Most basements in the U.S. have concrete flooring. Concrete is durable, it’s widely available, and it’s easy to install. However, concrete can sometimes be porous. In basements (especially with the wet weather we have in Michigan), water seeping into your flooring is not something you want to deal with.
But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use concrete floors for your basement. Sometimes, the terms ‘concrete’ and ‘cement’ are used interchangeably, but they aren’t exactly the same. Concrete is a mixture of cement, sand, gravel, crushed stone, and water. The mixture may contain all of these ingredients, or just a few. Cement is used alone for small projects, but has to be poured into a mold to harden. Any other use is going to call for concrete. Concrete continues to harden for years after installation. This makes it the perfect material for everything from basement floors to sidewalks!
If you’re concerned about the porousness of concrete, consider this; it is the material most often used for buildings, sidewalks, and even bridges. Concrete is meant to withstand extreme conditions when it is properly installed and maintained.
What to Expect From Concrete Basements
Again, concrete floors are extremely durable which makes them ideal for basements. In recent years, as people have started to focus more on design and aesthetics, concrete has become an even better option as the design options are practically endless.
One way you can prevent or reduce any damage caused by water is to make sure your concrete floor stays properly maintained. Keeping it chip and crack-free requires sealing it periodically. It all depends on the amount of traffic your flooring sees, as well as the moisture level in your basement. You can also keep moisture away by making sure your basement floors are installed on an existing concrete slab. It is when concrete is poured directly on top of soil that you can experience moisture issues, as well as shifting and sinking. A slab with proper footings can help to ensure your foundation isn’t going anywhere.
Even if the floor does eventually crack, it can usually be repaired with patching and re-sealing.
Other than that, all you need to do is periodically sweep and mop your floors to keep them looking polished and new.
Is a Concrete Floor Right for You?
About 98% of people in America have concrete floors in their basement that create a concrete foundation. Chances are, it’s the right material for your job whether you’re working on a new construction or making major upgrades to an old home.
If you have an existing slab, concrete is definitely the right choice. You won’t have to worry as much about moisture or other elements causing problems for your floor. While you also should be prepared for a floor that is hard and can sometimes be cold, those can typically be fixed by adding rugs, furniture, and warming agents.
Concrete and cement aren’t the same thing, so make sure you always go with the more durable option when choosing the best material for your basement floor; concrete.
If you’re looking for concrete experts in Southeast Michigan, feel free to contact us at Debuck Construction. We’ll be happy to take a look at your basement and offer more information on concrete floor installation.