We have seen a growing trend in the number of homeowners remodeling, renovating and generally improving their basements to make them usable, livable spaces. Home Gyms, Rec Rooms, Home Offices, Man Caves and additional bedrooms seem to be the most popular inspiration for this wave of basement improvement. The current tight housing market has also contributed to the growth in renovating our own spaces, rather than look for something new/different. It’s also one of the best home improvement projects for ROI.
HGTV shared, “The last annual ‘Cost vs. Value’ Report from Remodeling magazine put the average basement remodel at a 70.3 percent payback, which made it among the smartest redos, along with an attic bedroom, minor kitchen redo, deck, and new entry door.”
Basement Ventilation is something that is necessary whether you are considering remodeling or not – Basements are considered one of the biggest contributors to indoor air pollution for any house whether a new house, an older home and especially those that are being remodeled.
Why? 60% of the air in your home was once basement air – Basement air is arguably the worst air inside the home/building envelope.
- Research from the University of Wisconsin reports that “Basements and crawlspaces absorb 10-15 gallons of water VAPOR every day!” Consider the analogy of gallon milk jugs – 10-15 milk jugs of water vapor EVERY day coming in through the porous walls and floor. The natural transmission of the moisture in the soil surrounding the house migrating through the walls and the floor is based on the physics Law of Thermal Dynamics – Wet moves to dry. We can address bulk liquid water intrusion with drains and pumps redirecting that liquid water away from and out of the home’s foundation, however, that is not what we are talking about here. There is very little we can do to fight the water vapor – Water in its gaseous form – from absorbing through the walls and the floor. Once the humidity is trapped it becomes a food source for mold, mildew, and pests and encourages rust, dry rot all of which requires a damp environment to thrive. Ventilation reigns supreme in providing an escape, a way out, for the trapped moisture vapor and has proven quite successful in managing the humidity problems in basement/crawlspaces to ensure healthy and clean air.
- By Ventilating the lowest level and sourcing the draw of air (or the intake) on the lowest level of the basement, the worst, most polluted and damp air is exhausted first and does not allow for the large build-up or concentration of humidity/pollutants that we so often see in unvented basements.
- This air exchange becomes even more important when remodeling or renovating these below-grade spaces – one must have a plan to address the large volume of water vapor absorption, but also consider the chemicals and toxins being introduced into the underground space during the construction process. Glues, Paints, Carpets, Off-gassing of Epoxy and Resins, Varnishes and Glazes. Many of the materials used in this process are highly toxic often requiring those working with these materials to wear masks and containing warning labels that instruct “Only use in a well-ventilated area”. The subterranean or below ground nature of these spaces means that basements are the opposite of well ventilated! They are notoriously stagnant, stuffy places. The EPA & American Lung Association have identified Ventilation as a “key strategy for reducing indoor air pollution” and considering the EPA reports “the air in the average home is at least 5x more polluted than outdoor air” ventilation should not only be employed throughout the construction phase but is also critically important as a finishing touch to ensure all those chemicals and toxic materials do not build up and contribute to even higher toxic levels of air quality. See, the off-gassing of new materials can last for decades! That “new” smell is actually highly toxic for humans to breathe.
We so often hear of people that are looking to get rid of that musty basement smell by slathering on a fresh coat of paint! Not only does that not solve the root of the mustiness, but it contributes even more contaminants to the already poor air quality problem in spades.
- Our proven solution that we have been providing for over 20 years now is the EZ Breathe Basement Ventilation System that addresses not only the moisture vapor issue, but also reduces all the other airborne pollutants and contaminants. It’s not complicated, it is simple air exchange! By creating a path of escape from the lowest level, the EZ Breathe Ventilation System exhausts all the pollutants, toxins, allergens, mold spores as well as the heavy, humid air that gets saturated daily by water vapor. Turning the air over has proven to decrease airborne particulates by 85% – when a basement is properly ventilated, nothing can build up or concentrate to unhealthy levels.
- This is not just our theory – Basement Ventilation has been widely accepted and now mandated by a growing number of US State’s building codes as essential to creating a healthy indoor air quality. We have seen a growing number of homeowners calling us frantic for a basement ventilation system in order to secure building permits for their basement remodeling project. We are thrilled to offer them a solution they can count on to provide a better air quality for their basement and beyond. The update in building codes to include basement ventilation is reminiscent of bathroom ventilation codes from many years back. Mandating ventilation fans in bathrooms is commonplace now, but we still find homes that were built before those codes were enforced that have un-vented bathrooms. We all know how damaging (and gross) that can be. Where there is a source of moisture or pollutants – ventilation is a must!
- We have found with our on-going scientific air sampling/testing that the air quality improvement is not limited to the basement alone. Once the air is ventilated out of the basement, we find significant improvements in the air quality in the upper levels of the home as well. In our early days this was quite surprising and unexpected. After receiving years of feedback from customers thanking us for less allergy symptoms or finding that they do not snore or cough as much or no longer require breathing treatments/allergy medication as they had before their EZ Breathe installation, we were able to quantify that improvement through testing. We have seen first-hand the significant improvement Ventilation has provided not only in air quality that we can quantify, 85% less pollutants through our decades of air sampling and testing before/after scenarios, but also the improvement in the quality of life for so many homeowners over the past two decades.
*** In honor of April being Healthy Home Awareness Month we are offering 20% OFF EZ Breathe Ventilation. Get ahead of the musty, stuffy, mildew-smelling basements that those dog days of summer bring NOW with proper basement ventilation. Addressing the issue sooner than later is always best practice! This issue never gets better on its own, it only gets worse as time goes on. Now is the perfect time to protect your home and health, even if you haven’t started that basement remodel project quite yet!