You need a specialist who can create a basement space where moisture is kept away from materials that support mould growth. To find if you're dealing with a real pro, ask questions and listen to the answers. Here are four to keep in mind.
What do you do to keep organic materials away from moisture? Mould-prone materials like wood need to be kept dry, and this can be a challenge in floors and exterior walls unless the contractor knows what to do.
What do you do to protect from moisture build-up behind exterior walls before finishing? Even with basements that have a track record of being dry, adding insulation can result in moisture build-up. Additional waterproofing or an impermeable vapour barrier can protect the wall, so ask the contractor how they would do this.
How will you insulate the rim joist area where floor joists meet outside walls? This area is particularly prone to moisture problems. One widely used and proven approach to discouraging mould in this crucial area is to apply high-density spray foam.
May I contact previous clients you've finished basements for? Always ask for names and numbers, both of people who've had recent work done and clients from three or four years ago. Never sign up with a contractor who won't provide references.
The Canadian Home Builders' Association offers free information on how to hire a contractor the smart and safe way. Find more information at www.getitinwriting.ca.