Enjoying a comfortable basement where your feet will not suffer the unpleasant reception of a cold floor is probably a wish you cherish if you do not currently enjoy the potential of this part of the house that is often neglected. The good performance of the first steps of the renovation of your basement will be a guarantee of sustainability for the work undertaken.

Here are 5 important aspects to consider when renovating a basement

The impermeability of foundations

At first glance, it is crucial to ensure that no entry of water can lead to mold growth. It is recommended to request a waterproof inspection in order to be assured of the high level of waterproofness of the foundations. The proper functioning of the French drain, necessary to prevent any infiltration of water inside the basement, will then be ensured. In the case where it is defective, it will be imperative to have it repaired before starting work.

Cracks should also be carefully repaired to prevent any possible infiltration of water into the subsoil. It should be noted that a vertical crack less than 3.2 millimeters wide can be repaired by the homeowner through the use of hydraulic cement, a product available at most hardware stores. Note, however, that a crack that is horizontal or larger than this size requires the intervention of a contractor to be properly sealed.

Crack cement basement

Insulation of basement walls

While fiberglass and rock fiber insulation were used a few years ago, their use is no longer recommended. Prioritize extruded polystyrene panels or spray polyurethane foam , both of which are mold resistant.

Note that ceiling insulation can sometimes be set aside. Indeed, the many devices contained inside the ceiling act as a bulwark against the loss of heat. Prioritize wall and floor insulation . A well insulated floor must be provided with a subfloor regardless of the floor covering selected.

Do not neglect insulation of cold water and hot water pipes. In this regard, it should be mentioned that the insulation of the water heater can significantly increase the energy efficiency of it (about 20%). The insulation of the cold water pipes, on the other hand, is not to be neglected either. The latter makes it possible to prevent the drops produced by the condensation from degrading the construction materials located near the pipes.

Basement family room
Attention to radon

As defined by the Government of Canada , radon is “a colorless and odorless gas that can seep into your home, unnoticed, and cause lung cancer.” Since your renovation project is not yet started and the sources of air infiltration in contact with the ground have not been clogged, it is possible that the radon has insidiously entered the basement.

To ensure that radon levels are not greater than 200 becquerels per cubic foot (the maximum acceptable level), Health Canada recommends that you obtain a radon detection kit that you can install yourself. or seek professional help in assessing radon levels.

For more information about this, read our article about  radon  and how to deal with the high rate of this gas in your basement.

Basement stairs

Maintenance of the non-return valve: a must against water damage in the basement

The check valve is a round trap located in the basement whose role is to prevent municipal sewers from returning to the evacuation network of the house. The cleaning of this device should be done regularly, but especially before the start of the work, the result of which could quickly be wiped out in the event of a backflow. It is therefore very important to clean the door of the valve and check carefully the tightness of the seal.

Some important information on basement renovations

So that the basement is considered habitable, the ceilings must have a minimum height of 6 feet. Note, however, that some municipalities may require a height of 6.8 feet to agree to issue a building permit.

In a second step, it is important to emphasize that the mode of ventilation by insufflation  is highly recommended for your basement. This type of ventilation rejects preheated healthy air in the basement, which limits the need for heating.