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Old 12-05-2017, 11:42 AM   #1
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Necessary to replace moisture barrier that was ripped out?


I mistakenly posted this in the "concrete" subforum instead of this one. Our sump pump failed several months ago, requiring the services of a water restoration company. Unfortunately the technicians had to cut out the lower two-feet of drywall around the perimeter of the finished basement. Apart from that, there was no permanent damage. The crew also cut out the black plastic moisture barrier that was in between the studs and the poured concrete wall. I have purchased new insulation and drywall. I'm preparing to start putting everything back together, but I'm wondering how (or whether I even should) to replace the missing moisture barrier. We're in central Ohio and our house was built in 2005. There have never been any water or moisture issues apart from the failed sump pump. I've been researching moisture barriers in general and there seems to be varying opinions of whether it is helpful or harmful in a northern climate.

Is it necessary to replace this black sheeting that the technicians cut out? If so, I don't imagine that I could route it under the bottom of the base stud of the wall. How would I join it to the existing plastic sheeting (a special kind of tape, staples, adhesive, etc.)


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Old 12-05-2017, 02:33 PM   #2
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Re: Necessary to replace moisture barrier that was ripped out?


That material is needed to maximize insulation performance; basement walls even with water proofing get damp, the moisture gets transferred to the insulation and r-value gets reduced.

It's better just to use rigid foam in a basement and forget about it.

Foam doesn't allow moisture or air to flow through it, it's a true thermal break.

Conventional insulation with vapour barrier isn't the greatest in a basement - vapour barrier isn't perfect, some moisture goes through, gets in. On the other side the concrete doesn't have good drying potential, it's a source of moisture itself.

Gets worse with a moisture barrier, moisture can get trapped in the wall and you can get condensation on the above grade part of the foundation.

While the moisture may not be enough to rot wood studs, it still reduces insulation r-value.
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:44 PM   #3
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Re: Necessary to replace moisture barrier that was ripped out?


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Originally Posted by user_12345a View Post
That material is needed to maximize insulation performance; basement walls even with water proofing get damp, the moisture gets transferred to the insulation and r-value gets reduced.

It's better just to use rigid foam in a basement and forget about it.

Foam doesn't allow moisture or air to flow through it, it's a true thermal break.

Conventional insulation with vapour barrier isn't the greatest in a basement - vapour barrier isn't perfect, some moisture goes through, gets in. On the other side the concrete doesn't have good drying potential, it's a source of moisture itself.

Gets worse with a moisture barrier, moisture can get trapped in the wall and you can get condensation on the above grade part of the foundation.

While the moisture may not be enough to rot wood studs, it still reduces insulation r-value.
In that case would you recommend that I replace the missing section of the vapor barrier with the rigid foam sheets?
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Old 12-05-2017, 02:57 PM   #4
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Re: Necessary to replace moisture barrier that was ripped out?


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In that case would you recommend that I replace the missing section of the vapor barrier with the rigid foam sheets?
It's all or nothing, are you going to remove the rest of the drywall?
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Old 12-05-2017, 06:48 PM   #5
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Re: Necessary to replace moisture barrier that was ripped out?


yah, if it's a small section and the rest of it will stay the same, there's no point.

just put it back to the way it was.

though if it's a large area it may make sense to look at alternatives. putting foam behind studs may be difficult.
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