It is rare to find a 19th century home in suburban Minneapolis. This home was the original farmstead and featured a cozy floor plan and pleasant rooms, but no place for a TV-viewing hangout and a seasonal bike trainer for this young and active family. The basement was small, gloomy, and chopped up, but it was dry and offered the best chance for this family to find a little extra space on their tight budget. But, the family was still concerned about mold, since even a dry older basement can experience flooding or water intrusion from many sources.
We have done basement remodeling for years, employing the best waterproofing and construction techniques that are widely used. We have also been called back to redo basements when a sewer line backs up, a pipe breaks, or in some cases, when extraordinary weather overwhelms waterproofing and window wells. The clean-up process is discouraging–with lots of waste and replacement in order to remove potential sources of mold. These homeowners were aware of the shortcomings of drywall in even the best basement situations, and given the circumstances of their lot and concerns about mold, were worried that their investment could be damaged.
Thankfully we could install our patented Everlast panels that can withstand even extensive flooding without mold intrusion (in fact the city of Calgary recognized the system for rebuilding after the massive flooding). The panels can be submerged in water and yet will not expand, peel, flake, or grow mold. We used the unfinished panels, and PVC trim to creating a classic design, paintable yet flood resistant surface. Even if there were to be a water event in the basement, the walls might require some scrubbing and perhaps a coat of paint, but they would not have to be torn off or replaced. Much of the flooring is removable vinyl plank. The window well is our specialized precast fiberglass stone that could be placed in a few hours. It does not shift or settle, looks great and has egress “steps” built right into it.
The homeowners are thrilled with the bright and welcoming space and are particularly happy that they don’t have drywall or mold-harboring insulation in their basement.
As an added bonus, the additional closet space created a perfect home for a pocket office, allowing dad to occasionally work from home in a pleasant and quiet environment.