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Old 02-03-2008, 09:12 PM   #1
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Vapor barrier on basement wall?


When finishing a basement do you use a plastic vapor barrier on the walls? If so where does it go? Also should i use the faced insulation in my 2x4 framing or unfaced insulation? I have read different opinions on this. Thanks for any advice.

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Old 02-03-2008, 10:41 PM   #2
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Vapor barrier on basement wall?


I have used the plastic vapor barrier for my basement renovation.
I studed the walls with 2X4 wood studs, (16 inches) on center and I purchased the pink insulation batts to fit right in, and then I put a plastic vapor barrier 6 mil. over that, tacking it down with staples.

Some people do prefer the paper faced insulation.

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Old 02-04-2008, 01:47 AM   #3
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Vapor barrier on basement wall?


I would use the plastic barrier, then the studs, then the faced insulation. Why not used the faced stuff? It's a piece of paper. It would not AT ALL defeat the purpose of insulation, and it makes it 10 times easier to work with. Just my .02.

Good luck!
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Old 02-04-2008, 03:59 PM   #4
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Vapor barrier on basement wall?


I've heard that putting plastic between the foundation and stud wall and then the jpaper vapor barrier on the other side of the stud wall is bad cause it "traps" the moisture in between the two vapor barriers?
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Old 02-05-2008, 09:40 PM   #5
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Vapor barrier on basement wall?


It makes sense. But, the sheetrock has paper on it. Wouldn't that do the same thing?
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:38 AM   #6
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Vapor barrier on basement wall?


I've read that the vapor barrier should be on the warm interior side of the wall, like the paper on insulation. I've also read that plastic between the foundation and studded wall is bad? Hopefully a builder will come along and shed some light on this cause i've done alot of searching and haven't really found a sure answer, mostly conflicting opinions.
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Old 02-06-2008, 07:38 AM   #7
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Vapor barrier on basement wall?


Quote:
Originally Posted by leroyme View Post
It makes sense. But, the sheetrock has paper on it. Wouldn't that do the same thing?
Untreated paper, is not a vapor barrier.
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Old 02-06-2008, 07:55 AM   #8
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Vapor barrier on basement wall?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ponch37300 View Post
I've read that the vapor barrier should be on the warm interior side of the wall, like the paper on insulation. I've also read that plastic between the foundation and studded wall is bad? Hopefully a builder will come along and shed some light on this cause i've done alot of searching and haven't really found a sure answer, mostly conflicting opinions.
The first rule here is to "Understand" what vapor barriers are, what they do, and why they are used. Please read up: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/vaporbarriers

Vapor barriers should always be placed on the warm side or conditioned side of a wall (facing the living area).

There are different approaches to the basement finishing concept.

This is my take on things.

RULE # 1: If you have a damp or moist basement, fix that BEFORE you attempt to finish it off. If you can't or are unable to financially fix it, don't finish the basement. Maybe consider moving...seriously.

Framing: If framing walls along a foundation, leave approximately 2" to 3" of space between the concrete foundation wall and your framing. That space allows the air to circulate and stay drier. Use PT sill plates with galvanized or treated fasteners.
If you simply must attach a wall directly against a foundation wall, use PT lumber and rigid foam board. Install paperless drywall and no vapor barrier.

Insulation: It is not good to install batt style insulation directly against any concrete foundation. It is even worse to do this and install a vapor barrier over it. You are creating an envelope of moist air, and virtually guaranteeing mold and mildew issues in the future.

On standard framing: Install rigid foam board on the lower 12" or in all the wall. Use paperless drywall on the lower 4' or for all the walls.

Vapor Barriers: Install a vapor barrier on the warm side, over the insulation. (on walls with the 2" + space away from the concrete foundation)
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Old 02-06-2008, 08:27 AM   #9
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Vapor barrier on basement wall?


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Originally Posted by leroyme View Post
I would use the plastic barrier, then the studs, then the faced insulation. Why not used the faced stuff? It's a piece of paper. It would not AT ALL defeat the purpose of insulation, and it makes it 10 times easier to work with. Just my .02.

Good luck!
Actually, it is not "a peice of paper". It is an asphalt-treated paper that is equivalent to tar paper/ roofing felt in terms of it's moisture perm. rating.

You cannot use both the poly and the faced insulation.
What you are proposing is completely against building code. It creates an "envelope" that will seal in moisture and create mold.
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Old 02-06-2008, 09:30 AM   #10
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Vapor barrier on basement wall?


oh no.... that vapour barrier question again.......
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Old 02-06-2008, 02:37 PM   #11
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Vapor barrier on basement wall?



I agree YM.....another can of worms.

If it were me...just listen to Atlantic. I followed his methods for my basement finish and no problems!!

I am in Southeastern PA which gets all 4 seasons and temps fluctuate a lot. The basement stays comfortable year round! I started with a very dry basement however...like said before fix any moisture issues first!!!
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Old 02-06-2008, 04:15 PM   #12
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Vapor barrier on basement wall?


Atlantic, How thick of ridgid foam should i use on the bottom, also if i read your post right i should be using unfaced batts of insulation and install a plastic vapor barrier over everything(as long as i leave the 2" space)? Or should i use the paper faced batts and do something with the ridgid on the bottom foot. Does Home Depot or Lowes carry paperless drywall or do i have to get that at a supply house? Thanks again for your knowledge.
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Old 02-06-2008, 04:26 PM   #13
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Vapor barrier on basement wall?


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I agree YM.....another can of worms.

If it were me...just listen to Atlantic. I followed his methods for my basement finish and no problems!!

I am in Southeastern PA which gets all 4 seasons and temps fluctuate a lot. The basement stays comfortable year round! I started with a very dry basement however...like said before fix any moisture issues first!!!
If you look back on my earlier posts, there was quite the issue with vapour barier.
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Old 02-06-2008, 04:37 PM   #14
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Vapor barrier on basement wall?


Thanks yummy mummy, i'll do that when i some time tonight. i tried searching about vapor barriers but didn't have to much luck. I'll read your posts later and also the link atlantic posted. Thanks
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Old 02-06-2008, 08:16 PM   #15
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Vapor barrier on basement wall?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ponch37300 View Post
...How thick of ridgid foam should i use on the bottom,
If you plan on installing in your seperate framed wall cavity, you could use a thickness to match your R-13 batts. You could also double up the foam to achieve a higher R-rating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ponch37300 View Post
...
also if i read your post right i should be using unfaced batts of insulation and install a plastic vapor barrier over everything(as long as i leave the 2" space)?
I like and prefer just using the Kraft faced fiberglass. The facing is the vapor barrier. No need for poly.

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Originally Posted by ponch37300 View Post
...
Or should i use the paper faced batts and do something with the ridgid on the bottom foot.
Bingo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ponch37300 View Post
...Does Home Depot or Lowes carry paperless drywall or do i have to get that at a supply house?
I know HD carries it. You can look online to check Lowe's.

Good Luck.

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Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 02-06-2008 at 08:22 PM.
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