Preventing Basement Moisture and Mold

basement moldMany homeowners make a substantial investment in basement finishing only to have their new finished basements damaged or destroyed by water damage or mold.  Luckily, this misfortune is largely preventable with good planning and proper construction.  These tips on preventing basement moisture and mold will help you to enjoy your finished basement for years to come without worrying about potential water or mold damage.

Drainage

Your basement is unique from any other room in the sense that it’s underground.  Think of it as a concrete box surrounded by wet soil on all sides, and you’ll get the picture.  When rainwater from even a small storm isn’t diverted properly away from the house, water can easily accumulate.  Ensure that your gutters are clean and in good repair, and that downspouts are diverting water away from your foundation.

One issue with basement finishing Toronto homeowners face is a substantial amount of annual snowfall and subsequent runoff water that saturates the soil.  If groundwater is problematic, a French drain could be a good option.  Talk to your basement finishing contractor about whether this could be a problem in your area, and to discuss potential solutions.

Insulation

Basement insulation has a tendency to accumulate condensation and develop mold growth, so proper insulation is critical to preventing basement mold damage.

Rigid foam board is made of polystyrene, polyisocyanurate (polyiso) and polyurethane.  It is not only highly efficient, but also keeps water vapor in its gaseous state, preventing moisture accumulation.  A vapor barrier may also be helpful.

Minimizing the Potential for Water Damage

Even proper construction cannot prevent the occasional accidental basement flooding.  For this reason, it’s still important to minimize the damage of a potential flood by selecting appropriate flooring.  Stained concrete, tile, laminate flooring and engineered wood are also potential options for finished basement flooring, as they don’t absorb moisture can withstand a certain amount of water damage.

If you’re currently finishing your basement or have had basement moisture issues in the past, we’d love to hear your own ideas and experiences.  Tell us all about it in the comments section.

Kitchen Countertop Options

kitchen remodelWhether you’re doing a full-fledged kitchen remodel or just a simple partial kitchen renovation, the countertops are an important part of your design.  There are many potential kitchen countertop options, and the number of choices can be daunting.  Here’s a rundown of several popular options with some of the pros and cons for each material.

Granite

Granite’s beautiful mottling and earthy tones are elegant and make each slab unique.  Granite countertops are also very durable, and resistant to everyday wear-and-tear.  However, granite is one of the more expensive kitchen countertop options, and will also need to be resealed periodically.

Solid Surfacing or Corian

Solid surfacing is principally made of acrylic and polyester.  It was originally marketed as Corian, so is sometimes generically referred to as such. Solid surfacing can be more susceptible to knife marks, scrapes and burns than some other options, but these blemishes can also be sanded out.  However, solid surfacing is synthetic so can have an artificial feel, but is still fairly pricey, so some homeowners steer clear of it for these reasons.

Tile

Ceramic and porcelain tile offer many options for color and design, and are more modestly priced than some options.  It’s also very durable, and any chipped tiles can easily be replaced individually.  However, unsealed grout is susceptible to staining and bacterial growth, and the uneven surface can make it difficult to balance a cutting board or use a rolling pin.

Laminate

Laminate consists of a paper/resin blend fused to particleboard .  It is one of the most popular countertop options, and comes in many designs and colors.  Laminate is  inexpensive, so if kitchen renovation cost is a concern, this could be a good option.  It’s also extremely low maintenance.  However, laminate is also more prone to scratching than some other options, and can warp if it isn’t properly installed.

Ultimately, the right choice for your kitchen depends upon your practical needs, décor, budget and personal taste.  If you’re a little overwhelmed or need help with the installation, seek the help of an experienced kitchen renovation contractor.  For kitchen renovation Toronto homeowners have many well-qualified professionals available.

If you’re currently in the market for new kitchen countertops or are the proud owner of a newly remodeled kitchen, we’d love to hear your thoughts on kitchen countertops or other kitchen remodeling ideas in the comment section.

Luxury Kitchen Remodeling

kitchen remodelA stylish kitchen is a great way to increase your home’s value, and is perfect if you love to cook or entertain frequently.  These kitchen remodeling ideas for luxury features can help you to create the modern luxury kitchen of your dreams that’s pure perfection in both form and function.

Kitchen Island or Peninsula

If you have ample kitchen space, a kitchen island or peninsula creates an attractive upgrade that increases counter space and lends a more sophisticated, modern look.  The design of your kitchen island will depend upon your potential uses for it.  For a great look and added convenience, consider moving your cooktop to your island or potentially adding a sink.

Integrated Appliances

Integrated kitchen appliances create a trim and elegant look by concealing kitchen appliances to make them appear to be part of the cabinetry.  To accomplish this, appliances are fronted with doors that look like the rest of the cabinetry and are fitted with matching door pulls.  Integrated appliances are a big design, and are well worth the price if you’re after a contemporary luxury look.

In-Kitchen Wine Cooler

A wine cooler keeps your valuable wines at the perfect temperature for optimal aging.  An in-kitchen wine cooler keeps all of your wine right where you need it, and also creates a sumptuous, modern feel.

Premium Cabinetry

 Most full-scale kitchen remodels include replacing the current cabinetry.  However, there are many luxury cabinetry options to add something special to your luxury kitchen renovation.  A simple, elegant solid wood cabinet design is timeless, and is an excellent long-term investment.  Glass cabinetry is currently a design trend, so can lend a contemporary look.

Are your currently remodeling your kitchen, or planning a remodel in the near future?  If so, we’d love to hear about your own luxury dream kitchen.  Tell us all about it in the comment section.