If you're a wine lover who happens to have an unfinished basement in your home, you may be toying with the idea of converting it into a wine cellar. This is an excellent idea, but there are several things you should know about turning your basement into an optimal environment for storing and aging your favorite wines. Following are four of them:
Waterproof Your Basement
Although the art of aging wine requires a certain level of ambient humidity, too much humidity can have a negative effect on the quality of your wine. Waterproofing your basement provides your wine cellar with a blank slate in which you can adjust humidity levels accordingly. Also, an overly humid basement contributes to the development of household mold and mildew colonies as well as weakens your foundation and makes it more susceptible to erosion. Keep in mind that there are various basement waterproofing techniques designed to fit different situations. For instance, if you live in a relatively dry area, you may be able to get away with just waterproofing the interior walls. However, exterior waterproofing may be advisable if your region experiences fairly humid weather.
Insulate Your Basement
Proper insulation is another necessary component of creating a proper environment in which to store wine. Your basement will experience fewer temperature fluctuations due to outdoor weather conditions, saving you money on household utility costs along with providing your wine with a better environment -- wine should be stored in areas with consistent temperatures. Insulation that includes a moisture barrier will help keep your basement from becoming too humid if you live in an area with high levels of atmospheric humidity.
Use Non-Toxic Paint
Use Zero-Voc paint to protect your wine from being ruined by off-gassing -- this will protect the health of you and your family as well. Keep in mind that most basements don't have ventilation, so it's exceedingly important to keep toxin levels down in these environments. Also, make sure that any painted fixtures you install were also painted with Zero-Voc paint.
Install LED Lighting
LED lighting doesn't create its own heat, which helps keep room temperatures consistent. Direct heat can damage wine quickly, and incandescent light bulbs can become hot in as little as three minutes -- if they're too close to the wine, they can cause it to literally cook even in a short period of time.
Your local basement waterproofing services can help you get off to the right start on creating the wine cellar of your dreams.