basement completion

Jana_FaraMarch 8, 2013

Our house was built in 1909 and amazingly has a pretty large basement. The basement had some previous water issues which has been dealt with and now dry for the past three years.

We are going to start working on the basement to finish it and have two young kids. It is not painted so I don't think I need to worry about lead. Is this correct?

Our furnace is downstairs and we still might need it. The contractor said that is won't be a problem because the return air in on the main level and we are sealing off the basement. I just don't want my kids (or any of us) getting exposed to any molds or possible lead. Thoughts?

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worthy

Unless you're sanding old paint, airborne lead is not likely to be a problem. (However, lead was in solder until the late '80s, so run your water taps a minute after they have been off for three hours.)

But large amounts of airborne moulds, if they're present, could be a problem due to the Stack Effect. Warm air rises, so in the winter especially, up to half the air you're breathing comes from your basement.

sealing off the basement.

Unless this includes foaming the entire basement ceiling and somehow sealing off all the supply and return pipes and the furnace itself, you're not truly sealing off the basement.

Keeping your basement's relative humidity below 50% with a dehumidifier should be all you need to keep mould growth in check. Properly sealing and insulating the rim joists will help greatly, too, by cutting down the infiltration of warm humid air in summer and preventing condensation in winter.

Here is a link that might be useful: Stack Effect

This post was edited by worthy on Sat, Mar 9, 13 at 15:30

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 3:19PM
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