There are two things that Oregon is known for when it comes to nature. The plush scenery and rainfall. While the wet climate is a blessing for nature enthusiasts and farmers alike, it poses challenges for homeowners, especially those with basements. Moisture is never a homeowner’s friend, which is why we have put together a checklist of sorts for ideas to consider for your basement when designing your Oregon custom-built home.
Proper Drainage Systems
An effective drainage system is the first defense against a wet basement. French drains around the exterior perimeter of the foundation are a great idea to redirect rainfall runoff so it does not cause significant damage. It would be best if you also were sure to have your downspouts direct runoff away from the foundation. Better yet, harvest that rainwater and use it to water your garden.
Applying waterproof coatings and sealants on the interior and exterior walls of the basement acts as a barrier, preventing the water from penetrating the home’s walls and creating mold and mildew problems. While there are DIY products available, this is something you are far better off addressing during the design phase of the home construction.
A sump pump can be invaluable in areas where water accumulation is a persistent problem. Installed in a pit at the basement’s lowest point, this device automatically pumps out accumulated water, preventing flooding. Again, a pit can be added to the basement design, but we recommend discussing this with your project manager or architect to see if this is the best solution for your specific location.
These are plastic or foil sheets installed to act as a moisture barrier. They can be particularly effective in keeping out dampness in Oregon homes, where the exterior ground might remain saturated for prolonged periods. We also sometimes see these installed on roofs.
Despite taking all precautions, basements can still feel damp due to high humidity. A robust dehumidifier can pull excess moisture from the air, preventing mold growth and creating a more comfortable environment. This is pretty much a no-brainer in the Oregon area and an overall inexpensive measure to take to protect your investment.
Using moisture-resistant insulation materials, such as rigid foam, can help regulate the basement’s temperature and reduce condensation. Closed-cell spray foam insulation, while more expensive, provides both insulation and a moisture barrier.
Consider installing a raised or floating floor. These systems allow air to circulate beneath the flooring, drying out any moisture that may accumulate, which will help prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
The ground around the home should slope away from the foundation. This will ensure that rainwater naturally flows away from the house, reducing the chances of it seeping into the basement.