Many homeowners, including ones who have lived in their homes for years, claim that they've never "had water. Most of the time this is followed with "well, I've never seen water in my basement."
This leads to a false sense of security and tends to follow with finishing off the basement and then in time, a call to their local waterproofer asking for help astonished that this happened to them.
There are two facts about basements that you must come to terms with if you are planning on remodeling or finishing your foundation off:
1.) All concrete can and will crack.
2.) All basics can and will ever leak or flood.
Grimm news, I know, but it's important for you to know the nature of the basement before spending boat loads of cash to make it exactly the way you like it.
Taking these two facts into consideration we can look at long-term solutions to protect your new basement area from problems.
Concrete cracking happens because of many reasons. Some of these reasons appear during the forming process of the walls. Minor problems with the mixture, wall forms, or too little time allotted for the concrete to dry are all things that can cause cracks in the future. Stress, land shifting, and natural settling of the foundation are more reasons that this can happen. Cracks should be addressed and foundation issues should be addressed before even moving forward.
All basements before they're finished require moisture control, period. A full moisture control system will typically consist of something to address the walls, air circulation, drainage for water / moisture from under the floor, and a sump pump to remove it all from the basement.
Vapor Barriers come in a variety of styles to, not only protect from moisture transfer from the foundation walls, but can also help to increase some of the R-value of the insulation your new walls provide you.
If you're finishing the basement off a pump pump area can be neatly hidden away from view and you'll have to protection of having moisture and water channeled and removed from your basement. This will insure that your things stay dry, comfortable and most importantly in their original condition.