Basements are the most overlooked rooms in the house. Unless they’ve been converted, they tend to be less visited than other rooms, so any issues affecting them can slip under the radar. If you want to ensure your house stays safe, start with its foundation! Inspect your basement for potential hazards and implement these ways to make your basement a safer place.
Keep It Clean
One of the most basic ways to keep a room in good condition is to give it a thorough cleaning. But while weekly maintenance is standard practice for the upstairs rooms, the basement, being darker and far removed from daily traffic, often gets skipped. Some might even have the sense that an unfinished basement can’t be truly clean, but this isn’t true! Give your basement a monthly sweeping and mop to hold off dust and grime and keep the cobwebs down. Decluttering is always a great idea, too, reducing the likelihood of fire while increasing your space.
Keep It Secured
Other ways to make your basement a safer place include securing the window wells, inside and outside. Keep your window wells clean and prepared to keep out water. Set up lighting outdoors to keep the area well-lit to discourage break-ins. Custom window well covers that latch from the inside are another way to keep out human and animal invaders while ensuring your window wells are available for a quick escape in case of emergency.
Keep It Dry
Your basement should already have measures in place to prevent water from entering the building, but it’s worth checking on them after several years. As mentioned above, ensure the seal between the basement windows and the house’s outside walls are intact, and replace broken and missing caulk with a new application. Check the perimeter of your home for cracks and empty space where pipes and wires enter and seal them up with epoxy to keep out critters as well as water. Coating your basement with waterproofing paint will also keep things dry. The main challenge is to find wet spots where mold and mildew can take hold and make your basement and home unhealthy.
Keep It Monitored
We’re guessing your furnace or boiler is in your basement, along with your water heater and similar large appliances that provide heat or heated water. While these devices are great, they also carry the potential risk of gas leaks, carbon monoxide leaks, and fires. Be sure to equip your basement with a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector, and subject your HVAC system and other appliances to regular maintenance and service to reduce the risk of dangerous gases.