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Basement drywall studs already attached to concrete. Is this ok to re-use?

Basement drywall studs already attached to concrete. Is this ok to re-use?

Old 04-06-15, 01:04 PM
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Question Basement drywall studs already attached to concrete. Is this ok to re-use?

Hello, I'm looking for a solution to a problem that I can fix as cheaply as possible (yet obviously, not so cheap that it causes other problems down the road). We purchased our house last year. Recently, we had a small basement leak. Nothing too bad, but enough to ruin our rugs and drywall. After pulling out the drywall, we saw signs of prior leaks and some mold issues. To fix the problem, after speaking to some neighbors & a few experts, we decided installing a sump pump & interior perimeter trench was the best solution to prevent future flooding. Now that future flood problems are fixed, it's time to put back new drywall (which leads me to my problem)

When the prior owner finished his basement, he attached the studs directly to the concrete wall & placed some plastic between the studs & drywall for a vapor barrier. My original plan, was to just replace what he did (plastic vapor barrier & drywall onto existing studs) however everything I've read, says it's best to frame the studs away from the wall about an inch, and then lay insulation behind it. Unfortunately for me, what I'm dealing with now was the result of an emergency leak and financially speaking, I really can't afford an expensive repair job right now. Even for the sump pump installation, I had no choice but to do a payment plan.

What's my best course of action to take that can limit my expenses but not cause add'l problems (mold, wet drywall, etc) down the road? Is it ok to simply do the vapor barrier & drywall to existing studs or do I need another approach?

Thanks. I really appreciate any advice.
Old 04-06-15, 03:03 PM
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What is the condition of the studs where they are against the concrete?

If you are going to install the new drywall, I would eliminate the vapor retarder. The issue of insulation becomes tricky. If you install a foam that has high vapor resistance, you could cause the wood to absorb moisture. If the foam is in contact with the new drywall you could cause an issue with moisture condensing on the face of the foam and migrating into the drywall. This could lead to a mold issue.
This would become more likely if you air condition the space.

If your studs are pressure treated you can overcome the first issue. If you install foam, I would use a vapor permeable, (expanded polystyrene), material and install a thickness that allows a gap between it and the drywall. You won't get much R-value but from the description you gave, you don't mention any insulation in the original work.

By all means, use a mold resistant drywall and make sure you hold it up off the concrete floor.

Do you have any idea what the operating relative humidity is in the room in both a heating and a cooling season?
Old 04-07-15, 08:40 AM
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Thanks for the reply. To answer your questions...

The studs are all in good condition, with the exception of one, which is rotted (possibly insects but I don't see any signs of insects on any other stud or part of the house), so I'll need to replace that one. They had to saw off about 4 inches from the bottom of each stud in order to dig the perimeter trench, but aside from that, they're fine.

I'm not sure if they're pressure treated. I'll check the studs where they cut them (I believe pressure treated wood has a purple or green tint, correct?)

There was no original insulation. Just studs, a vapor barrier, & drywall.

I'm not sure about the exact humidity levels but it's pretty dry. It's a partially exposed basement so not entirely underground (back half opens to a patio and one side opens to our driveway, so not sure if that helps).

Thanks again
Old 04-07-15, 08:58 AM
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As calvert said, the vapor barrier and pressure treated studs are your biggest concerns.

If not pressure treated and I doubt they are, once you cover them they are at risk for long turn rot and mold. Omitting the vapor barrier will allow some of the moisture to pass through to the inside. With a vapor barrier, everything on the exterior side of the vb will be come just as wet as the soil outside. Note, even if you have the water leakage under control, moisture vapor will still flow right through those walls. Moisture vapor can move vertically hundreds of feet and is best prevented "when the house is built" through extreme measures from the outside. Once guilt you join the remaining 90% of America with having to manage moisture issues instead of stopping them.

If you are adding insulation, fiberglass in known to support some mold growth, the glue they use I guess. Read up on Roxul as they recommend it for basement walls amond a wide range of other locations.


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