Many people recognize indoor-outdoor carpets as a great way to accessorize the outdoor space. Whether it is the deck on your backyard or patio, an indoor-outdoor carpet can make the place look and feel cozier. But is indoor outdoor carpet good for the basement?
The answer is ‘yes. Several thousands of homeowners have these carpets in their underground rooms without any mold or mildew problems. The mats are typically made from synthetic materials resistant to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, mold, and mildew. They also have low maintenance requirements making them an easy choice for many people.
If you wonder how a carpet could survive the moisture and seeping water problem down in the basement, this post is for you.
What you need to know about indoor-outdoor carpets
When it comes to the basement, a synthetic rug is your best bet. The material absorbs moisture better and can withstand humidity and underground water without harboring mold and mildew.
Basements tend to be damp since they are underground. They also naturally have more humidity than other rooms in any building because of the limited airflow down there. To cover the basement floor, you must therefore choose a material that can withstand heightened moisture levels.
Synthetic fibers are breathable. They can release much of the moisture – avoiding the risk of mold or mildew forming in the carpet or under it.
Most synthetic broadlooms available today also have a synthetic backing material for moisture resistance, added insulation, and extra comfort underfoot. When buying, ensure you double-check to confirm the carpet indeed has a synthetic backing.
What is the best type of indoor-outdoor carpet for a basement?
As we have mentioned, synthetic carpet is the best choice for a basement due to its high breathability. Breathability means that the carpet will not retain moisture the way natural fibers do. This aspect helps prevent mold and mildew from forming in this high humidity environment.
All synthetic carpets are not the same. There are currently four major types of synthetic fiber used in carpeting. These are olefin (polypropylene), nylon, polyester, and the latest member of this group, triexta.
Polypropylene (also referred to as olefin) is a durable, stain-resistant carpeting material resembling wool in texture. Because of its wool-like characteristic, olefin is quite comfortable to walk on.
Olefin has intricate knitting in its structure, which helps prevent clumping. It is also a highly affordable and water-resistant option for your basement carpeting needs.
Because of its unique weaving, polypropylene stands well against dirt and debris and will resist damage from water, mold, and mildew. It is also unlikely to fade, but direct sunlight can weaken its fibers.
Since basements do not typically experience any direct sunlight, polypropylene should be a good, inexpensive choice.
Unlike nylon and a few other fibers, olefin does not suffer from issues of static electricity. It does not, however, hold up well against too much foot traffic. The material is also vulnerable to oil. This characteristic makes it an inappropriate choice for locations where oily substances may spill.
Unlike olefin, nylon is ideally suited to high-traffic areas. It is highly durable and affordable. This floor covering material has a firm texture and will naturally resist dirt and fraying.
Nylon is relatively easy to clean as dirt and debris do not get caught up within its fibers. Most standard household cleaning methods will get the job done pretty fast. It is, therefore, an ideal choice for basements where routine maintenance is not a daily event.
Although nylon requires treatment for stain resistance, it is an excellent choice for spill-prone areas and homes with pets.
Because it is low-cost, durable, and resilient, nylon is currently the most popular carpeting option for residential and commercial establishments.
It is your best bet if you are looking for longevity. Keep in mind, however, that nylon produces a lot of static electricity. This is the only major downside to this fiber.
Polyester is naturally resistant to spills, stains, and moisture. The fibers do not fade and will hold up to stains without requiring treatment. As such, they are an ideal choice for basements where stains are a big concern.
Polyester carpets are soft and recyclable, making them among the most eco-friendly synthetic flooring materials.
The fiber is also durable and fairly easy to clean. Standard cleaning methods such as brushing and vacuuming should get dirt and debris out of the carpet with ease.
On the downside, a polyester carpet tends to be thinner than Triexta or nylon – and will look flat after a few months’ use. Also, the rug requires more frequent cleaning than nylon. Any messes that are left to stay on the carpet will clump up and mess it up.
This is the newest synthetic carpet fiber and the best overall. It is as durable as nylon, with the excellent stain and moisture resistance of polyester – only much softer.
If you are looking for a soft, high-quality floor cover that will stand up to high amounts of foot traffic in your basement, then Triexta is the carpet for you.
The premium features of Triexta come with a corresponding more-than-average price attached. The carpet will set you back a more significant amount of dough than any of the other cheaper options.
All said, the best type of indoor-outdoor carpet for a basement just depends on what you plan to do with the basement.
Overall, a nylon carpet is durable and resilient but is not adequately stain- and moisture-resistant. This makes it an ideal choice for a reasonably dry basement used for general entertainment.
A nylon carpet won’t cut it for a basement with a lot of humidity and moisture problems. Nylon will also be a wrong choice if you have small children or pets frequenting your basement. These two groups are frolicsome and notorious for causing spills and stains – all of which will not sit well with the fiber.
