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atm 04-11-2009 06:24 AM

Help -Tar Paper on basement walls
I am currently 80% complete on framing the basement walls. Originally, the basement was halfway insulated by the builder. We removed the original half insulation and built the 2x4 wood framing around. The plan is to then use the R12 batt then 6mm poly to close the framing.

I was told that I need tar paper between the 2x4 wood and the concrete to separate contact between concrete and wood is some areas where the stud touches the concrete. I still have the opportunity to insert the tar paper at this stage without major rework.

However I have been getting mixed advise on whether or not to use tar paper between the concrete wall and the 2x4 wood stud framing.

My questions:
1. Do I need the tar paper?
2. How much of the wall do i need to cover? From the top sil all the way down or just from the ground level all the way down or just the top half part?
3. how would I attach the tar paper to the concrete wall.

Please help...

Grampa Bud 04-11-2009 07:52 AM

Trying to put tar paper on the wall after the stud wall is in is like trying to install insulation in a car seat after the whole thing has been installed in the car. It sounds like your friend just tried to give you a possible solution. Normally when a concrete wall is to be covered you must protect your wood and insulation and drywall etc. from moisture so visquene is tacked up over the concrete portion at the least or the whole wall if you are as lazy as I am. The tar paper would help but everywhere the paper isn,t the moisture will come thru and work at rotting wood and mildewing everythingelse.

Baron 04-11-2009 08:09 AM

If you have a moisture problem you had better fix that first, as tar paper wont fix it, just relocate it.

If you don't we always hang plastic along the outside foundations of all cellar work or seal it with a concrete sealer. Try not to put your studs against the outside walls and leave an air space should suffice.

Use metal studs next time.

Vent the space behind the walls if possible.

atm 04-11-2009 08:54 PM

Thanks for your response! I don't have a leak problem. I am located in Ontario, Canada. Today, I checked with a guy at Home Depot and he indicated that the Tar paper is no longer required by code.

I am going to make sure that there is adequate gap between the concrete and the 2x4 wood...

Thanks for the replies!

Gary in WA 04-11-2009 09:22 PM

Here you go, and why: Be safe, GBR

joel v. 04-11-2009 09:26 PM

I would still be placing something in there. You want to protect the batt insulation from ever coming in contact with the concrete. When we did our basement we used Typar. It's a bit better then tar paper because it's one solid piece.

askari 04-18-2009 11:59 PM

hey atm,

where do you live? Which home depot did you go to? i asked one of the home depot guys about the tar paper also and he said don't need it.. apparently according to the building codes it is required. was in the same boat as you and put up the framing up first and then had to put the tar paper.

atm 04-22-2009 11:06 AM

Thank you for your responses. I have decided to put Typar between the concrete basement wall to avoid having contact with the 2x4 and insulation.

I also called the city to check if it is required. The answer is that Typar or Tar paper is not required.
However, an HVAC guy me that currently, he is seeing new home construction with finished basement have tar paper on the walls. I also have different contractors come in and some recommend having the paper some say its not needed....

My question to you guys, if i use Typar, which side of the paper should touch the concrete? What should I use to secure the paper to the concrete?


joel v. 04-22-2009 01:32 PM

The black side should face into the room once the wall up and the wording to the concrete wall. Just like a on the outside of a house.

zippy_1973 09-28-2009 11:41 PM

To answer the question "How do you put tar paper on a concrete wall?" You can staple the paper to the woodsill that is sitting on the concrete basement wall. Then let the tar paper hang down to the floor.

Next question "How do you hang up the tar paper after the wall is already framed?" The rolls are usually 3' wide. cut the tar paper the same length as the distance from the wood sill to the basement floor, then wedge the 3 foot strips of tar paper in behind the studded wall and staple it to to the sill. Over lap the strips of tar paper by about an inch to insure moisture doesn't touch the insulation. Then frame the wall (if it isn't already) then add your insulation batts as well as the Super 6 Vapour barrier and drywall.

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