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Old 08-19-2012, 07:48 PM   #1
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Basement Moisture Project: Part 1.5

Hi Everyone,

Been working on my basement, and I wanted to get some info and feedback from the pros. I had an old post "here" but I have a new direction I want to take and I think that topic is closed.

Current Basement Floor: Rubber backed carpet (gross), glued to some old vinyl tile (assuming asbestos). The vinyl is attached to the slab with black cutback (also assuming asbestos).

Plan to fix Floor: Rip up the carpet, lay down 6 mil poly vapor barrier on top of the old vinyl tile\glue. Overlap and tape the seams to form sealed floor. Run poly 12" up the walls. Lay down 1" XPS foam insulation and tape\seal\spray foam edges, seams, etc. On top lay 5/8 T&G plywood that is countersunk tapcon'd to the floor. On top of that, rubber\pvc interlocking tiles. 6mm? Hopefully that will keep my ceiling at about 6"5.

Current Walls: Somewhat moldy sheet rock screwed to some old 1970's retro paneling, nailed to some random 1x2s which are nailed into the painted cinder block walls. The cinder block has a pink colored paint (I hope it is paint and not mold...) which is flaking off due to some old water damage. The black\gray on the wall is not mold, it is where the pink paint is peeling\flaking off, and the original cinder block is showing. What I find interesting is that the flaking paint is about as wide as a front door, which happens to be pretty much above that spot. Guess I will find out when I open the ceiling under the door!

Plan to fix walls: Remove everything from walls and go back down to painted cinder block. Steel brush walls and wipe clean. Poly foam board\spray foam the rimjoist. 6 mil poly plastic the walls (Dexter style) then put 2" XPS foam board on the walls. Do I build a 2x4 wall (with trex below sil) here and sheetrock? I saw a 1.5" XPS foam board that has furring strips which I could tapcon to the foundation wall, and then attach the sheet rock to the furring strips. I don't need the walls to be structural, the basement is for cats and storage.

Moisture Situation: The basement is usually a little musty. We have also had very minimal water on the carpet when it rains\floods. The house is pretty well graded and my gutters are clear. I think it may have been the window well and over by one corner, which I am going to need to seal up as well. It could also be behind another wall\corner. I still have 2 more major walls to rip down. I also have some hydraulic cement which I can apply if I find a really leaky spot.

Thanks for the help - looking forward to sealing this basement up for good. I will feel much better about my family's health.

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Last edited by OhmZoned; 08-19-2012 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:15 PM   #2
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I would jackhammer a perimeter drain around the outside wall, leading to a sump pit. Maybe you'll never need a pump, if the water table is low enough the pit alone can deal with some minor infiltration. It's a good location for a dehumidifier too.

Then apply 6 mil to the cinderblock as planned, apply 6 mil to the floor going up the sides as planned, then build partition walls inboard of the perimeter drain. Even though the floor plates will be going on top of the 6 mil, use PT lumber anyway -- when you attach the floor plate to the concrete floor the plastic will be punctured.

I'd insulate the partition walls rather than the cinderblock though. Just IMHO.


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Old 08-24-2012, 11:28 PM   #3
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Poly's risky;

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Old 08-30-2012, 10:30 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by GBR in WA View Post
That is a broad statement, backed by a very complicated article! But still, I appreciate the advice. I read through the article, and while it is a bit over my head, it sounds like the reason I would want to avoid poly is because the concrete needs to evaporate\breath into the basement. Since it is below grade, the water vapor will naturally move from an area of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration. That means water vapor will travel from the ground through the block into my basement. If I put up poly, it prevents the vapor from evaporating into the room, and it will pool up along the poly and eventually build up and cause a moisture problem. Since it is behind poly, there could be mold that forms between the poly and the block wall. Did I get that?

With that information in hand, would it be ok to use the poly and 1" foam on the floor with a 3/4" T&G plywood, and then just 1.5" foamular 250 on the walls with no poly? I thought I read that 2" XPS foam is a vapor barrier. Or would I be better off just skipping the poly all together and control the moisture through some patching of the foundation and a dehumidifier?
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