Music room in the basement and the inevitable

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by gusfinley, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. gusfinley

    gusfinley Tele-Holic

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    Like the title says, my music room is in the basement and basements are well known for their ability to hold water at the least convenient times.

    My electrics, amps and PA gear are down there and I want to give a little buffer should something go awry.

    I was thinking of building a 12 - 18 inch "stage" and setting my guitar cases and amps on it to give some time if water starts rising to get them moved and deal with the problem.

    Has anybody done this? Or if you had a flood how deep was it and what survived?

    I sure would appreciate your answers!
     
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  2. boop

    boop Tele-Meister

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    What about those heavy duty shelving units? One set of those would get a lot of gear off the floor.
     
  3. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

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    I would also look at insuring your stuff. You can insure several thousand dollars worth of equipment for a few hundred dollars a year...and be covered not only in a flood, fire or robbery at home, but if they are damaged or stolen at a gig. Small price for peace of mind.

    I also second Boop's suggestion on heavy duty shelving 3-4' or higher off the floor.
     
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  4. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    The platform makes perfect sense, cheap and effective. Add one of those flood alert monitors to the mix as well, it will actually notify you via phone if there is any active flooding. That can save you valuable response time. Oh, and build that platform away from the water heater as those are the most common flood makers.
     
  5. gusfinley

    gusfinley Tele-Holic

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    I have a tankless water heater, hopefully those are a little better at not flooding. I believe that my gear is insured, but some of it is not easily replaceable ( limited editions, vintage spec repros, etc.) I ran my insurance guy through the ringer asking him all sorts of questions and we seemed pretty well convered.
     
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  6. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    Tankless is a good thing, so are exposed pipes. I mentioned it in another thread, but after doing flood work for more than a decade, I refuse to ever have a finished basement. I want bare floors and exposed pipes to not only deal with a flood, but to prevent them.
     
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  7. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I would consider installing a floor trap with a auto electric trash pump if I used a basement that was at risk of flooding. If there is enough ceiling height you could just float a new concrete floor over the plumbing for it with fall towards the floor trap.
    You could probably rig something up yourself for under $500 bucks in materials.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
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  8. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I don't think I've ever been in a house in Oz with a basement.... not around here anyway..
     
  9. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    In the general vicinity of my house are hundreds and hundreds (and hundreds) of musicians/hipsters/artists .
    Most of them also have collections of one sort or another.
    About 5 years ago right now, a lot of them found out why having the stuff you dig most in your basement is never a good idea .

    Many, many inches of rain in a matter of a couple hours and the next day ?

    Silvertone guitars and albums and monster movie stuff and drag racing posters , etc, piled on curbs all over the city.

    I biked by with my son the next day and saw a 60’s Harmony “Deluxe-ish” amp that had clearly been in the drink up to the speakers and was able to rescue that, but most things were completely ruined.

    In answer to your question - Most areas had only a foot to a couple feet of water in the basement.

    But, plenty of places due east of us folks could only walk down the basement steps maybe five steps. 5-7 feet of water in their basements.
     
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  10. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Milk cartons..enough time
     
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  11. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Holic

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    I simply dont use the basement for any of that stuff. Now, you could do some finishing and integrate features into the walls to help get you what you want.

    Ensure water runs away from the foundation outside the house. Replace small junk glass panel windows with glass block windows (with or without vents, they run south of $100 each, and you can typically get premade ones or custom sized ones by the block. Also, it's less work for thieves to break in the front door than chip away at glass block then get cut on it. I digress...)
    You can seal the floors (or do slightly more to floors) and walls, then foam and frame the walls. At this point, look into your floors. If you dont have vertical room to do what @Chunkocaster was talking about, before sealing and framing you can at least try and make sure the floor grades away from wherever youuse for music. The more square feet you have to work with, the more gradual you can go, and the easier floor options become.
    Anyway, once you put the foam on the walls and frame them, design in elevated risers for amps and plan electrical outlets around it.(easier in basements than elsewhere;) ) you could make it excessively strong by using the same anchors and treated lumber as you do for the bottom of the walls for base of the riser.
    The neat cheater way to "finish" just the music part would be run the electric, add insulation to the walls nearest the music area, and instead of drywall, use that fake brick paneling stuff that's like 1/4" thick for attaching to the framework and plywood of the riser. Do whatever after you seal the floor. If you ever sell the house, you now have a "partially finished entertainment room" in your basement.

    Not sure about radon in your area, but sealing and putting something else on the floor may be important. I have $60 in foam "puzzle edge" excercise mats covering the kids side of my basement.

    You get more out of a partly finished basement than a slightly more finished attic. I might have mentioned more than you wanted, but you can probably get away with just parts.
    Good luck, and don't take too many risks with your gear.
     
  12. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Sump pump.. located near the hot water ideally. Mine is like 3-4' from the hot water heater but I don't know that it guarantees anything if the hot water heater blew.

    Our basement is like 90% finished. Walls, insulation, rug, HVAC, etc.. but the ceiling is not plastered and the support posts are not drywalled in.

