Not A Good Start: Water marks, stains, efflorescence all need to be addressed.


This is a good start to a Basement finish project. Dry floor, structurally sound walls, etc.


Utilities (check); structural elements (check); before we go any further, we need to address a big concern…

Is your Basement dry?

If your answer to this question is anything but “yes”, not “most of the time”, not “we only get water in winter”, not “we haven’t had water lately”, only a solid “yes, we never get water leakage,” will do. Anything other than “yes” will need to be addressed prior to starting the process of finishing of your Basement.

These are a few, non-exhaustive, tell tale signs of water problems:

1.      Water marks or stains on floor and/or walls

2.      Efflorescence on walls or floors

3.      Musty/moldy smell

4.      Mold growth on items stored in Basement space

5.      Rotten wood framing members; especially those that are in contact with masonry surfaces

6.      Cracks in walls or floors

If any of these signs are present, you need to be very diligent in remediating the presenting issue prior to moving forward. There is never a more cost efficient or effective time to address water problems than before you start the finishing of your Basement. Trying to have water problems fixed after the fact only adds exponentially to the cost of the project. Do not delay!

We recommend getting professional help in addressing water problems in your Basement. Now, whether that means you hire a competent professional waterproofing company or you choose your cousin Vinny who “has done this before”, is totally up to you. But just remember, ask for references and if at all possible, talk to their clients and ask to come see their work. Check to see how long the job has been installed and how it is performing. You need to do your “homework” in this phase, because just to warn you, there are many subpar Basement waterproofing systems out there on the market that do not perform up to their billing. BE CAREFUL. You only get one chance to do it right the first time! After that, the redo’s get awfully expensive.

Happy Remodeling!

Next Time… Planning Your Basement Space #4: Developing a Floor Plan

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