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Old 11-10-2011, 01:54 AM   #1
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Concrete storm shelter condensation Question


My parents just purchased a house in Oklahoma. They have a concrete storm shelter that is attached to their house. It is a shelter built in the 1960 to 70's. It has 3 windows and about three feet of it is above the ground. With the colder weather we have noticed quite a lot of condensation where the shelter is exposed to the elements. What can be done to prevent this. My father was planning on bricking the exterior wall to cover the windows to secure it from tornados. If he does that should he use a vapor barrior or some type of insulation between the shelter and the brick wall, and what should we do about the top. Any suggestions?

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Old 11-10-2011, 10:25 PM   #2
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Concrete storm shelter condensation Question


I believe you'll find that exterior foam is your best bet. If the blocks are cold enough to condense now, then adding insulation between them and the heat will make them cooler. That said, many people insulate inside, as long as the blocks are not wet from the outside. No vapor barrier, but air seal whatever system you use to insulate; rigid foam, Roxul, or spray foam. Keep the interior vapor open so the walls can dry inward if you fir out. That is my 2 cents.

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Old 11-11-2011, 02:52 AM   #3
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Concrete storm shelter condensation Question


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Originally Posted by jklingel View Post
I believe you'll find that exterior foam is your best bet. If the blocks are cold enough to condense now, then adding insulation between them and the heat will make them cooler. That said, many people insulate inside, as long as the blocks are not wet from the outside. No vapor barrier, but air seal whatever system you use to insulate; rigid foam, Roxul, or spray foam. Keep the interior vapor open so the walls can dry inward if you fir out. That is my 2 cents.
he cant just put up a foam or insulation product. it must then be covered with a wall. which is probably not appropriate for a non-climate controlled storm shelter where space is already at a premium. (foam burns, cellulose/fiberglass/rockwool are irritants)

you probably need to speak with an insulation consultant OP...bricking the outside for reinforcement and insulating in between new block and old concrete may be an option.

you should also consult with someone on back-filling options. it may be safer and better climate if you can backfill a large portion of the 3ft that is above ground (you will need someone to verify that this would be safe and the structure could support the backfill).
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