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Old 03-23-2011, 07:21 PM   #1
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Water buildup under vapour barrier in cold room


i live in a cold climate area. in my basement, i have a concrete walled room that is located under an outside porch, so the ceiling is also concrete. the ceiling is insulated and vapour barrier on warm side.

in winter there is alot of water buildup inside the vapour barrier. the insulation is soaked wet in the areas of the water buildup.

what do you think is causing the water buildup? is it condensation? seems like alot of water buildup since the vapour barrier is pretty well sealed, i think.

any ideas on what is causing my problem and how to correct it?

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Old 03-23-2011, 09:53 PM   #2
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Water buildup under vapour barrier in cold room


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Originally Posted by jimboat View Post
i live in a cold climate area. in my basement, i have a concrete walled room that is located under an outside porch, so the ceiling is also concrete. the ceiling is insulated and vapour barrier on warm side.

in winter there is alot of water buildup inside the vapour barrier. the insulation is soaked wet in the areas of the water buildup.

what do you think is causing the water buildup? is it condensation? seems like alot of water buildup since the vapour barrier is pretty well sealed, i think.

any ideas on what is causing my problem and how to correct it?
The vapor barrier might not be as sealed as you think.
If the ceiling is concrete, how is it insulated?
If the ceiling is under an outside porch, why are you insulating it?
You should only be insulating walls and ceilings that are next to conditioned spaces.
Take some photos and post them.
You might have the insulation in the wrong places.
Ron

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Old 03-24-2011, 12:50 AM   #3
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Water buildup under vapour barrier in cold room


As suggested, wet air is (most likely cause) getting past the poly, hitting cold concrete, and turning to water. Any leaks from above? Your best insulation against concrete is air-sealed rigid foam; NO vapor barrier. Those are outdated in all but extreme climates. If you have wet fiber glass insulation, it is now worth less than when you installed it, which is "not great". Despite its popularity, it is not very good insulation. You can read a lot of good info on buildingscience.com. Good luck.
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:48 AM   #4
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Water buildup under vapour barrier in cold room


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The vapor barrier might not be as sealed as you think.If the ceiling is concrete, how is it insulated?
If the ceiling is under an outside porch, why are you insulating it?
You should only be insulating walls and ceilings that are next to conditioned spaces.Take some photos and post them.You might have the insulation in the wrong places.Ron
Ron - thanks for response. the basement room is conditioned (warm), along with the rest of the basement. it is under (below grade) a screened porch which is cold during winter. the ceiling of the basement room (which is also the floor of the screened porch) is concrete. the ceiling of the basement room (warm side) is insulated (pink) and vapour barrier. is this wrong?
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:13 AM   #5
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Water buildup under vapour barrier in cold room


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Ron - thanks for response. the basement room is conditioned (warm), along with the rest of the basement. it is under (below grade) a screened porch which is cold during winter. the ceiling of the basement room (which is also the floor of the screened porch) is concrete. the ceiling of the basement room (warm side) is insulated (pink) and vapour barrier. is this wrong?
I don't know if it's incorrect. You haven't supplied enough detailed information to know, one way or the other. And you haven't posted pictures so could see what's going on.
I asked how the ceiling was insulated and you respond, "pink".
Pink's a color, not a type of insulation.
Pink what? Pink foam? Pink fiberglass?
You state you have a concrete ceiling. How is the insulation installed?
How much insulation?
State where you live, so we know if this insulation is adequate.
Post a picture so we know if it's installed properly.
Ron
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:24 AM   #6
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Water buildup under vapour barrier in cold room


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I don't know if it's incorrect. You haven't supplied enough detailed information to know, one way or the other. And you haven't posted pictures so could see what's going on.
I asked how the ceiling was insulated and you respond, "pink".
Pink's a color, not a type of insulation.
Pink what? Pink foam? Pink fiberglass?
You state you have a concrete ceiling. How is the insulation installed?
How much insulation? State where you live, so we know if this insulation is adequate.
Post a picture so we know if it's installed properly. Ron
sorry for not being clear enough. ceiling in basement room has 10" joists under the concrete, inslulation is 6" pink fibreglass with 10mil plastic vapour barrier on warm side. location is southern Ontario, Canada. will post pictures when i am able to get them. thanks. my question to you was about "why are you insulating it? You should only be insulating walls and ceilings that are next to conditioned spaces"...since this is a conditioned space, doesn't that mean that it should be insulated?

thanks for helping...

