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Old 02-01-2017, 11:25 AM   #1
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Basement finishing - how to deal with existing ceiling


I've been researching suggested basement insulation and finishing approaches and have come to the conclusion that the industry standard generally includes some sort of rigid foam board glued to poured concrete walls, finished with drywall. The insulation process also suggests sealing/insulating around the sill (usually with spray foam).

I have an old, well-build home from 1940. I'd like to finish off part of the basement (family is growing). The part I'm interested in finishing has an original concreteboard ceiling (old, pre-drywall stuff). It is in good condition and I'd like to avoid ripping it out if possible (it is heavy and very, very messy! plus I'm not exactly sure what it is made of).

I had an interior perimeter drain installed a few years back, so water is not an issue (although humidity might be in the summer as we have an integrated basement-level garage that we regularly use).

My question is, given the interior perimeter drain and our inability to access the sill plate due to the existing ceiling, is there a "better" approach for our situation with respect to insulating the poured concrete walls to allow any condensation/humidity/moisture to breathe/evaporate should it infiltrate the interior of the cement walls and rim joists?
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Old 02-01-2017, 12:20 PM   #2
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Re: Basement finishing - how to deal with existing ceiling


Rigid foam is a vapor retarder so it still allows drying to the inside but can provide a thermal break to prevent condensation.
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Old 02-02-2017, 07:01 AM   #3
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Re: Basement finishing - how to deal with existing ceiling


The right way is to open about 16" (any less and you can't stick your head in there as sometimes needed) and inspect, seal, fireblock and build your wall. Your era houses will have severely drafty sills and half negate all insulation efforts.
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basement , existing ceiling , french drain , insulation , perimeter drain


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