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"New Basement Game Room! Considerations?" Topic


25 Posts

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735 hits since 20 May 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Ed von HesseFedora21 May 2017 11:22 a.m. PST

Next weekend several thousand toy soldiers will march into their new permanent games room in my new house. I'm getting the basement! Along with all my figures, train, paints, etc., I am also putting most of my books down there.

I have never lived in a part of the country that allows basements. So I've never had a basement. Are there any considerations that I need to take to make sure that bugs, mold, mildew, or other damaging events don't happen?

Thanks,
Ed

cavcrazy21 May 2017 11:27 a.m. PST

Check the lower walls for water marks, to know if the basement floods or not. If there isn't one already, make sure there is somewhere water can flow where you would put a sump pump.

Perris070721 May 2017 11:45 a.m. PST

Yes to Cavcrazy's comments. I have had two basement floods in my life and they are a nightmare. My current basement is nice and dry and my man-cave!

Ragbones Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2017 12:00 p.m. PST

Keep terrain and figs off the floor. Unless it's a finished basement with humidity control or a nice dehumidifier, I recommend keeping your favorite and most valuable books and magazines elsewhere.

stephen m21 May 2017 12:29 p.m. PST

Dehumidifier and stuff raised off the floor.

Ed von HesseFedora21 May 2017 12:49 p.m. PST

It is finished and there is just one tiny old wet mark on the wall behind the built-in bar.

Yes, shelving will keep everything off the floor just in case.

I will invest in a dehumidifier.

Thanks for the tips.

JimDuncanUK21 May 2017 1:19 p.m. PST

Get a cat and don't feed it too much.

NCC1717 Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2017 1:45 p.m. PST

From my previous days with a basement, I would not keep anything in cardboard boxes. I switched to plastic bins.

Personal logo Saber6 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian21 May 2017 2:08 p.m. PST

A large table is a danger to become a catch all. You may want to have tables you can take down and store

YogiBearMinis Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2017 2:11 p.m. PST

I second the plastic, lidded bins for lower-shelf items. If you keep stuff directly off the floor, and maybe have that first lower shelf only hold plastic bins, you will be okay with flooding fears.

And arrange for twice as much light as you think you need.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2017 2:13 p.m. PST

Don't let them frighten you too much. I slept in a finished basement for years apart from wargaming. Never had a moment's trouble with moisture or rodents. Precautions should be taken, certainly.

But my general warning on all wargame rooms applies: go for a table size you can maneuver around comfortably and reach every part of without difficulty. You may have to tack on an expansion set once a year for an epic battle, but don't set yourself up to have troubles every week.

PJ ONeill21 May 2017 2:30 p.m. PST

Another vote for off-the-floor and dehumidifier.

BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2017 2:37 p.m. PST

It also depends if you have a walkout basement (meaning a regular door to walk out of to the outside). This makes a huge difference when it comes to basements. I work out of a basement like this and have had no real issues for 20 years. I do have a dehumidifier and have only had a couple of minor mishaps with water.

How you use your basement will depend upon the amount of moisture yours has inherent to it. If it smells musty, there is a reason. If not, you should be okay if you follow some of the other suggestions.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2017 3:19 p.m. PST

I live in rare basement territory and I wish I had never seen it. There is a sump pump system and a dehumidifier but we still have incursions of water. Ditto the comments about plastic boxes with lids, shelves off the floor and books placed elsewhere. Good luck.

Steve21 May 2017 3:44 p.m. PST

Pick up a used ping pong table and install good lighting directly over the table. Make sure you install very sturdy shelving, those figs get heavy.

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP21 May 2017 3:44 p.m. PST

Depending on what part of the country you live..
Be prepared for:

1: A sump pump in case of water.
2: A dehumidifier.
3: A space heater.
4: A small fan or AC.

and the constant problems of basements "just collecting "stuff"…."

saltflats192921 May 2017 4:30 p.m. PST

You can get a thermometer that tells your humidity level for a few bucks. I would store your books and rules upstairs.

Dynaman878921 May 2017 5:42 p.m. PST

Water runs downhill, even if the basement doesn't flood naturally one day there WILL be a water leak of some kind. Miniatures are pretty safe from this, anything paper or electronics based not so much. When not gaming I do recommend keeping things in plastic tubs or what I have done is to put plastic sheets overtop the shelves at an angle so the water will miss the things that will be ruined.

