For questions generally relating to habitable spaces in a home below ground level, and to foundation types that include a space of this type.

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1answer
674 views

How to repair a basement ceiling's old school interlocking tiles?

I'd like to repair this hole, but I am running into trouble as I've tried rotating the fallen tiles every which way, but nothing seems to work. Don't know if I have to start from or work back to the ...
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1answer
457 views

In this plumbing code illustration, what are the meanings of “SH” “WC” “BT” “LAV”, etc?

The image below, taken from this plumbing code page, has an "SH" going to the middle pipe with the trap in it. Does anyone know what the "SH" stands for, or the "BT" and "WC" ones for that matter? ...
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4answers
212 views

What does wire loops on the wall for?

I bought a house recently, and there are wires in the walls under stucco. But in basement these wires are go out as a loops not far from the ceil. What are they for? Are they for lamps? If yes, then ...
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1answer
4k views

Can I install sheet vinyl flooring in a basement that gets wet on occasion?

Our basement is usually dry, but every so often we have torrential rainstorms in the spring and we are downhill from our neighbors. We get some water overnight in a small stream that we can mop up. ...
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2answers
54 views

Cracks in basement cement that seem to leak more when water is running?

I came home from a 2 day trip and found cracks in my basement cement with water seeping into them. I noticed that when I ran the water it leaked more, any guess what the problem is?
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2answers
113 views

How do I remedy mold/mildew that has appeared since blocking off ventilation?

I have a Ranch home with a finished rec room in the basement. It is our second year in the house. We had no mold/mildew problems last year. I put new carpet in the family room above basement and I ...
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1answer
2k views

What should I have my dehumidifier set at to dry out my basement?

I have a 1600 sq ft home. The wellmate sprung a leak last Sat and soaked the basement. Im running fans down there and just got a 40 pint dehumidifier per the service guy. What setting should I set it. ...
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1answer
1k views

“Draining” concrete blocks?

We've recently had exterior waterproofing applied our house. In the process, we removed an old cold room that was underneath our porch. They walled up the entrance to the old cold room, and then ...
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2answers
2k views

Is basement smell caused by oil boiler?

Although dry and not moldy, my 130-year-old basement has a distinct basement smell that bothers my wife. I am trying to determine its source. We have steam heat. In the summer, the boiler is only ...
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1answer
46 views

Water heater on concrete--should I build a platform? how much heat loss in winter?

I don't know if that title the best way to phrase the question. It's winter(ish) now, and I swear the hot water just doesn't last as long as it does in, say, September. The water heater tank is ...
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1answer
54 views

What should I look for in a battery backup sump pump?

I've got a pretty basic 1/3 hp sump pump that does the job quite well. However, i'm concerned about losing power and just the wrong time. Or worse the pump goes bad! What sort of features do you look ...
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1answer
54 views

Do I need to close the windows and doors in the entire house when doing a radon test?

I'm trying to perform a home radon test, the first step in the instructions for the Pro-Lab Radon Gas Detector Kit read that I need to close all the windows and doors for 12 hours before hand. Do I ...
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1answer
148 views

How can I stop this drain pipe from backing up?

In my basement laundry room is (to my knowledge) the only drain pipe in the whole basement, which hooks into the end of the main line as it exits the house and heads to the septic tank. When we moved ...
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1answer
94 views

How can I install a tub over this tub box?

In our unfinished basement, we have a roughed-in bath. I can see a water closet exit, a sink exit, and a tub exit. The tub exit is covered by this product: ...
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2answers
630 views

How do I seal a basement cinder block wall behind a shower?

My wife and I have a basement bathroom that I gutted: back in 1980 someone decided to put tile directly on drywall and not properly seal anything, with the obvious moldy result. So I ripped it down to ...
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2answers
257 views

Can I use a pump to discharge kitchen sink waste water, rather than digging up the concrete?

