basement carpeting and moisture

We are about to spend at least $1200 on re-carpeting our finished basement (25x25 feet). The existing carpet is a cheap Home Depot Berber with the pad incorporated into the carpet. It is glued down. The carpet smells like dog urine from the previous owner. When we first moved in, it smelled like mildew as well but I think our dehumidifier took care of that.
It will be a big, difficult job to remove the existing stuff, and expensive for the new stuff. Thus I seek some advice on doing this right.
1) After I remove the carpet and attempt to scrape off the glue/pad (this will be impossible), how should I treat the floor? Is there something that can both seal the remnants of the bad smell, and keep moisture from below the slab creeping up? I hate to spend so much on carpet and then have it smell like mildew after a couple years.
2) We've been looking at the basic berbers that I believe are made of Olefin. These range from $0.80 to $1.50 a square foot (plus extra for install). We don't need nice stuff...but I don't want something susceptible to mildew/moisture
3) Should I request a special pad?
4) Is mildew inevitable? If so, maybe I'll consider going with cheap, pad-incorporated home-depot stuff and consider trying to lay it myself with glue. I figure this would cut the cost in half. We've only lived in our house for a half-year. I don't think there is any seapage, and I worked on the grade around the house in the fall.
Thanks, Mike
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Painting the floor with oil paint will help only somewhat in stopping moisture. You may always have a problem with mold. Why not consider tile. till you have lived there and get to know the problems
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net said...

You can save a lot of money by putting down a decent two-stage concrete floor paint. It's usually about $75 for 250 sq. ft. It creates a nice barrier.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If it still smells like dog pee, there's a reason for that. It's because has soaked into -- and now a resident of -- the pad. For animal pee, the pad has to be either cleaned or replaced (most people cut out the affected area and replace it with new pad). This is why most people wonder why they spend all day steam cleaning a pee'd-up carpet, but the place still smells ends up smelling like they've done nothing. There's also another reason mention this that will become somewhat more apparent once or twice later on.

Once you get rid of the carpet and associated padding, the smell should disappear because you now have ventilation of the pee'd up area AND you've gotten rid of the actual source of it. How you should treat the floor is for someone with a lot more knowledge than me.

From homeowner accounts I've seen or read about, Olefin is a good, durable choice -- especially if you have kids or high-traffic areas.

Dunno. I despise carpeting. It was the FIRST thing to go from every room in the house when we first moved in (along with the decrepit evergreen bushes in front).

Mildew's inevitable only where you have moisture issues, including high humidity and seepage. If your basement's dry as a bone, mildew oughtn't be a concern. But as for the carpeting itself -- let me get this straight: You're going to spend many back-breaking hours ripping and scraping up one glued-down pad-incorporated room of carpeting that reeks because you can't clean the pad only to install *another* one exactly like it? Nothing lasts forever in homeownerville, so eventually (and there *will* be an eventually) you're going to have to rip up the new one for one reason or another. You might think you're getting off by going on the cheap, but there's a very familiar term among a lot of people here known as "pay me now or pay me later." Your call, chief.
And nothing lasting forever also applies to garden variety paint-on floor sealant should your now-pristine slab decide to start cracking (they all do, eventually; some bad, some not so bad) and you live in an area where you start getting instaces where high(er) water table hydro pressure pushes water up thru the crack(s)? Nothing you buy in a can at the hardware store is going to stop forever all that pressure. Chances are, the paint-on will crack right along with the underlying cement, or if it survives, water's going to keep pushing a few hundred pounds of pressure against that thin little sealer barrier. Something's going to give somewhere sometime and voila, welcome to the basement seepage club.
Rug itself can be pulled up, steam cleaned, dried and deodorized. But unless you can pull the pad, it'll all just rot and mold. And guess what you'll be doing then? Yup, buying another whole damn room of carpeting.
Again, your call, chief. Personally, the only thing I'd think of putting on naked basement slab without a raised subfloor is tile.
AJS
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'd consider tile. I don't think I've ever seen it in a basement though.
I would like the basement to be liveable. Right now, it is pretty dry and is finished very nicely (w/ dry-wall and ceiling). Our home is nearly 50 years old...poured foundation seems in good shape (knocking on wood). I suppose that throw rugs over tile would look decent. In the winter, I would think tile conducts the cold much more.
Do you have any ideas on the pros/cons/cost of tile vs. carpet?
And I'm with you too on the carpet in the rest of the house. I've pulled the carpet in 2 bedrooms exposing the nice hardwood. I plan on refinishing it sometime in the spring.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@devnull.com said...

Tile will be just as cold as the concrete that it is stuck to. You'll wind up putting down area rugs like you normally do in a living area that is all tile. I thought about it for my basement, but I decided to just paint the floor instead. My daughter has a sever mold allergy so WTW carpet is out of the question.
If I did tile in the basement I would probably install radiant heat beneath it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tile or a vinyl tile would be nice and near permanent and flood - moisture safe. Area rugs could always be removed and dried if flooding occurs. Pipes , water heaters , sump pumps, washers and hoses WILL fail its a matter of when, not if . And you never get that Warning. usualy you just find water one morning . I use area rugs on tile and yes ive dried them out several times , and i have dual sumps.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The mill-working schlubs here in the south of Chicago have been tiling their rec room-type basements for generations. A bit more overtime and they got sheet Congoleum. All in all tho, decent tile squares were the usual choice.
Some Pros: Spills wipe right up, animal dander and other allergens don't take up permanent residence, cleans by wet/damp mop, doesn't hold water to rot and mold, individual squares can be replaced, chewing gum doesn't get all stuck in it, doesn't need a professional to install, heavy stuff rolls across it easier, survives water disasters considerably better, doesn't wear out like carpet, won't go up in flames from a lit cigarette, doesn't necessarily always need to be ripped up to change it -- and the corpse fits in a trash can or two when you do.
Some Cons: Hard and cold (cool floor nice on bare feet in hot summer, tho), little/no sound absorption, scratches if abused badly enough, dropped glassware will usually shatter on it every time (but even there, no pile for shards to hide in).
Cost: Last time I was at Menard's, I noticed some pretty attractive and thicker stick-down tile designs for about $1 a square foot. If you couldn't care less about being all Martha Stewart about basement floor tile, they also had the thick commercial grade glue-down stuff for 50 cents a square foot. That stuff looks OK, but mainly for places like laundry rooms, not living spaces IMO. But if 50 cents/sqft was all I had in the world to afford for the living area, I'd get over it. If you can do better than that with a quality-grade carpet that won't go to shit in a few years, be my guest.
AJS
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
(Sorry, I can't seem to find the original post)

Check out the web site below. My buddy is finishing his basement and did a bunch of research before starting and this is supposed to be the first step if you plan on putting down carpet or even tile in a basement.
http://www.systemplaton.com/flooringprotection.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.