Every time you hear the word basement, a dank, musty and cold room will come to mind. Just like in the movies, these places that are often dimly lighted with a bare and swinging low-wattage electric bulb would give you the creeps. These kinds of basements are reminiscent of the era when a household would need a storage room for the year long supply of potatoes, carrots and other crops that need to be stored during the winter months in a frost-free place.
These days, crops and food items of this kind are easily available from the grocer and super marts but basements still exist in most homes. It seems people can not let go of traditions. Basements that used to store potatoes are now rooms with a wall to wall carpet, a corner bar, a big screen TV and a comfortable sofa where a potato of the two legged kind is sprawled with eyes glued to the TV.
New home owners will be very lucky if they find that their basement is a warm and comfy place. This would mean that the builders have taken extra effort in making the place not only charming but most importantly habitable.
Most basements however, are damp and chilly places. Like a sponge, concrete absorbs moisture, this would account for the uncomfortable moldy smell. Apart from this, the all too important heat is lost through the basement floor. The myth that heat rises is nothing but a myth! Heat will usually seek cooler places and as such, heat from your furnace or fireplace will move in the direction of the basement and escape through the window or in any cracks on the wall and of course through the concrete floor.
This situation can be easily remedied by making some easy to do improvements on the basement floor to make it utility budget friendly. The solution is to insulate the floor. The idea is to create an insulation layer between the ground and the concrete floor. This insulation barrier will trap the warm air inside and at the same time keep the moisture out.
You can start by covering the entire floor area with polystyrene foam. It would be best to use a builder’s tape to join the polystyrene foam together to create a tight insulation layer. Next, completely cover the foam with 5/8 inch plywood. Once the plywood is screwed to the concrete floor, you are ready to roll out the carpet and have a fully insulated and comfortable basement.