If you expect a high likelihood of spills and staining, polypropylene (olefin) should make a prudent choice.
Consider going for polyester if you don’t mind a flat-looking carpet. This carpet is ideal for a basement used mainly as a storage area and nothing much else. They are the cheapest of all synthetic carpets and should help you save money on your purchase.
If you’ll be spending a lot of entertainment time in the basement and you don’t mind spending more money, then consider buying a Triexta carpet. It will work best in all aspects and give you the best bang for your bucks.
What are the best carpets for the basement?
Now that we know what to look for when shopping for indoor-outdoor carpets, let’s get down to some specific brands in the market.
Shaw is a leading carpet manufacturer that should be top on your list of brands when shopping for a waterproof carpet. Shaw LifeGuard is a waterproof carpet with a 100-percent resistance to leakage. Water from underneath the basement will not seep through the carpet. Neither will spills on the surface soak the carpet or leak underneath it.
This is the other carpet brand that comes very close to Shaw LifeGuard in terms of resistance to spills. Tigressa H2O features a unique backing that keeps all liquids from seeping through it. With this carpet, you are sure that moisture will not affect your padding and damage your carpet.
Is indoor-outdoor carpet mold resistant?
Most indoor-outdoor carpets are made out of synthetic materials that are mold and mildew-resistant. These synthetic materials vary, however, from one carpet to the other. Different carpets will therefore have different levels of resistance to mold and mildew.
The basement is often the most humid part of a home due to insufficient airflow. Being underground means that it lacks exposure to direct sunlight.
Basements may also experience leaking or flooding as water moves through the concrete floor from the walls or underneath.
Unless you solve the flooding problem before installing a carpet in this underground room, the water may become too much for the rug to weather. A large quantity of water will damage even the most water-resistant carpet.
Mold and mildew can pop up in a water-resistant carpet if the moisture exceeds its (carpet’s) threshold.
You might not be able to keep moisture out of your basement, but you can prevent it from destroying your floor cover with a simple workaround. One way is to buy marine carpet backing and install it alongside your carpet in the wet basement.
Alternatively, you can install ceiling fans in your basement and keep them running to circulate air and reduce the humidity. Less humidity equals reduced chances of mold and mildew.
Do I need a vapor barrier under the carpet in the basement?
To have a dry, mold-free basement floor, consider having a vapor barrier before installing a carpet. This will keep the floor free of any persistent moisture that would provide a foothold for mold and mildew.
Care tips for Indoor-outdoor carpet for the basement?
By now, you know some of the many benefits of indoor-outdoor carpets and their valuable features. While these carpets can be durable and resilient, they still need regular care and maintenance to entirely live up to their purpose.
A big part of ensuring that the carpet in the basement lasts long is to take measures that can prevent damage from occurring in the first place. Here are some steps to help protect and preserve the rug.
- Prevent the buildup of dust, dirt, and mildew through regular vacuuming or shaking it out to remove dust and loose dirt.
- Clean spills as soon as they happen or once you become aware of them.
- Watch out for insects and any other pests that might invade the carpeted area.
- Follow the recommended washing criteria on each rag. This information should be available on the care tag attached to the seams of the carpet when you buy it.
- If you choose to roll up the carpet and keep it away during a wet season, it will help to cover or wrap it in a lightweight fabric that protects it from insects or pests while allowing it to breathe.
While most indoor-outdoor carpets are waterproof and stain-resistant, they are just not immune to getting dirty.
Regular staining can be detrimental to the well-being of your carpet. Some, such as polyester carpets, have an exceptionally high affinity for staining and dirt. And accumulated stains will damage your good rag.
Oil-based spills are the worst enemy to most water-resistant carpets. While the indoor-outdoor carpets will weather a significant amount of water without experiencing mold and mildew problems, they will break under the effect of oil-based spills.
Oil clings to the carpet fibers giving it a dingy, dirty color. These sport will trap dust and more dirt and get more pronounced with time.
To remove the stain, use a suitable stain-removing agent or mixture of water and vinegar to spot-clean it. The stain is likely to get harder to remove over time, so be sure to check to see if it has come out after one attempt. If not, you may have to repeat the process a few more times.
Hose down the carpet
You will not want to wash your carpet every other time, but you definitely should deep clean the carpet in your basement every six months.
To deep clean the carpet, you will need to take it outside and use your garden hose to spray it off. While at it, you’ll need to follow the care directions that come with the rug to make sure you are caring for and maintaining it in the recommended way.
Not all indoor-outdoor carpets require the same cleaning technique. Some will require the use of bleach, while others will not. So always pay attention to these care instructions before you proceed to clean the carpet.
Clearly, indoor-outdoor carpets are great for the basement. However, choosing one will require more than just selecting a pretty-looking option from the nearest local store.
The right carpet will be one that is in sync with both your carpeting needs and the condition of your basement.
It is our humble hope that this guide helps point you in the right direction.