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Discussion Starter #1
Central Virginia, unfinished basement.

Ceiling currently has yellow insulation exposed in the ceiling. We're leaving part of the basement unfinished but still want it to look relatively nice. (We're Drylok-ing the walls). What would be safe and economical to use to cover the insulation? Plastic sheeting?

Basement can be damp (running dehumidifier), but no standing water or leaking. There is some plumbing that we'll want to be able to access if necessary, so it can't be permanent.

TIA
 

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High humidity and damp basement cannot be cured with Drylok. Read the label it does not block moisture vapor and moisture vapor is what is passing through your foundation. Adding a vapor barrier, if that is part of your wall assembly will allow that vapor to accumulate back into liquid water and start your mold farm. If you have read any of the basement advice about damp basements they will all emphasize the need to solve all water problems from the outside. If that isn't possible then maybe you need to rethink finishing the basement.

Being in a somewhat warmer climate leaving the foundation exposed so the moisture can continue to evaporate is at least an option that reduces the mold risk.
Here's some reading and I can dig up more if you want.
https://buildingscience.com/documents/digests/bsd-103-understanding-basements?full_view=1

Bud
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Maybe damp isn't the best word. It's humid, because it's VA. Our upstairs would be humid as well if it weren't for the air conditioning.

Thank you for the link. I'm trying to figure out the best way to cover the insulation on the ceiling.
 

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There are some PCV and Pex piping that we want to be able to access, so I don't think drywall would be a good idea.
 

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Frame in access panels with painted plywood that are removable for plumbing and drywall the rest. Or use drop ceiling panels throughout any of which can be removed for access,
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok, slightly different question. If we were to leave the basement semi-finished, but had a ductless mini-split for the area, would we even need the insulation in the ceiling?
 

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Basement seems damp. When guessing at the conditions any construction material will be a guess as well. Measure the conditions then proceed.
 

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I used Masonite (hardboard) because drywall was too heavy for me to manage and also might have put too much load on the joists.

Most pieces were cut to 2x4 feet with a few irregular pieces.

Because some pipes were fastened under the joists, I cut little blocks of 2x4 to use as standoffs to position the panels 1-1/2 inches below the joists, hiding the pipes.

I used screws so any one panel could be easily removed without disturbing the others.

There was no grid of supporting strips as used for ordinary suspended ceilings. (The 1-1/2 inch spacing from the joists was too small to allow ordinary suspended panels to be maneuvered for individual removal.)
 
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