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I’m not so sure on this basement thing
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Has Achieved Nirvana
Picture of Steve Miller
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My kids has a flood in their basement about 3 years ago. At that time the basement was unfinished and there wasn’t much damage. They had a new sump pump with battery backup installed and it wasn’t cheap.

Fast forward 3 years. Sump pump failed again but now the space is finished and carpeted, with a recording space and finished drywall. What a mess.

As far as I can tell the main pump failed, knocked out the GFI receptacle that runs the battery charger, and the backup pump finally depleted the battery. This concerns me as I have exactly the same setup.

I have some wiring to do tomorrow.


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Life is short. Play with your dog.

 
Posts: 32828 | Location: Yorba Linda, CA | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've lived in homes with basements for my entire life. Some of them had sump pumps and overhead sewers, and others had regular sewers and no sump pumps. They all flooded at one time or another, backup systems or not. The regular sewer ones are worse because sewage. Sump pump failures are just clean water but still a huge hassle.

Based on my experience, I would not finish a basement with traditional finishes like carpeting and wallboard unless you're willing to risk having to re-do it all at some point.


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Posts: 33979 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There are water sensors that will alarm if they detect water where it shouldn't be. Some connect via wifi and will alert you on your phone, but if they are solely powered by electricity, then you're SOL if the power is out. Others have a battery backup which will at least sound an alarm locally but that won't help if you aren't home to hear it.

I think there may be some higher end systems that use cellular and a longer lasting battery but I think they're spendy.


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Outrage is warranted. But outrage unaccompanied by analysis is a danger in itself.

Bazootiehead-in-training



 
Posts: 33979 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
twit
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I have my music collection in our basement. We spent a small fortune on things to prevent a flood. Like you, we have a pump, back-up pump and battery back-up. We also had a pit installed in our front yard with a valve that kicks in if water attempts to enter our basement. Finally, have a third pump and hose we can use if everything else fails - can connect to a generator to do things manually. In an ideal world, I'd buy a natural gas back-up generator to power the whole house.
 
Posts: 9514 | Registered: 22 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My basement in Massachusetts was finished with a tile floor, and I stored things down there on pallets or raised shelves.
 
Posts: 45205 | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We got rid of the carpet tiles we had in the finished room in the basement and replaced them with plastic (?) waterproof tiles that are sort of raised on the bottom with air pockets (not sure how to describe them) so that if there's water in the basement, it can flow under the tiles and also allow water to evaporate.

Obviously, we don't want water down there, and we've done a lot to prevent it, including a sump pump and things we've done to the outside of the house.

But if we do get water in the basement again, it stops at just being a PITA rather than destroying anything.

I am pretty sure WTG has also said this here somewhere before, but our approach will always be "assume there could be water in the basement" and act accordingly. Nothing on the floor etc. We have a finished side and an unfinished side. The unfinished side has concrete floor and walls and it can stay that way forever.


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Posts: 16703 | Location: not in Japan any more | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We ended up getting these for the finished room in the basement (whatever WTG had suggested was no longer being made or something??)

https://www.greatmats.com/tile...-floor-tiles-max.php


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My piano recordings at Box.Net: https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

 
Posts: 16703 | Location: not in Japan any more | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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So those cool multi-colored carpet tiles are gone? Mr SK did such a nice job mixing up the colors....

But I totally see going with the raised interlocking tiles. If I replace the cheap vinyl tiles in our basement, that's the route I will go. Practical for the reasons you noted.


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Outrage is warranted. But outrage unaccompanied by analysis is a danger in itself.

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Posts: 33979 | Location: Somewhere in the middle | Registered: 19 January 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Minor Deity
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I hate basements..But I have asthma and the damp triggers me..

When I was working in real estate I had a client who called me the "forensic agent"..We would enter an older home or basement that would have me coughing...Nope! Off the list! Big Grin

The house I live in now was in most part because it did not trigger a reaction..still damp basement, but I would never put a living space down there...I clean with bleach and keep a dehumidifier there in summer...Just go down for the washer/dryer.


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Posts: 11093 | Location: Massachusetts | Registered: 22 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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For some reason my basement isn’t at all damp. Cold yes, damp no.

Just gotta keep the carpet from getting wet in the finished part.


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Life is short. Play with your dog.

 
Posts: 32828 | Location: Yorba Linda, CA | Registered: 23 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Minor Deity
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Miller:
For some reason my basement isn’t at all damp. Cold yes, damp no.

Just gotta keep the carpet from getting wet in the finished part.


Maybe get a humidistat? I had one for my piano years ago...so I could monitor the humidity..

Still basement living space is rarely good to me..Humidity changes with season...Summer is wet..

I will say, I turned a friend on to a property around the corner from me..they bought it. It has a basement apartment for his in-laws... but has walk out doors on two sides and windows all around..

When you are in it, you will never know you are in the basement...and I never cough there...Lots of ventilation. Big Grin


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"Wealth is like manure; spread it around and it makes everything grow; pile it up, and it stinks."
MillCityGrows.org

 
Posts: 11093 | Location: Massachusetts | Registered: 22 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Step one: get a Sonin Water Alarm. It’s $20 or so. I think it’s one 9v battery or a couple AAs. The sensor is a little pad on a long wire so you can put the sensor at a low point and stick the box on a wall.

It was the best thing I ever did when I had minor floods every six to nine months.

Take my word for it.

Buy one. Or two.


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Posts: 29473 | Registered: 27 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My parents' basement was wet and eventually molded because of the topology of the land. Water can flow underground and unfortunately the wall blocking it has been no match for mother nature over several decades.
 
Posts: 23225 | Registered: 31 March 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Miller:
For some reason my basement isn’t at all damp. Cold yes, damp no.

Just gotta keep the carpet from getting wet in the finished part.


It changes over time.

When I moved in ... no water in the basement.

Fifteen years later ... small puddles when there was a lot of rain.

I spent a lot of money remediating before I sold. (Our HOA didn't allow sump pumps.).
 
Posts: 45205 | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
So those cool multi-colored carpet tiles are gone? Mr SK did such a nice job mixing up the colors....


Yep, unfortunately! We had water in the basement at some point, he pulled up all the tiles, set them outside, they dried out, he reinstalled them. But when we had the sump pump installed, we decided the flooring in his basement studio needed to not be carpet (tiles or otherwise), so he redid it. We still have the tiles actually. But not on the floor, they're stacked up on a shelf suave

And of course, we haven't had any water in the basement after the multipronged approach we took to prevent it. But he doesn't plan to go back to the carpet tiles.


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My piano recordings at Box.Net: https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u

 
Posts: 16703 | Location: not in Japan any more | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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