Basement Subfloors and Indoor Air Quality: Home-Improvement Health Implications


basement, renovation, finished basement 

Nobody wants a moldy finished basement, but that’s exactly what too many homeowners end up with. Even after spending thousands of dollars, problems regularly emerge. The reason why? Moisture and the microbe growth it triggers. Too many basements are still being finished as if they were above-ground spaces, and the consequences are not limited to just the finished basement themselves. Poor basement air quality always spreads to the rest of your house, and that’s why a healthful finished basement and indoor air quality go hand-in-hand. What too many people don’t realize is that a healthy basement begins with a healthy basement subfloor.

While it’s entirely possible to install a warm, comfortable finished basement floor that doesn’t encourage mold growth, you need to get intentional about moisture control. Basements are essentially just fancy holes in the ground, and moisture in all its forms loves to flow into holes in the ground.

Two Kinds of Moisture

The first thing to understand is that liquid water and water vapour are two different things. Even if you don’t actually see liquid water in your basement, you could still have a moisture and indoor air quality problem. Here’s how .

subfloor, basement, condensation. .

In the interests of making basement floors warmer and more comfortable under foot, it’s not unusual to install carpet and underlay directly on the concrete floor without the use of a basement subfloor. And while this seems like a good idea on the surface, there’s a very real danger of condensation developing within the carpet pile itself. And the warmer and more humid it is in the summer where you live, the more of a threat invisible carpet condensation and subsequent basement mold becomes. Solving the basement floor condensation problem is one reason why basement subfloor tiles are such a good idea.

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