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Old 03-21-2019, 03:07 PM   #1
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Moisture in basement


The last 2 springs we've noticed moisture on the baseboards/carpet in certain areas in the basement. Last year we thought it was just due to the cold basement and furniture up against the walls so we moved things away from the exterior walls, had an HVAC guy install more vents in the basement and we thought everything would be good. This year same issue. Called a contractor and he said it might be becouse there's no space between the insulation and the cement walls. I looked in the furnace room (no drywall) and there's about a half inch gap between the studs and the cement. But the insulation is against the cement and it is quite wet there. If I were to tear it all out and dry the insulation can I reuse it if I put some sort of backer in to maintain that air gap and it should fix the problem? Or do I have to get all new smaller insulation that will keep an air gap there?
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Old 03-21-2019, 03:23 PM   #2
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Re: Moisture in basement


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The last 2 springs we've noticed moisture on the baseboards/carpet in certain areas in the basement. Last year we thought it was just due to the cold basement and furniture up against the walls so we moved things away from the exterior walls, had an HVAC guy install more vents in the basement and we thought everything would be good. This year same issue. Called a contractor and he said it might be becouse there's no space between the insulation and the cement walls. I looked in the furnace room (no drywall) and there's about a half inch gap between the studs and the cement. But the insulation is against the cement and it is quite wet there. If I were to tear it all out and dry the insulation can I reuse it if I put some sort of backer in to maintain that air gap and it should fix the problem? Or do I have to get all new smaller insulation that will keep an air gap there?

You have an incomplete system so we can't tell what the problem is with what you are seeing.

Two things that for that system needed for that system Insulation touching the concrete does not ususlly cause a problem if everything else is right.


1. the wall can not have any moisture coming thru the concrete wall.


2. warm moist air can not be allowed to get behind the insulation and touch the cold concrete.



So in the furnace room the gap should have been sealed somehow so air could not go back there.

What happens is, it is cold back there so the air from the house cools and when it cool the moisture in it will condense on cold surfaces like the concrete wall and the back of the insulation.



The insulation if it fiberglass and still clean might be saves but I would suspect the back of it will be dirty from the dust that was with the condensed water and mold can grow on that dust.

If you had water on the floor, there might be a chance that you have a leak at the wall, you won't know until you open the wall for a better inspection.
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Old 03-21-2019, 03:59 PM   #3
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In the furnace room they didn't use any accoustiseal so possibly that's the problem there? Maybe they didn't use any at all.
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Old 03-21-2019, 04:22 PM   #4
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Re: Moisture in basement


I'll apologies up front, but sounds like that basement was never prepared to become finished living space. And worse if mold sets in it could become a disaster. Check your home owners insurance policy and you may find limits on mold and water problems.

There's a lot of reading out there on what is necessary to have a dry basement. This link will get you started.

Bud
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Old 03-21-2019, 04:35 PM   #5
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Re: Moisture in basement


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In the furnace room they didn't use any accoustiseal so possibly that's the problem there? Maybe they didn't use any at all.

Cut out a couple feet square at the floor where you had water, see what you have hiding in there.
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Old 03-25-2019, 03:36 PM   #6
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Took off the baseboards and off a bit of drywall. There is vapour barrier and a little bit of accoustiseal at the bottom (not as much as I'd have liked to see.) And no tape on the bottom. Should it be taped? Haven't found a seam in the vapour barrier so not sure if that's taped or not. Stuck my hand in there and the back of the insulation (against the concrete) is definitely wet.
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Old 03-25-2019, 03:59 PM   #7
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Re: Moisture in basement


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Took off the baseboards and off a bit of drywall. There is vapour barrier and a little bit of accoustiseal at the bottom (not as much as I'd have liked to see.) And no tape on the bottom. Should it be taped? Haven't found a seam in the vapour barrier so not sure if that's taped or not. Stuck my hand in there and the back of the insulation (against the concrete) is definitely wet.
The sealer should have gone the whole way but there would not be a lot of air leak there, Are you sure it was wet, it should feel cold.
I don't see any evidence of water there, like you would expect.

Any water stains on the bottom of the wood? It is hard to imagine that you would have enough condensation to have water on the floor. But you do have that opening near the furnace and the warm air could get behind an otherwise good system. I would cut the poly on the studs so you can fold it up and have a good look.

If you can't prove you have a leak, I guess you would want to dry the wet insulation and seal the open areas and see if that fixes the issue.



Maybe from the furnace room you can see above the wall too. The space behind the wall should be blocked from the space between the joists.
That can also a source for warm air getting in.
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