Eco-Friendly Basements: Better Energy Efficiency from the Ground Up

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Play room in a white basement living room

Every homeowner knows that remodeling your home is a viable way to improve your home’s value. And considering the fact that homeowners are spending nearly 60% more on home improvement projects in 2017 than in 2016, it should come as no surprise that many recent home improvement projects are focused not only around improving the home, but improving its energy-efficiency, too.

While there are countless steps you can take to make your home more eco-friendly, starting from the ground up is often the best way to give your home a complete energy-efficiency overhaul. Here are just a few ways to improve the eco-friendliness of your home’s basement.

Waterproofing/Insulation

The first step to improving the efficiency of your basement is to make it as waterproof and insulated as possible. Even if your basement feels dry, there’s a good chance it’s harboring excess moisture, and potentially, excess mold. But if your basement feels humid, there’s probably already a serious health and energy problem.

“Many people in older homes suffer from unpleasantly humid basements, especially in warmer months of the year, and upgrading to an energy efficient basement usually involves tackling this humidity problem head on…If you’re considering an energy efficient basement upgrade, you have to tackle any moisture issues you already have. Don’t just throw insulation on the exterior walls, put up drywall, and hope for the best,” says Green Energy Efficient Homes.

As far as keeping your basement dry, energy-efficient dehumidifiers are great for getting rid of excess moisture and making your basement more livable. You should also try to keep water sources away from your home; clogged gutters are the number one cause of basement water problems, so make sure you’re routinely cleaning the gutters of your home and preventing them from overflowing and leaking into the foundation. A dry basement is an eco-friendly basement.

After you’ve sufficiently waterproofed, Just Energy recommends taking advantage of eco-friendly insulation options such as cork, wool, recycled plastic, and old denim to retain your basement’s heat. The warmer you can keep your basement, the less energy you’ll spend heating your home.

Flooring

Data from the National Association of REALTORS found that 54% of home buyers were willing to pay more for a home with hardwood flooring, and while hardwood floors are certainly appealing, they’re not always the best insulators. Instead, The Spruce suggests a number of alternatives, including natural recycled rubber, ceramic tile, natural stone, or brick. Some of these materials do have a small amount of absorbency, but when a proper water barrier layer is applied and regular sealing is performed, the risk of mold and water damage is significantly reduced. make sure to check What to do with water damage Aliso Viejo house if you need some help.

Ultimately, home renovations are on the rise, especially those focusing on energy-efficient changes. Keeping your basement dry and choosing the right insulation options are great steps to take to start your basement’s eco-friendly overhaul.

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