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Is Spring Cleaning the Right Time for Your Basement Remodel?

Cleaning out the basement has plenty of advantages when it comes to early basement remodel planning. And if you’re like a lot of people, the time when it makes the most sense to clean out the basement is spring, when you’re tackling the rest of the spring cleaning list. But is spring the right time for your basement remodel? This is the question we wanted to answer for our customers. The short answer goes something like this: There’s never a bad time to remodel your basement, but depending on the type of sealing/waterproofing your basement needs, certain times of the year are better than others.

Spring Cleaning Can Reveal Hidden Problems

That’s exactly why a good spring clean is a great place to start. Any basement remodel is a major undertaking, but one that involves sealing and waterproofing is another animal altogether. That being the case, you’ll want to make sure that you and your contractor are fully aware of any potential issues as you move into the planning phases of your project.  And therein lies the rub. Signs of moisture issues involving your foundation are often hidden by stacks of boxes, furniture, and overfull closets, under stair storage areas, bookshelves, and crawl spaces.  A simple spring clean and decluttering often reveals the tell-tale signs of moisture issues in drywall, carpet, and framing that indicate you’ve got a larger project on your hands than you initially bargained for.

How Spring Cleaning and Basement Remodeling Intersect

What’s the next step to take, and best time to take action, if you do see signs that some waterproofing is in order?  It’s a question of climate, ground thaw, and air humidity: Most of the time, interior waterproofing treatment is sufficient to seal the walls from water and excess moisture. The ideal time to do this kind of waterproofing is in winter and early spring.  The air is naturally drier so the concrete shrinks, allowing the treatment to penetrate further into the concrete overall. Interested in learning more about this type of process and timing? Here’s a nifty guide from Basement Waterproofing Tech.

That said, the story may not be so simple. To protect the basement against water runoff and lawn drainage, more than just the concrete may need work. Gutter and downspout repair, combined with the installation of a French drain, is often best done in the spring (or fall) when roofs are clear of ice and snow, and when the ground has thawed allowing for easier subterranean improvements. In these cases, excess humidity can be sapped out of the air with a high-performance dehumidifier, allowing homeowners to take advantage of this intersection between winter air, spring cleaning, and exterior work on the roof and yard.

Rushing vs. Waiting to Meet Spring

Some people have already answered this question for themselves about spring being the optimal time for a basement remodel: It could be that you’re in the final stages of months of planning and you’re just waiting on the ground to thaw. Or maybe you’ve already had a contractor come out and recommend that exterior foundation repair and sealing was the right choice for your home, in which case the warmer temperatures and longer days of spring are just what the doctor ordered.

In fact, sometimes a basement renovation is part of a larger home update. It could even be that a major problem was discovered with the foundation first, and that led to finishing the basement at the same time. It’s a more common story than you might think. You may have bought the property on the cheap (knowing the condition of the foundation). Or maybe your home insurance is covering the foundation work and you’re adding on with your own remodeling funds. In all of these scenarios, spring is still one of the best times of year to get the ball rolling and get things out of your basement.

Whose Spring are We Talking about Here?

Beginning to panic because spring has already arrived and you haven’t taken into account some of these seasonally specific considerations?  Take a deep breath and rest assured that everything is going to be okay.  The basement remodeling industry itself is skewed toward cold-weather climates in which it will be several weeks still before roofs, gutters, and yards are readily accessible, so it’s unlikely you’ve missed the boat.

In addition to that, coastal areas (for obvious reasons) and southern states (shallow foundations) have environmental limitations that can affect whether or not a basement remodel is a viable option in the first place. Some regions, like north Texas for example, have clay-based soil and a water table that make basement construction impossible in most places. These types of regional and geological differences are another reason it’s difficult to make blanket statements about the best waterproofing methods, much less the best season for remodeling.

Ready to Get Started

If you’ve decided that spring cleaning is the right time to start your basement remodel, we also have tips about smart ways to use the cleaning out process to plan a better remodeling project. Whether you’re trying to remodel in a few weeks or over several months, you’re going to want to check out this Closetbox resource for spring cleaning and basement remodels.

Final Thought: Don’t Take the Small Stuff for Granted

In any case, there’s one way in which spring cleaning and basement remodeling always intersect—and that’s the need to get everything out of the basement space so that the sealing and remodeling work can start. We’ll tell you right now, it’s easy to get bogged down in different basement sealing and finishing methods and forget about the rest. Most people fail to appreciate how big their basement is—as well as how much stuff it can hold. The truth is that the rest of your home storage is likely insufficient to meet your total storage needs during the remodeling process.

Whether you’re kicking yourself for waiting until the last minute or you’re wisely planning ahead to reduce the hassles of self-storage, check out our pickup, digital inventory, and on-demand returns. You don’t want to keep tripping or climbing over stuff in the rest of your house for the duration of the remodel. And the same goes for your contractor and subcontractors. The last thing you want is a contractor to jab a hole in your kitchen drywall while trying to step over your holiday decorations while they’re carrying remodeling supplies through the house. Finding a spring cleaning storage solution is always a good first step in getting your basement remodel off on the right foot.