We are installing a small kitchen in the basement. There is a full bathroom in the other corner of the area, same side as the planned kitchen. I could use some experienced recommendations for the ...
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6answers
6k views

What can I use to build temporary walls in an unfinished basement?

We have an unfinished basement in central Minnesota. The home was built in 2008, and the builder thought it fit to include XPS insulation covering all of the vertical concrete foundation. So far so ...
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1answer
1k views

How can I stop this water from entering my basement?

I have water issues in my basement - as you can see, it comes in via some cracks between my basement floor and the concrete pads that the washer/dryer sit on. I am working on fixing the problem ...
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3answers
6k views

How should I use fiberglass batts to insulate between floor joists over a stone basement?

I have an old home built on a stone foundation. The stone foundation is solid, as well as the floor joists. I run a dehumidifier in the basement full time, to keep the air moisture low. There is ...
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1answer
238 views

How should I insulate behind the last floor joist that runs parallel to the foundation wall?

As an aside, I can't for the life of me figure out what to call the last floor joist that runs parallel to the basement foundation. Does it have a name? In my house, there is a little cramped gap an ...
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1answer
32 views

Plumbing connections for basement bathroom

My house is a bit of a strange design. Although the living room appears to be an addition to the home, it was actually built at the same time as the rest of the house. Looking at the front of the ...
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1answer
18 views

Fragile paperback on cellar ceiling batts

Installed in 1968, these insulation batts now fall, or hang. The paperback has become so fragile the insulating weight pulls it apart. What suggestions for a remedy? Replace? Or?
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2answers
56 views

Basement supporting wall header increase

We are finally in the process of finishing our basement after a number of years. I have a load bearing wall that has a header for a doorway, however, we are looking to have a more open hallway. I ...
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1answer
40 views

Can I enclose my new boiler in a closet?

As part of a new residential boiler installation, two 6-inch ducts venting to the outside will be installed, one near the ceiling and one near the floor. They won't be attached to the boiler itself, ...
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1answer
72 views

Are portable electrical outlets permitted in a basement?

I would like to install a portable outlet box near a work area in an unfinished basement. I have seen these installed in commercial buildings and educational laboratory type areas, always dropped from ...
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2answers
82 views

How can I stop my basement from filling with water?

I have my house in a sloped area ,it has problems of water seeping inside the basement area which gets filled up to 1 to 2 feet height what may be the solution for this .... i have tried all water ...
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2answers
62 views

Where do I need to drain the footing drain when I waterproof a basement from outside

I am planning to waterproof a basement. (please see the attached picture). I would like to know if the component labeled collector on my attached picture is needed. Since my lot is virtually flat I am ...
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1answer
76 views

Rapid changes in humidity levels in basement suite?

I live in the basement suite of a house in Vancouver. I've noticed something strange when running my dehumidifier in my bedroom: when I turn it on, the humidity is at 80%(!); after running for 30 ...
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2answers
72 views

Damp smell in basement

I have a gap between outside wall and pavement. Could this be the reason for damp smell in the cellar? If I poured bitumin down said gap, would this help prevent the dampness?
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1answer
147 views

How to maintain temp for always cold office in finished Basement

I work out of my home in an office in our finished basement. The room is always cold whether it's the middle of winter or the middle of summer. I often run a cheap space heater (especially) in the ...
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5answers
286 views

Can i leave existing drywall alone when adding two small walls to a finished basement?

I am building two small walls in a finished basement to create a enclosed landing at the bottom of the stairs. The new walls will meet at 90 degrees, both will be coming off studs in the existing ...
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1answer
62 views

Quantitative measurement for sound dampening methods

I'm planning to finish off my basement. Which type of basement ceiling insulation is most effective at reducing sound transfer between levels, blown in cellulose or rock wool batts and how much more ...
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1answer
214 views

How do I seal a vapor barrier on my basement walls if I have none from the floor above?

