A newbie basement finishing project
Hello all! I am a recent new member of the forum and am enjoying reading all the threads.
I am preparing to start a basement finishing project and had a few "newbie" questions:
1. I live in south eastern PA where we see below zero temps in th ewinter and 100 degrees in the summer. the basement foundation is poured concrete and was sealed with a black "tar" product on the outside of the foundation during construction before it was backfilled. Last summer we had a storm up the east coast that dumped 12 inches of rain in three days and i didn't have a drop of water. i am going to install a sump pump but should i also consider a drylock product for the interior suface of the foundation walls?
2. i plan to use 2x4 framing, some sort of insulation, then drywall. there are many threads that address the use of a vapor barrier. should i use 6mil poly over the studding and insulation before i put the dryall up?
3. my home is a duplex so there is a shared party wall. do i need to insulate along this wall since it is already within the theraml envelope of the structure?
I welcome any suggestions/ help. Atlantic, you seem to be very knowledgable in these areas...any suggestions?
A newbie basement finishing project
Welcome to the forum!!
1. The black "tar" is actually just a damp proffer and not a waterproofer. Before finishing, I would definitely coat the concrete walls with a paint type waterproofer or a good product like Thoroseal. - It is cheap insurance.
2. You may not be that cold and may not need insulation since the 3 outer walls have the temperature moderated by the soil. Your uninsulated floor temperature is the same as the lower part of the walls. I would not use a vapor barrier in a semi-conditioned space as a basement. Usually, the air manages to circulate behind it somewhere in the finishing since a 100% finished basement is rare (utility rooms, shops, etc.).
3. How do you really know where the "thermal envelope" is since you actually have a semi-conditioned space subject to the soil, appliances and temperature on the first floor if you do not have an insulated floor? I would not bother, but I would make sure there is 5/8" drywall if it is a wood wall (not necessary code, but common sense).
I'm also n SE PA, just finished my basement.
I have a black tar looking basement WATERPROOFING system, sump pump, interior and exterior perimeter drains, drywell, etc. Super dry basement.
So, to answer your questions, with my opinion.
1) Drylock is an unnecessary expense and a bad fix for water problems if you were to have them. Don't waste your time or money.
2) 2x4 framing, 16" on center with R13 kraft (paper) faced batts. The faced batts are a vapor barrier. Nothing else necessary. Staple to the inside edges of the 2x, not the face. That will let you, or your drywallers, also glue the drywall.
3) Concretemasonary brings up a valid point about insulation. Up until recently I was on his side of the debate on insulation below grade. I could go on and on about it but bottom line, in our area, you should insulate as I describe. First, its code in most, if not all, townships and second, it makes for a more comfortable finished space. The reason you wouldn't insulate is, as Concretemasonary describes, you get a relatively consistent temperature as is. Insulation and vapor barriers also can contribute to mold.
OK, so I am going on about insulation in a basement. When you finish your basement, where presumably your heating equipment is located, you will loose some of the spill over heating benefit because you wil be building around your heating equipment. Space will now feel cooler. Also, your average basement temp will be close to a consistant 56 degrees (The below grade temp). This is not comfortable for most people. You will need some type of heat down there. If your existing heating plant can handle the added space then tap into it or consider some type of additional system. The insulation will keep you from heating the concrete walls and ground as much.
Feel free to PM me if you want to swing by after work to check out what I did.
thanks for the info. Are you form the Lancaster area by chance?
Is it necessary to get a building permit for basement remodel?
as a DIY'er, how does one know what the buildeing codes are in their area?
thanks again for the help!
About 40 miles East
Does anyone have any recommendations for ceiling insulation that would absorb sound better than the standard R19 kraft-faced? Thanks.
Using 'Sound board' is one method.
Also, you could try using 5/8" sheetrock, then resilient channel (RC channel sold at all drywall supply houses), then attaching another layer of 5/8" SR. This is one of the most common and cost effective methods to deaden sound transmission in home theator rooms.
Link with more detailed information:
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