Basements, because they are usually at least partially underground, tend to be somewhat damp. Dampness or moisture is a breeding ground for mold and mildew, which are damaging to both your family’s health and to building materials. If you are planning to finish or remodel your basement, the first step should be to check for dampness, identify its source, and correct the problem. First, you will save money by correcting these problems before work begins rather than discovering that work must stop until the problems are corrected. Second, you will protect your investment in the remodeling work by ensuring that it will not be damaged by moisture. Third, sealing an unfinished basement is relatively easy and inexpensive. Tearing out walls, etc. to seal walls and floor later is very expensive. Check and repair first to protect your investment and your family and avoid any risk of moisture damage. Everyone knows radon is a potentially dangerous gas, particularly when it exceeds certain levels. Discovering high levels of radon gas in a basement, particularly at the time of sale, can require installation of a radon mitigation system (at a cost of about $1,200). For a much smaller cost, you can seal your basement floors and walls and any foundation slabs before you finish, build or remodel, protecting both your family’s health and your investment.

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