I am redoing my basement and was wondering how to seal the wall vapor barrier if there is no existing vapor barrier from the floor above. Or is it better off not using vapor barrier ? I am from ...
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3answers
2k views

Can the blanket Insulation in my basement be left in place when refinishing?

I'm thinking about finishing my basement. It currently has the blanket insulation that the builder installed when we built the house last year. I'm unfamiliar with this product. Is it meant to be used ...
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1answer
691 views

Basement bathroom rough-in with backwater valve question

I ended up contacted the plumbing company that did my basement rough-in. This is what they said: Drain and vent for basement sink Toilet rough-in Backwater Valve Tub Drain So I guess my new ...
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1answer
281 views

How do I clean a root cellar under my porch to make it suitable for food storage?

I have a root cellar under my porch. How should I clean loose stones on the floor and get rid of a musty smell so I can use the space as a safe food storage area. Small field mice entered and some of ...
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1answer
80 views

What type and rating of insulation should be used in a basement bathroom?

I need to replace the insulation on the back and side of the bathtub. The walls face the exterior of the house (poured foundation). What type and rating should I use? I can't tell what the ...
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3answers
1k views

How can I add ventilation to my basement office?

I have a finished basement with an office, guest bedroom and bathroom. All about 700 sq ft. I work 12+ hours in the office and really need to get some fresh air circulating by extracting stale air. ...
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1answer
174 views

Can I insulate over 1/2 in. styrofoam?

We have a rec room (basement) from the 60's that we are redoing. Currently on the outside walls, they have 1 x 2 studding then 1/2 inch white styrofoam then vapour barrier. WE are wondering if we ...
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2answers
673 views

What type of sump pump back up systems are available?

I have just about completed all the work to finish my basement. I know, not a great time to think about this, but when I bought the home there was zero water in it and didn't think the winter would ...
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1answer
316 views

Is continuous exhaust from basement level closet a good idea?

I have a recurring problem with mold in the closet of a basement level bedroom. After considering various options, I'm currently contemplating installing some sort of a low powered continuous exhaust ...
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2answers
9k views

How can I improve air flow in my basement?

I have a pretty odd two floor duplex apartment with one of the rooms practically being a basement. I have previously had problems with mold, and in general the air isn't great in the basement. So I ...
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1answer
192 views

Damp proofing/tanking a basement

The plaster on one wall of my basement has blown and come away from the wall. I've stripped it all off which leaves a layer of concrete painted with bitumen. What's the best method for sealing off ...
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1answer
1k views

How should I add flooring in my “crawl” space?

Our house has a basement where part of it is finished but one section is closed off by a door and just has a dirt floor. The space is about 25'x25' and about 12' tall (not really a "crawl" space) ...
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1answer
418 views

Do I need to do more prep work on this cement floor before putting in new tile?

In my basement i have a poured concrete floor, and we're re-doing the bathroom down there. It used to have Vinyl flooring, and we ripped it all up. The top vinyl part came up easily, but it left a bit ...
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0answers
11 views

Repairing concrete block on inner part of basement

I have had water seepage into my basement through concrete block for many years. The exterior part of the block is covered by a deck and patio and is not easy to get to. I've mitigated a lot of the ...
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1answer
45 views

Drain clogged by grout

The contractor I hired to tile my basement bathroom dumped a bunch if grout sand down the drain. it is clogged solid now that the plumbers came back to do their water test. we have been trying to get ...
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1answer
32 views

How do I dry up a stucco wall that presents efflorescence?

I have determined the source of the water and I would like to believe that I stopped that with a temporary fix (a large tarp that will cover my patio which used to collect water at the base of the ...
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0answers
40 views

What can I do about a basement window well that is filling with water?

My house was built in the 1950s and I have a basement window well that was filling up with water after a hard rain. I have covers however the water would come up. After much reading online that there ...
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0answers
119 views

Connecting a sump pump to sewer

I'm attempting to install a new sump pump in my basement after having a few minor flooding incidents and addressing as much of the external causes as possible (gutters, etc). The pump is only used for ...