements emit a specific odor that is very difficult to camouflage with spray or potpourri. It slowly fills the storage containers, and then creeps into the living spaces above.
Finished basements have sturdier insulation and drywall, and make a thicker barrier to the outside. This helps keep unwanted smells outside. Plus, one of the things to consider before finishing your basement is moisture; so, if any odor is caused by moisture issues, they will be fixed before renovation begins.
4. Better Energy Efficiency
Another one of the benefits of a finished basement is that it helps increase the energy efficiency of your home. The sturdier insulation that comes with finished basements helps to seal your home better and prevent air leaks, which can help keep your heating and cooling system working efficiently. Although you can finish a basement any time of the year, this is one of the reasons why winter is a great time to finish your basement.
5. Fewer Pests
The heavy-duty insulation and drywall of a finished basement keeps out more than odor – it also helps to keep out pests. An unfinished basement can open a home to rodents, spiders, millipedes, and all manner of creepy crawling things.
These pests are both unsightly and unsanitary and don’t belong indoors. Finishing the basement helps protect a home – and its inhabitants – from the things that go “squeak” in the night.
These are just a few benefits of a finished basement and some reasons why finishing a basement is one of the home remodeling ideas for better organization. Tired of looking at your unfinished basement? Give us a call at 717-399-4708 today for more information. At Zephyr Thomas, your perfect home is one phone call away.