    I put my amp on a cabinet I built. My sheet music & books go on one shelf, second shelf up has a plastic container that I have cables in, extra pedals go on that shelf too. Then the amp goes on top of the cabinet, which also elevates it to sound better for me.

    I still have my pedal board on the floor. Guitars are in their hard cases on the floor as well. I do need to build something to get the guitars off the floor. We have an electric drum kit and that is not going anywhere but it is up on it's stands so probably wouldn't get super damaged. Same thing, we have a Yamaha keyboard but it's off the floor.

    Between the sump pump and history with our basement my guitars would be fine if I caught the flooding quick. Our basement is unlikely to do anything except flood 1/4" and it would require really horrific weather combined with sump pump failure and/or power outage. The problem is 1/4" of water would ruin the carpet, drywall, insulation, etc.. (it happened right before we moved in).

    We have some couches in the basement.. if I go away from home even for the weekend the guitars in their hard cases and pedal board get unplugged and put on the couch and I pick all the cables up off the floor. I think I'd be fine with that even if the sump pump failed and we had a little flood while I was gone.

    Also I have a big dehumidifier that runs continuously to keep the basement at 45% relative humidity all summer. It drains into the sump so we never have to empty it. In the winter humidity is not a problem cause the basement is heated, and we have forced hot air that is really great at sucking every last drop of moisture out of the air. We actually have to run a humidifier in the winter.

    There are risks.. but playing in the finished basement I can play electric at 10PM and not bother anyone. If my wife or son are asleep they're on the 2nd floor, the 1st floor is empty and they can't hear me. If they're on the first floor they can't hear me playing my acoustic. Being able to play like that is worth the risk.
     
  13. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Friend of Leo's

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    I guess it depends on where your house is, proximity to water, and elevation, but in my experience you can do a lot to minimize the risk of damage from getting <1 inch of water in the basement, which can be a common amount of water to have to deal with. Just enough to ruin the carpets, but not enough for galoshes or hip waders.

    Like @boop said above, get a few of those 60"x30" shelves from Home Depot or wherever for $40 each, and stack stuff. Get a cheap coffee table from a yard sale or Goodwill, and mod it into something you can shelve full guitar cases on, maybe leaning against the wall. Put the power strips up on the shelves or screw them 6" up the wall from the floor.

    Building a stage might be a good idea too! Or even just 2x4's with some plywood on them to bring things up 3 inches off the floor. (I obviously hate building stuff.)

    That will easily help with <1 inch of water. But feet of water though, I don't know what you can do except don't keep the good stuff in the basement.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  14. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Friend of Leo's

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    I have the dehumidifier sitting right next to the humidifier and it always reminds me of that Letterman Show skit:
     
  15. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Even if you had a 50 - 80 gallon water tank that completely failed, the hot water tank is the least of most people’s worries as far as basement water is concerned.

    Desert people excepted (usually...)
     
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  16. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Meister

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    I think I'm lucky... I have no basement, and my house is built on a rocky outcrop.

    A friend of mine had a similar problem as you, gusfinley : 40cm height of water... It was awful.
    We saved what we could and he stored it at my house extension, dry and vented, for a time.

    Fortunately, he was aware of the water possible intrusion, so few stuff of importance was on the floor : he is a model train collector, his network is at a table height, and most of his models are stored on surround wall shelves above.

    So yes : surelevations and waterproof shelves make sense ! :cool:

    -tbln
     
  17. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    The plastic milk crates work well. If they are tall enough for your flood anyway. Saved my bacon about 15 years ago when it flooded. Man, once the water started getting to the level of our property it happened fast, real fast. I went out there in the shop and started putting milk crates down and amps etc on them. The work benches were loaded with stuff too. The bigger crates can be put on end allowing you maybe 20" ? of height. Or stacked.
     
  18. gusfinley

    gusfinley Tele-Holic

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    Yes, that is one good thing about having the music room on the basement. I use to play donw there a lot at night until my wife mentioned she could hear me through the vents while the baby was sleeping.

    I just reworked the setup down there and a few months ago did a test of playing a concert quite loud on youtube while all the kids were going to sleep. My older kids said they could hear something but they were able to fall asleep. Now I am excited to get things going again down there music wise.

    Sadly, there just isn't another space in the house that makes more sense than the basement at the moment...
     
  19. gusfinley

    gusfinley Tele-Holic

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    I do have an "under the stairs" closet the is almost good for nothing. I have considered using the upper portion of that closet as a storage area for the guitar cases. That would keep them a good 4-5 feet off of the ground. It would also make the rest of the closet certainly good for nothing!
     
  20. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    Another vote for a bunch of milk crates, or even wood pallets. Used with an "alarm/alert" system, like milspec mentioned, you'd get an early "heads up".
    But I would also be concerned about the moisture or humidity level in an "unconditioned" space anyway. I've seen amps especially that had never been flooded, but were rusty and corroded internally. Can you at least run a dehumidifier down there?
     
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