Whether you live in a home with a finished or unfinished basement, if you’ve ever thought about using some of your basement space as a bedroom, here are some important things to think about pertaining to creating a healthy sleep environment.
Egress – many basements have small windows, but bedrooms require a window large enough for a person to crawl through should there be an emergency and they need to escape from the basement. You will need to check the local building code to find out the exact dimensions that are required in your area or talk to your basement remodeling contractor who can tell you how they would go about putting in larger windows to meet egress requirements. The upside to this requirement: larger windows provide more natural light which makes for happier, healthier living conditions.
Mold – basements are prone to being cool and damp, making them a prime location for mold growth. Since mold can cause a number of health problems, including skin and respiratory issues, if you suspect that there is mold in your home, be sure to have it tested by experienced professionals. Your basement finishing project may require mold remediation in order for it to be safe to sleep in.
Radon – this invisible, odorless gas can seep into your home through the crawl space or basement floor without your knowledge. Radon can cause sever lung damage and cancer and should not be taken lightly. The only way to know whether or not radon is present in your home is through simple radon testing which you can do yourself or hire a professional to do for you. If its presence is detected in your home, it can be fairly simply remediated by a home improvement expert.
Air quality and ventilation – in addition to checking for mold, radon and CO, you will want to ensure that there is good ventilation in the basement bedroom for good healthy air circulation. If your basement feels damp at all, you may want to run a dehumidifier either in the bedroom or have one added to your HVAC system.
This blog is simply meant to give as much information as possible in order for you to make an informed decision about whether or not your basement is best used as a bedroom or for other activities. There are many healthy, safe basement bedrooms; it’s just a matter of taking the right steps to ensure that yours is one of them.