If you remember, a few weeks ago, I finished digging out the basement (of course I wrote about it). Well, since then, I have done a lot of work.
I am not sure you can see it in the picture above, but I repaired all the foundation walls (not that there was too much wrong with them), painted them with special concrete foundation sealing paint and covered the entire dirt portion of the floor with two layers of heavy 6 mil plastic. The reason I did two layers is because I bought A LOT of plastic, plus the added benefit of cross covering all the seams, so no moisture leaks through. You gotta make sure the seams are sealed.
When we first moved in, we noticed a higher than normal amount of condensation on the windows, especially when it was cold out. Paul kept on telling me that it was because of the dirt floor in the basement. He said the house was sucking the moisture up like a sponge. I didn’t think so because the dirt was inside and it seemed really dry. Well, I read somewhere online that dirt basements give off a high level of moisture, no matter how dry the dirt seems. Paul was right. Even though I had the windows open for a cross breeze down there, there was still a moisture problem. Right after I painted the walls and covered ALL the dirt with plastic, we started noticing a difference upstairs. Things seems just a hint “lighter” feeling, if you will. The air seemed better and there is definitely an ever increasing difference with less moisture on the windows. As a matter of fact, I am sitting here right now and there is NO condensation on the windows.
The thing is…with a relatively new house, things are very tight. I mean, there are vapor barriers in all the walls and when I open a door, I can feel the suction of air. The house is tight. It’s great for efficiency, but in the winter, humidity and airflow become important.
Bottom line – If you have a dirt floor in your basement, get to it and cover it up with plastic. Also, make sure you have some ventilation down there. When you go into my basement now, it’s like a whole new place…nice and dry.
On another note, I had this problem. I had a bunch of shovels, rakes and whatever else there is to have when you own a house…sledge hammer, ax, brooms, etc… I went into work one day with the intention of going to Home Depot and buying a few of those “wall clips” that you can snap the handles of these things into. I never really liked those things. The sizes of all the handles were different thicknesses and I just didn’t have a good feeling about it. Also, I could just image spending all sorts of cash on them and coming home to hang only a few things properly. I really didn’t think a piece of tin was going to be able to hold up my nice heavy sledge hammer. I had a better idea.
Soooo simple…I just drilled a hole in the end of each handle. On a long beam in the basement, I sunk a bunch of decking screws in a nice straight line, about a foot apart from one another. Then, I simply hung each item from its very own screw. Problem solved? You tell me…jealous I bet.