I've had three "floods" over the years, one was from Children dumping an entire box of cooked spaghetti down the garbage disposal and not making sure it was out of the pipes before turning the water off, next morning showers… (that was the worst in terms of water volume and damage) and two were from toilet overflow not as much water in those cases but the disgusting factor was off the scale.

Syrinx021 May 2017 7:05 p.m. PST

Large storms can stress your sump pump which if combined with a power outage will ruin your day if you don't have a battery back up. I live in the Midwest so my finished basement is generally cool and dry.

dilettante Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2017 7:13 p.m. PST

What everybody said about water. A friend of mine got flooded recently. Getting rid of the water was a hard days work for us. He lost some books that are (practically) irreplaceable.

AussieAndy Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2017 9:04 p.m. PST

Make sure that your sump pump works properly! We eventually worked out that the arm holding the float on the sump pump in our wine cellar was too long and the float would sometimes jam on the side of the sump. When you have two inches of water on the floor and cardboard boxes of wine stacked six or eight high, you have to deal with it before the whole lot comes crashing down. Not a fun way to spend the evening.

I would also suggest replacing the pump well before the end of its expected life. You don't want a flood to tell you that the pump has given up the ghost.

Ed von HesseFedora22 May 2017 3:53 a.m. PST

Thanks again, everyone.

I've seen no other signs of water and there is not a sump pump. I'm in Kensington, MD (just north of Washington, DC) and the handful of people I know have just looked at me funny when I mention a sump pump.

I already plan on getting rid of cardboard and keeping things off the floor. I'll add the humidity gauge and dehumidifier.

And I see the previous owner has a few ant traps around. I'll get fresh ones of those.

I am quite excited to get my toys out again! They and my books have all been in storage for 16 months.

Thomas O22 May 2017 6:53 a.m. PST

I keep most of my stuff in the basement, have a dehumidifier and never had any problems. This includes books and figures. Having a dehumidifier is the key. I also have a small space heater for the winter, one of those that looks like a radiator.

Fred Mills25 May 2017 12:06 p.m. PST

Hi there,

Much of this has been said above, but as a basement gamer in a region where it rains (and snows) and thaws and rains some more, some thoughts:

1. Keep all storage an inch or two off the floor. Metal is better than wood, and will resist minor water damage better. Watch the metal for rust too – sometimes, very small leaks will over time be visible by tiny rust stains.

2. Do some research on water resistant floor coverings. Carpet and underlay is awful when wet, but usually cheaper than hardwoods to completely replace. Peel and stick carpet tiles can be a good compromise option, or laminate (fake) wood, or even marmolium, another canvas-like composite.

3. A dehumidifier is a must, with an auto shut-off (most now have this). Better yet would be one that drains automatically into a floor drain or sink.

4. A heat source for colder seasons is useful, but not essential.

5. Buy a wet vac (a shop vac that handles water), and get a type that has a hose leading right from the receptacle to the drain. This way you can vacuum water and drain at the same time, without having to life a several-gallon tub to empty it several hundred times if you have a major leak. Believe me, the sight of the hose emptying automatically into the sink or tub as you stand there in your gaiters rueing the day will save your soul. If your area loses power in thunder storms, get a backup generator too, and keep fuel on hand.

6. Keep an eye on the land grading around your house – the planes should always slope away at a modest angle, and keep your gutters/eaves clear and up to scruff. The grade changes imperceptibly over time, especially in flower beds, and even a slight variation, after a downpour, can turn a once-dry basement into a flood zone. Likewise gutters: if water falls right at the foundation over clogged gutters, you have a problem.

7. Finally, if your foundation is exposed on the interior, do a crack check, and fill everything that looks like it could hide an ant. There are easy-to-use injection kits available which can seal these without too much mess or fuss.

Good luck with it. I've had one flood in 30+ years of basement storage, and that was enough to last me a lifetime.

Lord Ashram02 Jun 2017 7:44 a.m. PST

Sump pump, sump pump, sump pump. No question. We've got french drains and two sump pumps, as well as a permanent natural gas generator.

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