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Old 06-16-2008, 12:01 PM   #1
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Basement Blues


I bought this house 3 years ago. It is about 30 years old in reasonable shape. My problem is with the basement, which gets damp in the warm weather. there is a humidefier which really dose not do the job. There is no water coming through the walls, condensation is the main problem. All the usual bases have been covered, down spouts. drain fields, etc.. The basement is finished with a dropped ceiling. The finished walls were built out about 16" from the actual walls? The finish wall has 3 1/2 fiberglass between the studs, so that there is an empty space between the back of finished wall and the basement wall? I can think of no reason that it would be done this way. I am thinking of redoing the basement and could use some advice.
I would like to remove the paneling, lose the fiberglass, put rigid installation against the concrete wall, covering that with a vapor barrier. Then use sheet rock to recover the walls. Avoiding moving the stud wall back to the concrete wall? Trying to avoid some labor!
The floor is covered with carpet directly glued to the concrete slab, which always feels damp in warm weather. I think the rug directly on the slab is a prime suspect for my humidity problem. I am open to all suggestions on how to correct this! Thank you for any and all advice! Rick

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Old 06-16-2008, 08:23 PM   #2
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Basement Blues


Hi Rick, call me sick, but I love this kind of building envelope problem...but please provide more info: Where is the condensation showing itself? What region do you live in? Is the void between the foundation and the finish wall ventilated? I hope that you meant to say you have a dehumidifier, right? Where does it drain into or do you have to empty it, and if so how often?

Steve

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Old 06-17-2008, 11:09 AM   #3
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Basement Blues


Thanks for answering so quickly. I am in north eastern PA, the Pocono's. Yes I meant a dehumidifier, It drains through the wall into the garage (both on the same level with the house above) and into a drain in the basement floor. I would say that the void is not ventilated to the outside, I believe this basement was finished by the first owners, by them or some contractor. The hung ceiling was dropped 6" below the bottom of the floor joist and this area between the bottom of the joist and the top of the hung ceiling, is open to the wall void. The space between the joist has 3 1/2" insulation. A lot of it is missing and I plan on replacing it with a higher value insulation. If I leave the windows open, I don't have the condensation problem. When the windows are closed it shows itself as muggy foul smelling air, I think this carpet laid directly on the slab has a lot to do with it! Thanks again, Rick
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Old 06-18-2008, 08:50 PM   #4
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Basement Blues


Yes, the carpet-on-slab is a prime suspect. Do you have a sump pump? Also, I wonder if the dehumidifier is working. Is it in the same room as the basement carpet? (I'm not sure why you were talking about the garage and house). Do you have a sense of how much moisture it's removing from the air? If I were extremely cheap, which I am, I would measure the humidity in the basement and make sure my dehumidifier was working at it's best. A second or higher capacity dehumidifier may be called for. The airspace behind the walls is a pretty good idea, just over done probably. It would be ideal if that space was ventilated.

Best of luck,

Steve
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