Last edited by jimboat; 03-27-2011 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:16 AM   #7
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Water buildup under vapour barrier in cold room


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sorry for not being clear enough. ceiling in basement room has 10" joists under the concrete, inslulation is 10" pink fibreglass with 10mil plastic vapour barrier on warm side. location is southern Ontario, Canada. will post pictures when i am able to get them. thanks. my question to you was about "why are you insulating it? You should only be insulating walls and ceilings that are next to conditioned spaces"...since this is a conditioned space, doesn't that mean that it should be insulated?

thanks for helping...
You should be insulating all the exterior surfaces. Are you doing that, or is it just the ceiling?
A 10mil vapor barrier is one honk'en piece of plastic. Are the seams taped?
How did you seal the perimeter wood framing?
Ron

Last edited by Ron6519; 03-24-2011 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:23 AM   #8
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Water buildup under vapour barrier in cold room


If I had to guess what the issue is, with the information I have and being a little presumptive, is you have leakage from the concrete above. We have had a lot of snow in MN this year and I'm sure you've had just as much in Canada. Moisture can spread pretty well through concrete so if the high snow on the sides of the porch were right up against the slab of concrete then that would be my guess. If you have that much water on the other side I would think it to be a leakage issue, not vapor related. I could be wrong, but its just something to think about.
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:54 AM   #9
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Water buildup under vapour barrier in cold room


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You should be insulating all the exterior surfaces. Are you doing that, or is it just the ceiling? A 10mil vapor barrier is one honk'en piece of plastic. Are the seams taped? How did you seal the perimeter wood framing? Ron
ron.... yes, all of the inside walls are insulated, including ceiling. Seams are taped with Scotch vapour barrier tape (the red stuff); outside of concrete wall is above grade with stone cladding.

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Originally Posted by TheDudeMan View Post
If I had to guess what the issue is, with the information I have and being a little presumptive, is you have leakage from the concrete above...Moisture can spread pretty well through concrete so if the high snow on the sides of the porch were right up against the slab of concrete then that would be my guess.
DudeMan... since outside walls and particularly the concrete floor level is well above grade, i expect that snow/moisture through blocks should be avoided? The outside "porch" is screened but covered, so really gets no snow or rain buildup inside the porch (floor) at all. So i was confused on how the moisture could be "leaking" from water buildup from outside somewhere.

All that said, there's quite a bit of water buildup inside the vapour barrier, so i didn't know we could get that amount of "condensation" buildup, and i don't really know how the moist air would get past the vapour barrier?

Last edited by jimboat; 03-27-2011 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:24 PM   #10
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Water buildup under vapour barrier in cold room


"How did you seal the perimeter wood framing?"
Did you build a ceiling frame for the fiberglass insulation inside the concrete room?
Is the perimeter wood frame is against the concrete?
How did you seal it?
Did you adhere the plastic to the concrete?
With what substance did you adhere the plastic to the concrete?
Ron
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:39 PM   #11
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Water buildup under vapour barrier in cold room


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"How did you seal the perimeter wood framing?"
Did you build a ceiling frame for the fiberglass insulation inside the concrete room? Is the perimeter wood frame is against the concrete?
How did you seal it? Did you adhere the plastic to the concrete? With what substance did you adhere the plastic to the concrete? Ron
Ron - if you're referring to outside (weather side) wall cladding, there is none, the outside of concrete wall is clad with stone. do i interpret your question correctly? Inside of concrete wall is not studded.

The ceiling is framed with 2X6's, and insulated with 6" pink fibreglass insulation w/vapour barrier.

Last edited by jimboat; 03-27-2011 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:52 PM   #12
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Water buildup under vapour barrier in cold room


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Ron - if you're referring to outside (weather side) wall cladding, there is none, the outside of concrete wall is clad with stone. do i interpret your question correctly? Inside of concrete wall is not studded.

The ceiling is framed with 2X10's, the same timber that was used to support the concrete pour.
Post pictures.
Ron

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