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Old 06-14-2018, 12:32 PM   #1
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Basement insulation improvement


Hello. I currently have wood paneling on horizontal furring strips, which are attached to cement blocks.


Behind the paneling is aluminum foil and some sort of paper(Name on it is AL-Fol).


Instead of reframing, I was thinking of cutting up foam board and fitting between the furring strips to increase insulation and reusing the wood paneling.



My question is, do i need to remove the foil due to it being a vapor barrier?


Living in northern VA.



Thanks!!
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Old 08-19-2018, 03:42 PM   #2
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Re: Basement insulation improvement


Hi. Trying this question again.


I have a basement with cement blocks. The cement blocks have horizontal furring strips.



I have kraft paper attached to foil. The product is called AL-Fol.


The foil/kraft paper is attached to the furring strips, foil facing the cement blocks.


I was wondering if attaching XPS foam to the paper would cause mold problems. Thanks!!




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Quote:
Originally Posted by nemo77 View Post
Hello. I currently have wood paneling on horizontal furring strips, which are attached to cement blocks.


Behind the paneling is aluminum foil and some sort of paper(Name on it is AL-Fol).


Instead of reframing, I was thinking of cutting up foam board and fitting between the furring strips to increase insulation and reusing the wood paneling.



My question is, do i need to remove the foil due to it being a vapor barrier?


Living in northern VA.



Thanks!!
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Old 08-19-2018, 04:00 PM   #3
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Re: Basement insulation improvement


They will be side by side so together they would be one. I would do 2 layers, one between and one over that and hang drywall with longer screws
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Old 08-19-2018, 04:56 PM   #4
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Re: Basement insulation improvement


Hi nemo, sorry, I get lazy at times and miss some posts.
I know I'm wrong but i think of northern VA as being on the warm side, but probably just not cold for as long as Maine. I'll list some comments just so the thoughts are out there.
1. Untreated wood against a block foundation is an invitation for mold and termites (or ants)
2. Below grade a foundation cannot dry to the outside so omitting the vapor barrier allows the assembly to dry to the inside. Sounds bad to invite that moisture inside but it should be minimal. if it is liquid water than that needs to be eliminated.
3. Moisture vapor passes right through concrete or blocks and passes right to the air if it does not encounter a VB. If it is blocked it then accumulates until inside is just as wet as outside.
4. Check local codes to see what they want you to install, not familiar with N.VA.
5. From a energy point of view (codes don't do this) the heat loss occurs from the exposed foundation down a foot below grade. Below that and the floor will lose heat to the soil which is a very slow process. Slowing heat loss is what insulation does.
A popular approach would be 1" of rigid insulation attached to the foundation walls with the strapping and then the paneling. Strips of foam could be added between as desired (say the upper half).

That's a start.

Bud
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Old 08-20-2018, 06:18 AM   #5
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Re: Basement insulation improvement


Quote:
Originally Posted by nemo77 View Post
have wood paneling on horizontal furring strips,
which are attached to cement blocks.

do i need to remove the foil due to it being a vapor barrier?
I think you need to remove everything down to the block
and then start over.
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Old 08-21-2018, 10:45 AM   #6
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Re: Basement insulation improvement


Thanks all for the replies!!!


It seems like starting from scratch is the best option. it does not appear the furring strips have any mold and the basement is currently comfortable in winter time



My main concern about starting from scratch was reframing and losing space.


As a followup question,,,,,if I went with 2" xps on the cement block, then furring strips(or 2x3 framing) with drywall, would the humidity in the basement increase?


I would think it would since it appears the xps would allow more moisture through then the foil/kraft paper Proust.


Thanks again!!
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Old 08-21-2018, 11:04 AM   #7
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Re: Basement insulation improvement


I doubt the foil/kraft was in perfect shale and perfectly sealed thus the 2" of xps should be equal or s better retarder. My guess would be less moisture. In either case, basements almost always benefit from humidity management, a dehumidifier and meters to know what is happening, The amount of moisture that would pass through 2" of rigid is very limited.

Bud
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Old 08-21-2018, 11:05 AM   #8
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Re: Basement insulation improvement


Quote:
Originally Posted by nemo77 View Post
Thanks all for the replies!!!


It seems like starting from scratch is the best option. it does not appear the furring strips have any mold and the basement is currently comfortable in winter time



My main concern about starting from scratch was reframing and losing space.


As a followup question,,,,,if I went with 2" xps on the cement block, then furring strips(or 2x3 framing) with drywall, would the humidity in the basement increase?


I would think it would since it appears the xps would allow more moisture through then the foil/kraft paper Proust.


Thanks again!!
You said you had something between the wood and the block wall.
If the wall does not leak you are not changing any moisture content in the basement, what you want to do is prevent moist air coming into contact with a cold surface like the block wall.
Mold needs 3 things to grow air moisture and food. Dust and wood behind the wall could be a problem unless you block off all moisture and air.
That is why I said to fill the space and put another layer over top. Taped and sealed, should be good. If you don't have a space back there it is all one big vapour barrier.
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Old 08-22-2018, 02:00 PM   #9
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Re: Basement insulation improvement


I'm about to refinish my basement as well. Just to be on the safe side I would stay away from any organic wall materials to prevent mold. Also, I would start from scratch to have more control over final build.

I am about to reframe and install moisture insulation & vapor barrier. Instead of drywall, I will use a more resistant smart wall like DryCore or Everlast. This way in case of any leak or moisture, I have one less thing to worry.
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Old 08-22-2018, 09:02 PM   #10
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Re: Basement insulation improvement


Best thing you can do is remove everything and put foam directly against the concrete.

You get a continuous thermal break which stops all condensation and also helps prevent moisture from getting into the basement from the soil through the foundation.

You totally eliminate the thermal bridging this way and get the full r-value of the insulation. Thin furring strips don't have a very good r-value.


Frame, put no insulation between the studs, only directly on the wall and it'll never rot out unless you have a flood. Can use mold resistant drywall and blue-wood.

I certainly wouldn't leave the old paper and foil there.
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Old 08-26-2018, 01:53 AM   #11
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Re: Basement insulation improvement


Great, thanks all!!


I will start from scratch!
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