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Old 06-20-2013, 11:08 AM   #1
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Drywalling a basement... should I leave a gap at bottom of drywall?


Hello friends. I was just about to repaint my basement, which was covered in 1/2" thick wood paneling, until I realized the one baseboard was not sticking properly. Hit it with the nail gun, nothing. Pulled it back, rotten... I guess some water had gotten down in here prior to us moving in last year. At any rate, I started over. I ripped everything off the walls and I'm currently drylok'ing the heck out of the concrete walls in preparation.

I am going to be putting back in 1/2" mold resistant drywall, along with thin wood paneling. Then I intend to paint everything as I like the painted paneling look. Which actually that alone brings up a side question. Do you need to sand paneling prior to priming/painting? Just wasn't sure if the smooth surface was too much for primer to grasp.

Anyway, on to the real question. I plan to be running some sort of baseboard around the bottom of the walls. I got to wondering, would it be smart of me to shorten the drywall a bit? Like should I cut the drywall sheets so they are not touching the ground, and are actually suspended off of the ground by an inch? Two inches? Something like that?

Reason I ask is, in the event that we do get water in the basement, I wasn't sure if having drywall touching the ground was logical, as it may act like a wick and pull some moisture up. Likewise, the baseboard would easily cover it, as the stuff I'm planning on is going to be a basic design, but rather tall stuff (4 inches or so).

Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Old 06-20-2013, 11:26 AM   #2
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Drywalling a basement... should I leave a gap at bottom of drywall?


It is standard practice to install the rock a 1/2" off the floor.
So yes, make sure it doesn't touch the floor.
Are you replacing the framing also?
If so, be sure it doesn't make contact with the brick walls.

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Old 06-20-2013, 12:09 PM   #3
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Drywalling a basement... should I leave a gap at bottom of drywall?


Just curious... what is the measurement from the floor to the ceiling drywall sheets right now?
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:31 PM   #4
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Drywalling a basement... should I leave a gap at bottom of drywall?


Quote:
Originally Posted by roasted View Post
I am going to be putting back in 1/2" mold resistant drywall...
don't forget the dehumidifier.
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:33 PM   #5
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Drywalling a basement... should I leave a gap at bottom of drywall?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie T View Post
Just curious... what is the measurement from the floor to the ceiling drywall sheets right now?
If memory serves me, right around 85 inches, so around 7 feet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post
don't forget the dehumidifier.
Indeed. I've had it running around the clock for a few days now. The humidity level is well under control now. I believe there is a way to set up the one I have so it kicks on when the humidity reaches a certain level and runs until it drops. Couple that with a hose into our sump pump and we should have a decent around-the-clock solution in that regard.
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:04 PM   #6
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Drywalling a basement... should I leave a gap at bottom of drywall?


Dri-Loc on the insides of the walls is all but useless to stop moisture from getting in.
It needs to be addressed outside.
Grade that runs away from the foundation, working gutters with down spouts leading away from the foundation.
Sealing up any place plumbing and power come through.
No mulch pilled up against the foundation.
No flower beds forming pond.
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:52 PM   #7
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Drywalling a basement... should I leave a gap at bottom of drywall?


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Dri-Loc on the insides of the walls is all but useless to stop moisture from getting in.
It needs to be addressed outside.
Grade that runs away from the foundation, working gutters with down spouts leading away from the foundation.
Sealing up any place plumbing and power come through.
No mulch pilled up against the foundation.
No flower beds forming pond.
I happen to agree with you. I'm only drylok'ing the interior walls due to the crazy good deal I got on it (5 bucks a gallon marked down from 25/gal). It was one of those "why not?" things. If it'll increase my chances of no water coming in by even 2%, then 5 bucks a gallon is not a lot to swallow at all. Especially considering the walls are already opened up, ya know?

I definitely need to address some landscaping issues outside. The one flowerbed is a bit lower on the left than the right when looking at the house, and on the left side it doesn't have a slope at all. If anything, it slopes downward as you get closer to the house. So yeah, I definitely need to pick up some fill and get that taken care of. Gutters are another issue too, as I'm not sure they are far enough away from the house to begin with.

Either way, I have some work to do outside. The interior sealant was just an add-on considering how cheap I got it. I figured a little extra insurance, no matter how minute, couldn't hurt.
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:41 AM   #8
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Drywalling a basement... should I leave a gap at bottom of drywall?


One last question... I'm going to be putting up the walls later today. It looks like the previous owners used some sort of furring strip. It's like 1.5 inch wide and looked pretty dried out. Should I be using this exact stuff? I'm not replacing all of it, just some of the pieces that were overly damaged.

I went out to Lowes and couldn't find anything like what I was after. I do have some inch wide pine pieces though that might be doable, but I'm not sure how much they would stand up behind a wall. I keep thinking that there's a reason this kind of stuff was used. Am I correct on that assumption, or is pine safe?

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