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Old 02-03-2014, 12:10 PM   #1
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Interior Foundation Insulation


Hi! I've been lurking around here for a while and just purchased a older home and I plan to finish the basement over the next couple of weeks. I decided to post here because there I see a LOT of conflict on the correct way to insulate a basement to avoid moisture problems.

About the house:
Its circa 1926 but has a full depth basement with a block wall foundation. According to the neighbor approx. 10 years ago one of the previous owners had water issues in the basement. From what I was told the entire foundation was excavated and sealed/drained from the outside. At the same time there was also an interior french drain installed around the perimeter of the basement. Given how dry the basement is (and the fact that the sump pit doesn't appear to have seen any water recently despite the 100 year flood of last year) I am confident it will stay this way. Also, this home is located in west michigan, plenty of snow in the winter and humidity in the summer. Also, at some point in the past the block walls were covered with mortar, I'm not sure if this is for strength or water issues. It appears someone put a drylok type of pain over the mortar but I can't confirm it is actually drylok.

So, on to the questions...

Firstly, the french drain has a piece of flashing that runs about 2" up the walls to separate the the exterior wall from the slab when they re-poured the french drain. I can peel this flashing back and see dirt and in between the wall and the slab. Should I seal this or is it open for a reason? It seems to me this would invite pests/moisture into the wall cavity if I leave it open.

Secondly...how should I go about doing this? There is a LOT of conflict on the proper location and application of a vapor barrier. My plan (up until I ran into a ton of conflicting info) was to seal the band joists with rigid/expanding foam. Next would be to glue/fasten the rigid foam to the foundation walls, again sealing with tape/foam. Build a standard stud wall (PT bottom plate) in front of the foam. Should I leave a gap between the back of the studs and the foam? Can I build the wall tight to the face of the foam? Next would be to insulate the cavities with unfaced fiberglass and finish with sheet rock. Now...I see some saying plastic vabor barrier on the block wall, others say the foam is more then enough VB. Still other suggest putting plastic on the warm side of the wall under the sheet rock or using face fiberglass and still others suggest plastic on both sides. So really, what is the correct way to install a vapor barrier in this instance?

ANY insight or help on this is appreciated and I will snap a few photos when I am over there working today so you guys can see what I mean about the french drain flashing.

Sorry for the long post, I've tried to include all the required info in one post, if I missed something please ask! Thank you again!

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Old 02-03-2014, 08:51 PM   #2
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Interior Foundation Insulation


Read the posts from the thread called "basement insulation question"

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