Do you want to spend more time in your basement but just wish it was a little warmer? Don’t worry, you’re not alone with this concern!
While basements certainly have a comfortable underground coziness to them, they can also be quite chilly spaces unless you’ve taken the right steps.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of things that you can do to make your basement warmer!
Resolve Water Issues
The basement floors and walls are likely to have leaks depending on the age of the buildings and the level of damages in existing basements. The open cracks need to be cleaned and sealed in the exterior and interior of the home foundation to prevent cool air penetration into the home.
Use a humidifier to check if there is poor-draining soil because it can dampen the basement. If the house is under construction, it’ll be ideal to damp-roof the home foundation and basement slab exterior.
Regular dampness along the walls or floor cracks indicates high water pressure against the basement walls. In this case, installing a drainage system under the concrete slab becomes the best option that offers a long-term solution.
It’s worth noting that this solution requires professional installation since it involves digging along the exterior walls down to the home’s footing. It usually comes at a high cost.
Install Sump Pumps
Most basements are subject to flooding after rainfall. Even when there are well-laid plans in the basement, it doesn’t completely prevent flooding. That’s why it’s essential to install sump pumps in the basement.
Sump pumps play a crucial role in regulating groundwater and prevent it from flooding. It’s uncommon to experience flooding in the basement because the pumps control the groundwater from getting into the building.
The pumps are installed below ground level or in the home basement. They work by collecting water in a basin, moving it away from the building. However, note that even a properly waterproofed basement with a functional sump pump cannot operate well without a backup sump pump battery.
Without a backup battery, floods can still happen after a storm in case a power outage occurs. If there is no power, there’ll be no pump. The battery can also back up during the main pump malfunction or other electrical challenges.
Sump pumps come in varieties, but the most common for residential homes are pedestal and submersible pumps. The submersible is sit-in pumps while the pedestal operates on the sump well surface, although they are louder and less common.
The pump is very useful.
It removes water when the float gets activated after the water reaches a specific level. Meaning, there will be no water accumulation in the basement even after rains.
Replace Existing Windows
Many people do not know that there is much heat loss through the windows. More so, when the windows have a single pane, they are damaged or have broken seals.
The best option is replacing the windows and the walkouts using a double-pane or an oven glass to block a higher percentage of heat and light within the space.
There are also energy-efficient window varieties that can create comfort. However, don’t forget to create some lighting within the basement to reduce the irrational fear of small and stuffy basement.
For the best results, use heat-resistant glass windows or thermal window curtains on every window and every external door for adequate heat and to get maximum lighting.
Use Inorganic Materials
Various materials can handle moisture within the basement. Inorganic materials are the most preferred over organic because they are resistant to rot, damage, dust mites, mildew, mold, and other harmful elements.
When organic materials decay, they can release an odor that is moldy and musty, which is not pleasant to the environment.
Some of the best materials include spray form for a finished basement and a form board for an unfinished basement. Therefore let the contractor use high-quality inorganic materials for proper insulation.
Add Carpets and Rugs
Heat loss occurs mostly in the basement. Unfortunately, many people do not know this. Most basements are made of concrete and stones, which can be too cold on the feet. Whether a complete or incomplete basement, it’s essential to install carpets and rugs to create more warmth.
Installing wall-to-wall carpeting will give no room to cold. Before installing the rags and carpets, ensure that the floor is dry, especially if the basement floods regularly.
For best results, consider using high-quality carpets and rags to retain maximum heat within the space. Below are the crucial factors to consider.
- Wool makes the best insulator, followed by cotton, acrylic, and nylon.
- Make the stitches higher for better insulation than lower stitches.
- Use a think pile/shag for efficient spacing between the floor and feet.
- Let the more significant percentage of the floor stay covered to maximize heat loss.
Set Up Radiant Panels
Radiant panels come in two categories. They can be installed both above and below the floor or under the concrete slab.
In this case, it’d be better to install radiant wall panels for the extra warmth to the basement.
- They make the place warm, stylish, and luxurious.
- Using radiant panels on the walls and heated floors will always keep the place warm, inviting, and comfortable.
- Radiant heating also adds value to the home, helps save money on all heating costs.
- It also expands the living space, making it more spacious.
- The installation cost is also relatively fair, making the whole process economical.
- The radiant panels also eliminate drafts and indoor circulations of contaminated air by blowing away allergens, dirt, and dust.
Seal All Doors and Windows
It’s essential to seal all open loopholes on the doors and windows to keep the basement warm!
When left with spaces, it’s likely that warm air will leak out and let in cold air. Therefore, making the basement cold.
Properly sealing all doors and windows will make the place inviting and comfortable!
Use Space Heating
Other places on the building can get quick heat sources from the solar heat through window glasses. But that’s not the case with the basement.
The area is likely never to experience a form of heat for extended periods. That’s why it’d be ideal for adding supplemental heating.
Though more expensive, using a space heater can warm up the basement within a short time, although it’s risky since it can result in fires, especially when not used appropriately. It’s ideal when used for a few times, days, or weeks since prolonged use can lead to high power bills.
Also, avoid leaving the space heaters running overnight because they can be extremely dangerous and poses a risk to fires that could lead to severe injuries or even death. It’s something that needs close monitoring since any slight issues can cause adverse effects.
When using this option, ensure it’s far away from other fire sources or flammable materials. In this case, getting professional help can prevent many unforeseen circumstances that can be harmful. For best results, follow the manufactures guide to avoid fire dangers and switch it off at night or when leaving the space.
The most economical heat option is an HVAC system. This happens when the heat gets extended from the existing system already in the home through modification.
However, the changes come at an extra cost for an already finished basement. It also depends on the type of system and the design of the home.
Install Additional Heaters
Apart from the portable space heaters and HVAC, other heating options can warm up the basement and make it a comfortable place.
Such options include wood pellet stoves and electric heaters.
They are suitable heating components but need close attention since they have adverse effects.
Install Radiant Heat
Radiant floor heating is another good option to create warmth in the basement. This is a system with circulating hot water or electrical wiring underneath the floor.
Heat rises from beneath and warms up the cement, creating pleasant and comfortable temperatures.
Installing the radiant heating in a new basement is best than an existing one since they’ll be direct wiring, unlike the old basement where cement must be removed to create room for the tubing.
Fortunately, radiant heating can be installed on any floor type such as hardwood, vinyl floor, carpet, and laminate. But many people are not aware of this.
Cold Basement Conclusion
Keep in mind that you likely won’t need to take all of these steps to make your basement warmer.
In many cases, addressing just one or two of these is enough to make it the warm and comfortable space that it should be!
If you’re looking for more information about basements, make sure to also take a look at my articles linked below: