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Old 09-18-2009, 12:09 PM   #1
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Insulating a painted basement wall


I have Drilock with top coats on my basement walls which are comprised of cinderblock. I am building a stud wall 1" away from the cinderblock. There will be sheetrock over the studs so as to form a wall of a game room. I want to put fiberglass insulation between the studs to keep the game room 'warm' & more constant in temp. (The basement are varies only from 60F in winter to 75F in summer.) The basement is very dry. The game room will have A/C & heat air ducting. Having sealed the cinderblock I would like to know a) if I need faced insulation & if so should the facing be against the sheetrock or nearest the (painted) cinderblock? I have read that having barriers both sides of the insulation is a bad thing & that appears to be what I have since I have painted cinderblock! b) Is it OK to use the 'yellow' moisture-impervious sheetrock with all this faced/unfaced insulation/painted cinderblock? c) on the room walls that are not against cinderblock, but rather are simply free standing, what do I do there if it is different? Finally d) which side of the moisture-impervious sheetrock should face the inside of the game room? Hope someone can help here, since there seems to be contradicting advise everywhere!
Thank you very much.

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Old 09-19-2009, 06:14 AM   #2
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Insulating a painted basement wall


you should also install 2" rigid foam insulation against the block wall. This keeps the wall warm enough in the winter to prevent condensation on the block wall and also provides a capillary block in the summer to prevent moisture entering the wall cavity. You use of dryloc will not hurt the wall. Use the wood studs (metal studs would be better) and kraft faced insulation with the paper towards the inside of the room. The drywall face is also towards the inside of the room. Do not install any plastic vapor barrier. The kraft faced insulation works more as a vapor retarder, some moisture can still move through it.

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Old 09-19-2009, 07:12 AM   #3
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Insulating a painted basement wall


I don't know wher you are located so it is hard to address your insulation/vapour barrier questions without knowing your local practices and codes, but what you seem to have is a waterproofing agent on the walls ('DryLoK') which prevents water infiltration. Droplets...etc. These come in from the outside of your basement walls. You don't have a vapour barrier yet - you may not even need one - but DryLoK isn't meant for that.

So you have prevented you walls from letting in water. Vapour will still pass through the DryLoK and into your room. So, you insulate and install a vb, again if you need one - but where? is a good question.

Now you have a choice: build a studded wall in front of the DryLok or stick expanded polystyrene board to it. Up here, and no matter how "dry" the basement is, we don't like metal studs on exterior walls and go with polystyrene boards, taped and foamed, on the floor and walls. If done properly, this way we don't even need a plastic vapour barrier.

Then a stud wall...
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Old 09-19-2009, 08:13 AM   #4
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Insulating a painted basement wall


Insulating a basement wall poses a problem because the vapor barrier is supposed to be on the warm side and any moisture that finds its way to the cold side has to be able to eventually escape.

If the vapor barrier is not absolutely perfect, as in hermetically sealing the wall from the living space, some moisture from inside will eventually get behind and will have a hard time evaporating and finding its way out again.

In addition, two vapor barriers are a no-no.

In my case I assumed that the black coating on the foundation exterior was a moisture barrier and I put up stud walls and insulation with no additional vapor barrier (actually the Kraft paper kind with slits cut in the Kraft paper). ... expecting that in the summer any accumulated moisture in the wall would evaporate back out into the room. I also run a dehumidifier during the summer.

I did make one mistake, no gap between the (fiberglass) insulation and the concrete foundation wall. Time will tell whether I will come to regret that. One thing I thought of to alleviate problems: a forced air flow inside the wall to accelerate evaporation of any accumulated moisture, and vent it to the outside. This last part is not for the amateur do it yourselfer to play with.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 09-19-2009 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 09-19-2009, 08:56 AM   #5
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"I did make one mistake, no gap between the (fiberglass) insulation and the concrete foundation wall."

Well, you were partly right; the cause for moisture and mould behind the stud wall but in front of the concrete wall is that air from the floor rises in winter to meet a cold zone in the top part of the wall, the part that is colder in winter (being above-ground). There you have condensation; the point is to try to limit air movement. So you got that part right.

Of course a thermal break on the outside wall is best for creating constant temperature walls - even in the basement.
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Old 09-19-2009, 02:05 PM   #6
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http://www.buildingscienceseminars.c...w&Retrofit.pdf
http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...gs?full_view=1
Be safe, Gary
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Old 09-20-2009, 05:57 AM   #7
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Insulating a painted basement wall


you would think that many would at least have read these by now?
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Old 09-20-2009, 12:54 PM   #8
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Here, here. Irony of it all, I have a crawl space! lol

Be safe, Gary
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Old 09-28-2009, 11:27 AM   #9
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Insulating a painted basement wall


Thanks everyone for the advice!

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