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Old 09-22-2011, 10:40 PM   #1
Ekc
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Considerations for mold free finished basement in Massachusetts?


Thanks in advance for any experienced advice you can give me on this topic. I'm trying to add space in my basement for my 2 small children. I've had several people estimate this job and each one had different ideas about what was required to ensure a mold free basement. Most of those ideas originated from me after piles of reading. I can't tell if thats because the mold will be my problem when they are gone or they know it's not really an issue in a leak free basement.

House is 11 years old.
The poured concrete basement is dry and 100% unfinished at this point.
Foundation is exposed ~2 feet all the way around the house.
Basement area is ~800 sq feet total, (~600 will be finished)

1. Install 1.5 inches of XPS foam all the way around interior foundation walls including unfinished storage area? (Yes/No)
2. Include XPS at top of foundation wall near sill plate? (Yes/No)
3. Build 2x4 studwall, use pressure treated on bottom? (Yes/No)
3. Use unfaced fiberglass batt insulation in stud wall cavity? (Yes/No)
4. Cover stud walls with Densamor (mold resistent) or equivalent gypsum? I've read and am okay with the extra finishing requirements as a result of the surface (Yes/No)?
5. Use Dricore or equivalent for the subfloor? (Yes/No)
6. Use automated humidty control to keep RH below 50? (Yes/No)

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Old 09-22-2011, 10:45 PM   #2
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Considerations for mold free finished basement in Massachusetts?


There is no such thing. Only way, is to conform to clean room standards, which you could not afford. If you want some ideas on where to start, look at the information at http://buildingscience.com/

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Old 09-23-2011, 06:12 AM   #3
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Considerations for mold free finished basement in Massachusetts?


1. Install 1.5 inches of XPS foam all the way around interior foundation walls including unfinished storage area? (Yes/No) You'll need to cover all of it, even in the unfinished areas, because XPS cannot be left exposed.
2. Include XPS at top of [COLOR=blue! important][COLOR=blue! important]foundation [COLOR=blue! important]wall[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR] near sill plate? (Yes/No) Yes. See above.
3. Build 2x4 studwall, use pressure treated on bottom? (Yes/No) Yes. Any framing in contact with concrete needs to be isolated by a barrier or be decay resistant. Use the proper fasteners.
3. Use unfaced fiberglass batt insulation in stud wall cavity? (Yes/No)
4. Cover stud walls with Densamor (mold resistent) or equivalent gypsum? I've read and am okay with the extra finishing requirements as a result of the surface (Yes/No)? Yes. Be sure to use the proper tape and drywall compound. Standard drywall tape and mud contain organics (mold food).
5. Use Dricore or equivalent for the subfloor? (Yes/No)
6. Use automated humidty control to keep RH below 50? (Yes/No) Yes. Mold needs 60% RH or greater to thrive.

There are no guarentees, but what you propose will go a long way.




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Old 09-23-2011, 09:22 PM   #4
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Considerations for mold free finished basement in Massachusetts?


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll
There is no such thing. Only way, is to conform to clean room standards, which you could not afford. If you want some ideas on where to start, look at the information at http://buildingscience.com/
Righto, Apologies I'm new to the forum. I was not expecting such a literal interpretation. I should have said "minimizing mold". I've read tons of material on the subject and have a chemical engineering degree to help me understand what's out there. The ideas included in my post summarize what i've learned to date including the info on BSC. White papers and journals can't replace practical experience (not everything is clearly spelled out) which is the reason for my post. We need people who do this for a living or deal with it in the real world to validate that it makes sense.

Also, I presume you have no idea what I can really afford so I'll take your comment about affording to mean "clean room standards" are not practical for daily living space.
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