Getting ready for the big - Final Check

Old 08-05-06, 03:30 PM
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Getting ready for the big - Final Check

I moved into my new home last September and was careful to have the basement prepped for finishing.

Armor coat sealant with Tuff'nDry and Drainstar was used for waterproofing and drainage. I was also sure to have proper grading around the foundation. After a year the basement has been bone dry through many really big rainstorms. I've also done the condensation tests on walls and floors and have found no evidence of condensation. Radon testing showed 0.8 pCi/L so I am good there as well.

My biggest concern has been with insulating the basement walls. Although I'm not a contractor with experience in finishing basement I am an ME and have done as much research as possible on this topic. Right now I have that silver backed insulation hilte gunned to the basement walls.

My original plan was to remove all the insulation and install 2" XPS foam insulation via furring strips. I'm worried about the impermeable insulation backing up there now being a cause for mold in the future.

Now I'm thinking that since my basement has been so dry through all four seasons that if I simply frame in front of the existing insulation I could use a box cutter to slash up this insulation to provide some air (and more importantly) moisture diffusion through the drywall and latex paint. Of course I'm also trying to avoid a lot of possibly unnecessary labor and material expense by removing the old insulation and installing the XPS foam.

I had my downstairs HVAC system sized to be able to handle the basement so I will be installing 6 vents and a return so I'm thinking that moisture shouldn't be a problem down there.

What do you guys think? Based on my situation would you reccomend keeping the silver backed insulation, framing in front of it, and then slicing up the backing a bit with a box cutter?

Thanks for any advice.

Old 08-07-06, 12:55 PM
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If your basement is mostly underground, go back and read about the geothermal equivalence of the earth in relation to the room temperature. It will be constant all year long. Insulating the walls is fine, but you may not enjoy an increased or decreased variance, and will have only spent money. We usually use a vapor barrier and the wall covering directly on the studs. If the customer wants, we insulate with R13 between the studs.
Good luck with the project. Sounds as if you have done the correct prep work prior to building the house, so you shoud have a worry free basement. Post back if we can help further.

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