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Old 09-17-2009, 01:35 PM   #1
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Nonorganic materials in basement?


I am in the middle of a basement remodeling. I have damp walls and high humidity after a rain that have caused mold in the past, no actual water leaks. Dehumid drys it out like a bone, but walls still damp after rain due to some exterior issues letting water against foundation. We have done the following to waterproof:

- Exterior work to get water away from foundation (gutters etc). Sealed cracks in driveway/foundation interface etc, grading land away from house better.
- installed french drain with sump pump, vapor barrier that is sealed on the interior walls, and santa fe dehumidifier.

My contractor suggested that I only needed the standard blue board, wood studs, and fiberglass insulation. However, many other people suggest making it as nonorganic as possible through the use of metal studs, rigid foam insulation, and green board.

Upgrading to these materials is an added expense and my contractor stated that he cant use greenboard because plaster doesnt stick to it, but he could get away with green for the bottom foot and blue board the rest of the way.

My question is: If i am going through all of this waterproofing, wouldnt i be OK with the standard blueboard, insulation, and wood studs? Woudln't I be preventing water and moisture and therefore not need to get too carried away with interior materials?

Thanks in advance!

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Old 09-17-2009, 06:10 PM   #2
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Nonorganic materials in basement?


In my opinion there's really no point in worrying about using nonorganic materials as long as you're using sheetrock walls. Mold will happily grow on anything...Foam, metal, wood, drywall...If the conditions are right for it. Mold doesn't really care!

Out of curiosity, what did you do for a vapor barrier? You need a moisture barrier, not a vapor barrier. I'd personally opt for a couple coats of DryLok...Cheap insurance before you conceal that foundation wall. A sheet of plastic is a waste of time in my opinion and is misguided thinking.

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Old 09-17-2009, 11:42 PM   #3
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Nonorganic materials in basement?


that makes sense. here is the link to the vapor barrier, what do you think? they seal it up so its air tight. i like the low permeability concept, assume that allows some air to pass but not moisture:

http://www.grateproductsbasement.com...l/moisture.htm
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Old 09-18-2009, 07:36 AM   #4
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Nonorganic materials in basement?


The less organic material you have in a location, the less food you provide for mold to thrive on. Mold will live on the dust and dirt that accumulates on a non-organic surface, but will not thrive on the base material itself. That said, it's pretty tough to construct anything that is 100% free of organics. I would suggest using fiberglass drywall (GP Densarmor) in any basement construction. Even Green board contains organics that will support mold.
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Old 10-24-2013, 07:02 PM   #5
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Nonorganic materials in basement?


Ok, I am a water restoration tech... and according to the most advanced studies in the field and certified by the gold standard in the cleaning field (IICRC), mold needs moisture and organic materials to grow on. That much is for sure. Take away one or both, and you have no mold. If you see mold on inorganic materials like plastic, it's because it is probably growing on the dirt on the plastic or organic materials on it. So the idea to go inorganic as much as possible is good as long as you could afford it to do so. I originally came here to see if there were good inorganic materials but was surprised to see the debate as it is clear for those in the biz and science.. mold needs both organic and moisture. So controlling both is ideal. Gypsum board (drywall) has organic cardboard-like encapsulation that holds the gypsum. Mold will grow on it unless it's treated. Even latex paint.. latex comes from? rubber... from trees... and thus organic... so you get the idea... using plastic liners as vapor barriers is a GOOD idea. It's purpose is to prevent or greatly reduce MOISTURE (water vapor) that for sure seeps through basement walls and sometimes even water that seeps through due to hydrostatic pressure. It's probably the best bang for the buck but I am interested in not only the metal inorganic studs but actual hard material that could take place of organic plywood. U could use pressure treated but only small amounts, depending on local codes because it has high VOC's and chemicals that u don't want to breathe. Again, the more u do to decrease the organics and moisture, the better it is... cause in case if things DO get flooded, then u will save thousands on not replacing all organic materials... that alone warrants effort (though I am a mold and indoor air quality freak). They keep bringing out new materials so I am always on the lookout and excited when I search....
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Old 10-24-2013, 08:42 PM   #6
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Nonorganic materials in basement?


jawash, I agree with everything you've said except for one thing. Latex paint contains no latex rubber. Latex paint is made from acrylic resins. There are some organic binders in some formulas, therefore latex paint should not be considered mold proof. Even latex rubber seldom contains natural organic latex. It is almost exclusively synthetic today, derived from polymers that originated from non-organic sources.
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Old 10-25-2013, 11:02 PM   #7
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Welcome to the forums! As you mentioned "search", enter "basement insulation " in our -Search- box top right corner to see poly is recommended only up north- Canada/AK, if even then, depending on climate. BTW, some of the posters above are no longer here from the 4 year old post.

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Old 10-26-2013, 08:04 AM   #8
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Nonorganic materials in basement?


Ideally you would like materials that are smooth and non-porous. Many of the materials discussed in this thread as "inorganic" are in fact organic compounds. Example is plastic. Many plastics are polyester chains, which are organic. Many foam products are carbon containing, and while some forms of carbon are technically referred to as "inorganic", I am not certain that molds have not learned to eat inorganic carbon (example polyisocyanurate is an organic compound).

Gypsum is inorganic, and so far as I understand mold does not thrive on gypsum, but the paper covering is mold food. Based on my experience cleaning up after hurricanes, wallboard of all types was mold covered and useless, some forms of insulation were mold filled, and particle board and plywood cabinets were mold covered and had to be thrown out. Smooth, hard plastics seemed to fare pretty well, at least they could be cleaned and reused. Same for formica, stone, metal. Wood studs could often be cleaned and reused.
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Old 10-26-2013, 05:18 PM   #9
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Nonorganic materials in basement?


before you get too far into this job to realize & suffer the downside, ck to see where's source of the moisture,,, impo, drylock's useless however, to apron/vest stores & many others, its a cash cow chances are good its transmitting from the outside to the inside,,, a simple moisture test will confirm/deny.

when we waterproof bsmts, we use miradrain ( hdpe waffleboard ) to direct any leaks into a drain leaking to a sump. that's probably just because we do that work for a living, tho


just finished 1 job where we installed frp panels from the apron store,,, they're only avail in white but are extremely serviceable,,, you can see the product in any rest area men's/ladies' room on the nj tpke or the garden state pkwy

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