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Old 02-23-2009, 07:12 PM   #1
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Hello all,

I am wanting to refinish my basement. Let me start by saying my house is approx. 50 years old and the basement is currently half finished and half unfinished. The finished part must have been done in the '70's it has wood paneling and a drop down ceiling. the walls are framed in 2x3 with batts but no vapor barrier. I have owned the house for almost 4 years and have never had a problem with water in my basement. Now I have removed 2 walls of paneling and see no signs of mold, with that said I want to drywall all the walls and ceiling but after reading through the forums here I am a little confused as to how I go about this with regards to insulation,the framing and such. My walls are concrete (not blocks). Do I run the rigid up against the wall and frame with a air gap ?

Thanks in advance...

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Old 02-23-2009, 07:25 PM   #2
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I'm sure you'll get many replies, but I frame 2"x4" walls inside the poured/block wall, fiberglass batts, and drywall. Any water problem should be apparent beforehand and dealt with prior to going any further. Find the source and correct the problem........

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Old 02-23-2009, 07:37 PM   #3
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Are you gutting the framing from the finished part? If so I would go with the above posters advice. BOB
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Old 02-23-2009, 10:15 PM   #4
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Good advice from bjb. We usually gap the stud wall 1/2" off of the foundation walls, sometimes a bit more if the walls are out of plumb, or have an irregular surface. Also...pressure treated for the bottom plate.

We usually frame these walls with 24" oc spacing, fiberglass batts, and then use 5/8" drwall. You'll save a bit on studs and labor, but probably lose it again in paying a bit more for the 5/8".
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:32 AM   #5
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Ok so no rigid insulation up against the concrete? Just frame leaving a 1/2 inch gap? Right now all the 3 walls are framed with a partition wall seperating the finished from the non-finished area. Also I read that in the 2006 IRC that minimum ceiling height is 7'.0". But even w/out anything but ceiling joists my ceieling is only 6'10". Like I said it had a drop down ceiling that reduced the height to 6'8" but we removed it to install recessed lighting and now want to drywall so the ceiling is still going to be about the same 6'8" height. I also notice that behind the part that is framed in now there seems to be something that was rolled onto the wall. It is light greenish in color and covers only the finished room concrete walls. Could this be some sort of drylock that was applied when they first framed this in ? And to answer your question yes I am going to tear out the old framing because even though theree is no mold they did not use PT for the bottom where it meets the concrete and it is showing some signs of rot. Also as I stated b4 I have no water worries for the finished part. My floor slopes to the sump area in the unfinished part of the basement and I have never seen water in the finished part. The carpet I pulled up had no signs of water damagge nor did the carpet backing. I just want to make sure that with the framing I was doing it right seeing as my wife is highly allergic to mold. So just to recap 'NO' rigid insulation just a 1/2 inch Gap between wall and framing,batts and drywall ? No vapor barrier ?
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Old 02-24-2009, 10:15 AM   #6
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Again, there are a lot of different "schools of thought", but the consensus seems to be no to the foam. The 1/2" (or more if needed) is kind of a given whether it's for air space or not. You'd likely need that much to plumb your walls anyway (most block/concrete walls are out that much). I go with 1/2" drywall over 16" centers framing. You could go with Constructive's 24" and 5/8". As he said, the cost is probably a "wash". I always glue and nail (or screw) on wood framing to reduce nail/screw pops and it makes for a more solid job. Plastic over the studs wouldn't let you do it, so that's my main reason for no plastic. (And staple the insulation to the sides of the studs, not the face.) I would think that it would promote the mold growth IF you did have some sort of water intrusion by not allowing the area to dry quickly.....
Whatever was rolled on the walls could be a sealer of some sort or just plain paint that was used at some point just to "brighten things up" before the area was finished off?? Hard to say. And definitely PT anywhere you're contacting concrete/block directly.
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Old 02-25-2009, 09:30 AM   #7
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Well ty to all that replied, I guess I am going to do the 1/2 inch gap, 16" oc, with 1/2 inch drywall...
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Old 02-25-2009, 09:39 AM   #8
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The 1/2" is easier to deal with, especially if you're hanging it yourself.....
Best of luck.
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:08 AM   #9
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bjbatlanta... where did you get your information that rigid insulation is not a good idea against the wall? Concrete and more so with block will contain moisture. The closed cell insulation will provide a block to the capillary transfer of soil and concrete moisture. This same material also provides a warmer surface to the exterior wall to prevent condensation buildup. With your method any moisture transfer will collect in the batt insulation. Please... provide sources.
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Old 02-25-2009, 10:41 AM   #10
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Bob, I just said the consensus of what I've seen seems to be no rigid insulation. And I said there are a lot of different opinions. Never said it wasn't a good idea. Then I explained how I normally frame and insulate. I said there will likely be a lot of replies.......
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Old 02-25-2009, 11:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjbatlanta View Post
Bob, I just said the consensus of what I've seen seems to be no rigid insulation. And I said there are a lot of different opinions. Never said it wasn't a good idea. Then I explained how I normally frame and insulate. I said there will likely be a lot of replies.......
Good answer. I find that a consensus is not always the best way, since many contractors learn for some old master or Dad. Not many things change in construction methods but his one has. Still not clear why you and many others would feel that 1" - 2" closed cell insulation is a very good thing to have. Maybe some of these many others can help clear this up.
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Old 02-25-2009, 11:59 AM   #12
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Agreed. I guess the main reason I've don't use it is nobody in this area seems to use it and I've never had a request from a homeowner for it. Thus I haven't really researched it. I figured there would be a lot more responses, both pro and con allowing tchay211 to draw his own conclusions. I know I always enjoy a healthy "debate".......
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Old 02-25-2009, 04:23 PM   #13
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Ok so you can see why I posted because I was reading so many conflicting responses as to the proper way to do this. I haven't started framing yet. Do I put up rigid even though the framing is not going to be in contact with the foundation other then ther floor? Also I am sorry was not trying to start a debate I was just trying to get a definitive answer as to proper construction method to eliminate chances of mold as best I could.
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Old 02-25-2009, 04:38 PM   #14
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Tchatt211, I don't know that there's a definitive answer. There are a lot of variables AND opinions out there. The area of the country where you live, for example might be a factor as to whether the foam is commonly used and/or required for that matter. I just explained that I don't use it, never have, never have been even asked about it. I understand you aren't trying to "stir the fire", but differing opinions are on this site. I'd rather you get some varied advice and draw your own conclusions. If you're in the south, I don't think there's much need. Up north, it may be a big help........
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Old 02-25-2009, 05:07 PM   #15
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That post was correct. In Atlanta you do not need it. The soil is warm and the moisture is not going to condense on the concrete wall as it will in CT.... this is why we disagreed there. But, this being said. Here is what you need to know in a nut shell. A basement wall will be wet at some point. Plan for it. The only proper way is to be sure all materials can dry out. Other reasons for so many opinions is cost. Wood or metal studs. (wood rots, I use metal.) Drywall or denshield. Drywall will collect mold, denshield is waterproof. Rigid or batt insulation... the latter is only used by those who do not want the expense of closed cell or spray insulation. And it will be destroyed if moisture hits it. Leave a space between wall and concrete. Do not use double vapor barriers. Keep reading. Read the articals on www.buildingscience.com

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