When combined with organic flooring such as wood, a damp basement floor breeds mold that causes a musty smell. It can also release irritating and harmful airborne contaminants. Here are 4 reliable options to beat a damp basement floor.
1 - Inorganic Carpet Tile
Organic material is mold food, so choose carpet tiles composed of inorganic materials. Use tiles that can be individually removed for cleaning and that also provide a vapor barrier and insulation.
2 - Vinyl
All vinyl is not created equal. What works upstairs will not perform well in a damp basement. Choose vinyl that is specifically designed for basement flooring. Like carpet tiles discussed above, the ideal choice provides insulation as well as a vapor barrier.
3 - False Flooring
Lay extruded polystyrene foam directly onto the basement floor. Polystyrene will not rot and insulates against the cold, while keeping organic materials away from moisture. Place a .5-inch plywood panel over the polystyrene. Fasten the plywood and polystyrene directly to the concrete screws which are specifically designed for that purpose. Finish the job with your choice of floor covering.