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steveel 09-28-2010 02:37 PM

Insulating a lime mortar stone foundation
For a home in pennsylvania mountains, with 8 foot stone foundation half above grade, would you first coat the stonework with something to make a smooth surface, or work with the irregular stone wall as is? If you'd first coat it, what with? Existing mortar is lime based, not cement.

We haven't decided if we need an impermeable drainage plane to an interior perimeter drain, or will allow moisture to dry to the inside through EPS and other permeable material. We also haven't decided if we only want to prevent condensation for an unfinished basement or if we want a higher R value for real living space. Will either of those decisions make a difference for the first question?

Thanks for your thoughts,
Steve El

beac 09-29-2010 08:01 AM

Not sure if I understand what you are wanting to end up with but I have been really impressed with spray foam for basement insulation.

I had a foam company spray 2-3 inches of closed cell foam in a basement for a customer and he is totally impressed with how warm and dry it is.

Closed cell foam is supposed to be water proof at 2 or 3 inches I think?

I would build some studding inside first before the foam so you have even walls with something to screw drywall to.

steveel 10-01-2010 04:06 PM

Thanks, we're not sure that waterproofing is such a great idea. Seems like if there is moisture in the lime mortar we'd just as soon give it some place to go. Therefore, if we spray foam we'll lay up a drainage plane first. But we'd like to avoid the expense of both the plane and the higher $ spray foam.

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