Tyvek barrier used in basement walls?

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  #1  
Old 08-12-05, 02:27 PM
slashlos
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Tyvek barrier used in basement walls?

I plan to frame the walls in my unfinished basement using 2'x4' walls of say 8-10' sections.

While on the floor, I'd staple a sheet of Tyvek wrap to the structure, then lift and shim at bottom in place, leaving about 1" space to the concrete walls. I feel this would give be a small air barrier, and having the paper on the side facing the concrete, something I can rest the R-13 insulation against. Then install wallboard, tape, etc.

Does this sound right, typical? Also does it matter what side of the paper faces towards the living area?
 
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  #2  
Old 08-14-05, 08:28 PM
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What is the purpose of the Tyvek in this case? I don't see what it is doing for you. Why not just staple the insulation onto the framing after the framing is up? The paper should be towards the heated side as it is the moisture barrier.
 
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Old 08-15-05, 04:59 AM
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A material should be placed between the insulation and the concrete wall which is known as a moisture barrier. The sole purpose is to prevent the insulation from touching concrete.

Typically, the two best products for this is either tar paper or 6 mil poly which is fastened to the concrete. Make sure that this material does not extend above the exterior grade level.

Tyvek is an exterior house wrap which has a completely different function.
 
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Old 08-19-05, 10:34 PM
slashlos
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Thanks. I have found the 6 mil wrap and will use that to separate the studs from the concrete. It was also suggested (I think here) to use a 4 mil wrap on top of the insullation before sheetrock.
 
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Old 08-20-05, 07:16 PM
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Check your local code...I needed to use 6 mil under the drywall.
 
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Old 08-23-05, 12:54 PM
TimE
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First and foremost, check what your local code requires you to do.

That said, unless there is a moisture issue with your basement walls, I see no need for a vapor barrier between the studs/insulation and the concrete wall. If there is a moisture issue, you should take a look at options for addressing that first, so you don't have to deal with water problems later.
 
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Old 08-24-05, 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by TimE
First and foremost, check what your local code requires you to do.

That said, unless there is a moisture issue with your basement walls, I see no need for a vapor barrier between the studs/insulation and the concrete wall. If there is a moisture issue, you should take a look at options for addressing that first, so you don't have to deal with water problems later.
You don't install the moisture barrier only if you have moisture problems. This barrier has a real purpose which is to separate the insulation from the concrete. In cold climate areas, this separation is very important. In January, peel back your insulation from the concrete wall and you will see what I mean.

In my area, the Building Code states insulation and a moisture barrier must be installed to 2 feet below grade. If you want improve your insulation value by extending it to the floor, then you should also extending the moisture barrier.

Remember, the Building Code is a "minimum" building standard and it is always better to exceed the standard.
 

Last edited by em69; 08-24-05 at 05:00 AM.
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Old 08-24-05, 06:36 AM
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How to properly insulate a basement is a very controversial subject. Visit the Insulation and Vapor Barrier forum and you will see what I mean. Some people believe vapor barriers on both sides of the insulation is the wrong approach and others believe it is essential.

I think the best approach is to talk to the local code officials and see what they require. In our basement, we had to follow local code requirements and pass an insulation inspection. Code varies from area to area based on what each community believes is the correct approach and what the climate is in each area.
 
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Old 08-24-05, 07:44 AM
TimE
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Originally Posted by em69
You don't install the moisture barrier only if you have moisture problems. This barrier has a real purpose which is to separate the insulation from the concrete. In cold climate areas, this separation is very important. In January, peel back your insulation from the concrete wall and you will see what I mean.
Interesting, but everything I have read clearly indicates that the moisture/vapor barrier is to be placed between the insulation and the heated space. In this case, that would be between the insulation and drywall, or whatever is being put over the studs. Not between the concrete and the insulation. According to Certainteed, one of the primary manufacturers, the only time you should install the moisture barrier between the outside wall and insulation, is in for some warm and humid areas.

Better to take steps to reduce any and all gaps between the inside and outside. When doing my basement, this meant filling in all the holes put just above the sill for the various utilities. Not only will this improve the overall HVAC efficiency for the house, but should also help reduce unwanted visitors (insects, mice, ...).

All in all, you need to check local codes, so that you can be certain you are meeting the minimum, and follow any instructions / warnings from the manufacturer of the insulation.
 
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Old 08-24-05, 08:58 AM
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Yes, you definitely place a vapour barrier on the warm side, but the building code in my part of the country require a moisture barrier for the first 2 feet below grade.

There is a difference between a vapour barrier and a moisture barrier.

As recommended by our National Reseach Council on home construction, I extended the moisture barrier to the base plate.
 
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Old 08-24-05, 11:55 AM
slashlos
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wood vs. steel studs; attaching R-13 to them

thanks I have 6 mil against concrete wall and plan 4 mil on top of R-13.

Only nit I have left [for today;-)] is whether to use metal or wood studs. Wood is cheaper slightly but metal is a lot eaiser to transport yet how to attach R-13 to it?

Aside for having P/T lumber in contact with concrete, is there code / personsal perference of wood vs. steed studs?

My initial option was to choose wood, as I have tools for that (mitre saw, electric stapler) and I'd need to purchase metal snips and probably the required screws as well.
 
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Old 08-24-05, 12:57 PM
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barrier used in basement walls?

Do not put the steel stids in contact with the concrete!

Isolate them with wood and attach to the wood.

If you use a thin barrier (poly, building paper) to protect the studs, pay attention to the fasteners. The screws going through barrier and the steel studs will rust or remove the rust protection from the steel stud. It happens frequently in above grade exterior walls.

Dick
 
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Old 08-24-05, 01:41 PM
slashlos
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Hmm hadn't considered rust as an issue; there are many friends who opted for steel, even for the sill plates which rest on the concrete floor! They also didn't insulate nor install a vapor barrier. I'm trying to go the route of spending money up front (but not go crazy) to reduce costs later and have an overall better environment.

I'll go the route of P/T limber sills and any other point where concrete is contacted, and non P/T for general construction; using a sandwich of 6mil barrier against concrete, R-13, 4mil facing interior, then sheetrock.

Thanks to all!
 
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Old 08-25-05, 05:10 AM
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Wood will rot eventually if it is in contact with concrete or moisture. It doesn't matter if it's PT or some other type of wood...it will rot.

The best solution is to wrap your bottom plate with 6 mil poly. The plastic will last 100 years. After you've created the wall on the floor and before raising it, place poly on the bottom and staple it to both sides of the bottom plate.

Also, standard framing nails when exposed to the chemicals in PT will in fact cause a chemical reaction which in turn will cause them to disintegrate. Becareful when mixing different types of wood.
 
  #15  
Old 08-25-05, 04:43 PM
vz2d1k
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Steel studs rusting?

How do the steel studs rust? I could see your fasteners rust or something if they're not galvanized or steel to begin with.

One issue we had with putting up a steel stud basement was that the metal studs are 3 5/8 inches vs 3 1/2 for wood. This 1/8 of an inch didn't seem like much when we started but the door frames are made for 3 1/2 inches.

Other than this issue, the studs went up very quickly and there were a few other "tricks" that made things go smoothly.

My buddy works for a fire and water damage restoration company. Many times around here he pulls back drywall in a basement only to find large amounts of mold and mildew build up on wood studs. Mainly because the homeowner had water/moisture behind the wall that they didn't take care of first. Wood facilitates that growth while metal does not (although you can still get corrosion) In my opinion... wood studs for any doors or interior walls, metal studs with a barrier and insulation on the outside walls.
 
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