Alligator Basements is happy to share with you the evolution of basement finishing over the years. From the 1960s onward, the material and methods for transforming basements have rapidly advanced to include the cutting-edge technology we use today.
In the beginning, people used to finish their home basements with wood framing, paneled walls and shag carpets. This was a popular trend in those early years but with modern technologies and advanced materials available, it became obsolete. There are now many alternative ways for finishing basement walls and the “fad” of this cheap wood paneling method is over.
By the 80s, homeowners started to use Sheetrock walls for remodeling basement. Homeowners could now repaint the walls to keep up with style changes. Although this method solved the problem of décor and changing styles there was still a problem with durability since sheetrock walls deteriorated quickly.
Greenboard drywall comes with a green paper covering and the gypsum material is placed between two paper coverings. This drywall has same properties as regular drywall but has a water-resistant and green paper covering.
Greenboard drywall cannot be used for wet applications such as basements as the paper covering is water-resistant but not waterproof. In addition to this, the brittle gypsum core is not suitable for wet or damp locations applications such as a home basement.
Gypsum contains a large volume of water bound in crystalline form; 10 square feet (1.0 sq. m) of gypsum board contains over two quarts of water. Each molecule of gypsum is composed of two molecules of water (H20) and one of calcium sulfate (CaSO4). By volume, it is nearly 50 percent water while the compound is 21 percent water by weight. Also, when exposed to fire, the water vaporizes and temperature of panel remains at 212°F (100°C) until all of the water is released. This helps to protect the underlying wood framework. The paneling basement walls available today are durable and look stunning.
The basement finishing approach used in late 1990s presented several problems since the fiberglass batts or fiberglass blankets were not resistant to mold, decay and odors. The Building Science Consortium came to the conclusion that these approaches led to further problems of mold and decay and thus were highly unsuitable for basement wall insulation.
Click here to read more about fiberglass insulation used in basements.
Fabric or vinyl wallpaper installed over fiberglass insulation was introduced as a solution for paneling basement walls. Although fiberglass insulation works fine for above-ground areas, this product allows mold to grow in basements because they are such high moisture areas. This is one huge drawback of using this material in basement walls.
Fiberglass insulation should ideally only be installed in non-habitable spaces like attics and crawl spaces, because systems often do not enclose the fiberglass and thus allow fiberglass fibers to filter into the living space.
Other shortcomings of these systems include limited décor, lack of load-bearing structure and visible seams. You do not have any place to hang a picture. Similar to wood wall panels for basement in the 1960s, fabric or vinyl-covered walls have become obsolete due to the inability to change styles or colors easily.
Are you interested in finishing your basement or adding that much-needed refinement to your home? Schedule a design consultation with us today by contacting us via our web form or call us directly at 1-800-669-9756.
Interested in transforming your basement into a play room, an exercise room or a top-of-the-line media center? Make your basement the ideal place for entertainment and relaxation for the whole family!
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