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Old 10-06-2011, 03:15 PM   #1
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insulating basement walls

The top half of my basement walls have the insulation wrap and I am wondering if I can just add more to do the bottom half of the wall. Also I am wondering if there is another way to do a subfloor other then the 2'x2' tiles


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Old 10-07-2011, 01:40 PM   #2
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I'm not sure what you mean by insulation "wrap" which is a term usually applied to duct, pipe, or water heaters. The very top of your basement wall is likely above grade and the building codes now require some amount of insulation down to a point below the frost line (depths vary by code). This is because a lot of heat can be conducted in or out affecting the occupied space above. Below that point the ground temperature remains relatively constant year round and further insulation is not required for unconditioned spaces. You can add insulation but, depending on the installation, this could semi-seal the main basement wall which I assume is masonry. If the basement masonry walls are not 100% waterproof, you may end up with mold & mildew problems.

I recommend that you find someone with experience to actually see your condition first-hand before deciding what to do. I say this because these DIY forums are rife with homeowners who have "finished out the basement" and end up with all kinds of moisture problems. Most basements were never designed to be finished out. The outside surface of the masonry basement walls is usually damp-proofed with an asphaltic coating. A low level of moisture still finds its way in through minor flaws in this damp-proofing or through the concrete floor slab. In an unfinished basement this moisture evaporates into the air and slowly migrates back outside via air movement or vertically into the conditioned space above, presenting a slightly dank odor and cold feeling in the basement. If these wall or floor surfaces are covered up this moisture becomes trapped and if any organic material is present (wood, paper, paint, etc) mold and/or mildew have their ideal growing environment.

I don't understand what you mean by a 2x2 tile subfloor. Do you mean a floor finish over the basement floor? Is the 2x2 tile vinyl, ceramic, etc?



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