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jefferyscott 12-27-2011 09:46 PM

Insulating Basement with known moisture
Thank you for taking a look at this and any advice.

I have a mostly dry basement, but there is at least some moisture issue on every basement wall. Home is waterproofed (a few years before our recent purchase of it) from exterior, but issues remain. Live in NE Ohio, so I have no hopes we'll ever by 100% moisture free.

I am refinishing the basement with several distinct functions in mind. The most important is a recording studio / music area. I will be putting up walls to mark off this area, and these walls will be cavity filled with Rockwool for sound control. I am aprehensive to use the exterior walls, or even insulate them and then build stud walls directly over the XPS/foam.

My thought was to leave a space between the studio walls (and other walls, as they mark off areas) and provide for the free flow of air along the exterior basemetn walls. Perhaps even put a fan system in place with a humidistat in the space.
Still, I would like to insulate the walls. Although the moisture is minimal (some efflourescense in some spots, and the drylok pushed away in a few, and some flat out obvious darkening at the wall/floor seam), I don't feel good about sealing it behind some foam just to buy some R value.

Anyone done this / heard of it / think it is a good idea to compromise?


jefferyscott 12-28-2011 03:58 PM

I've done some more reading on this topic, and think that it will be best to build the spaces within the space of the basement, and not allow any spaces where air can get locked into a space and condense.

cibula11 12-28-2011 04:11 PM

I wouldn't seal off anything that is getting moisture. Take a piece of aluminum foil and tape it on all sides to the basement wall. Come back the next day and see if there's moisture on the side that was against the wall. Maybe the moisture isn't coming from your walls. If it has been waterproofed I'd wonder why that isn't working.

pkrapp74 12-28-2011 05:53 PM

Is the "moisture" a seeping through the walls, or a buildup of moisture in the basement?

Gary in WA 12-29-2011 09:55 PM

You have the correct idea in your second post, let the moisture through in a controlled manner to dry to the inside:


jefferyscott 01-11-2012 11:12 AM

Thank you both for the replies.
I was traveling a bit and ignoring the basement project.

I've done some work in Sketchup and will post here soon for input.

I've tested the floor with duct tape / plastic and its dry.
As for the walls - there are two spots where moisture continues to be noted. One is a very small (2x2 inches) spot on floor/wall seam, and another area in a corner joint. Dampness runs from that corner along one wall x1 row high and x3 blocks.
[Neighbors inform me that the previous owner seemed to yearly "be doing something with the cleanout" at that area of the house. Somehow he forgot to mention that (he also signed a disclosure that there were NO moisture / damp / water issues. In Ohio we call that lying)]

I'll do the test on a wall surface tonight in a few spots. See what transpires... or perspires.

cleveman 01-11-2012 05:01 PM

Try to find out who "waterproofed" the home on the exterior and send them a letter thanking them for not insulating it while they were there, or putting in a drainage system.

jefferyscott 01-13-2012 10:59 AM

...and thank you for that lead in.

The guy who did the waterproofing (and supposedly laid new drains) is not IN JAIL. And the business is gone. Disolved.
Suppose there is still some insurance on it? It wasn't that long ago that it was sone.

They did a full excavation of the exterior, too. Why wouldn't they do it right and add some insulation? I dug up some of it b/c there was water seeping into a corner - turns out there was a foundation crack and as I fixed that I found that the 4" gutter drain pipe was not connected to the drain tile. It had come loose and was draining hundreds of square feet of roof into my foundation.

I'm going to get on a roll here, I can tell.

The info on the house also touted that ALL NEW DRAINS from the house to street. But the drain that I found a few feet underground (the one mentioned above) tied into a CLAY drain tile. They poured a new driveway, and supposedly put in all new drains. Hmmm.. why would they put in new PVC from the downspout ... as well as all new PVC for footer drains... but put in new clay drains? THEY WOULDN'T, right? In Ohio, that is called LYING.

Getting irriated. :furious: Just typing about it is raising the blood pressure.

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