Basement questions...

Old 09-12-00, 12:20 PM
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About 3 months ago my wife and I purchased a very large home built in 1830 here in New Hampshire. With the upcoming winter, I am turning my attention to winterizing the basement. The basement runs the full length of the house and has 1 entrance from inside the home and 2 from outside. Half of the basement has concrete walls and floor, the other is dirt floor with original stone walls. The current insulation is scarce, and looks to be in poor condition. My main question is what should I do for insulation in the ceiling in the basement? I also have a moisture/mold problem..I heard something about a vapor barrior but I really don't know how they work or what they are exactly. Any tips and info would be helpful. Thanks in advance.
Old 09-12-00, 06:31 PM
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First, kill the mold with a bleach / water solution of between 10 parts water to one part bleach or stronger if required. Ventilate the basement. A VDR (Vapour Diffusion Retarded) can be vaious materials but most common is 6ml. polyethylene sheets. It is placed on the warm side of the insulation to prevent moisture in a gas state from migrating from the interior of the house into the wall cavity where it will cool & condense,reducing the effectiveness of the insulation. It can also be used on the dirt floor to prevent moisture from entering via the ground. Soil pressure can cause moisture to diffuse through the foundation walls. As well as exterior damproofing an interior moisture barrier should be applied from the floor to above grade on the interior where wood or batt insulation will come into contact with the concrete. Over lap & seal all joints in the vapour & moisture barriers, If present insulation is poor, discard it & start fresh. I would opt to fir & insulate the walls as opposed to the basement ceiling. Insulating the floor will isolate the basement from the rest of the house & expose water supply lines to potential freezing. The exterior entrances to the basement should be insulated & weather stripped. Using the above materials will also reduce the moisture problems you are experiencing. During the damp summer months ensure the basement is well ventilated.

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