5 Myths About Basement Floors Exposed
Basement floors have gotten a bad rap for centuries. They are thought to be cold, damp and unattractive, but these things and more are really myths.
Myth #1-basement floors are cold and damp
Fortunately, this is rarely true, especially in newer constructed homes. Basement walls and floorings are better insulated that what was standard in older homes, but even an older home can have basement flooring that is warm, dry and attractive. One of the things that can be done to help keep basement floors warm is before the slab is poured; install in-floor radiant heat. Some radiant heat systems can also be installed into existing basement floors by covering the tubing with an overlay that is self-leveling.
Myth #2-Carpet is ideal for basement floors
This is definitely not true! If you are thinking about installing carpet over an unheated and/or uninsulated concrete slab, you could be creating more problems than you imagined. The basement floor is typically cooler than the circulating air temperature, so when you install carpeting it lowers the floor temperature even more. The carpeting will also be susceptible to mold and mildew, especially if there is high humidity levels in the basement. Unfortunately, moisture formation under the carpeting can be so minor that it won’t be noticeable on top of the carpet, but it will provide a perfect breeding ground for toxic mold.
Myth #3-basement floor cracks are inevitable
One of the most common myths about basement floors is that they are susceptible to cracks and it is usually better to simply cover them up than to look at them. This is absolutely false! Cracks may occur, but it is usually a result of poor planning when the foundation was installed, so they are not as common as you may think and it certainly isn’t better to simply hide them. Unless the cracks are extreme, they can be repaired, in fact, sometimes cracks are actually enhanced with staining to give your basement floors a unique, rustic look. Other methods, such as overlays and stamping will not only hide the cracks, but repair them and give the floor a warm, put-together look.
Myth #4-sealing concrete basement floors help reduce radon infiltration
It may not hurt to cover or seal a concrete basement floor, but if there is radon present in the soil that is surrounding the basement, it can still infiltrate through cracks in the foundation and enter your home. Simply sealing the floor will not significantly or consistently lower the radon levels. Slabs for basement floors in newer homes often require a vapor barrier, which will help to block the infiltration of radon. Before doing a home project on the basement floors in an existing home, it is important to conduct radon testing before renovations, rather than after.
Myth #5-it’s cheaper to install floor coverings
It is common for homeowners to assume that improving basement floors with decorative concrete is more expensive than using other floor coverings. Absolutely not true! Decorative concrete methods used on basement floors, such as staining or stamping are significantly less expensive than other flooring materials, such as wood, tile or carpeting. Other flooring materials can end up costing much more in maintenance and upkeep, especially if water or moisture finds its way into the basement. In this situation, you will end up paying for mold removal, waterproofing and replacement of the floor coverings. Concrete is inexpensive, durable and much less expensive to enhance with the use of decorative concrete techniques.
Choosing to not believe the myths and retaining concrete basement floors instead will help you save money on the cost of coverings, prevent the risk of unseen, toxic mold and be significantly easier to care for. Typically, light sweeping and mopping is all that is needed to maintain a concrete basement floor. Apply a good sealer and your basement floors will also be resistant to chemicals, abrasion and staining.
Are you ready to make the leap to having a basement with beautiful floors? Contact
Kelly Concrete Co today to learn more information about the options we have available for your basement floors.