Re-insulating/finishing a basement?

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Old 09-20-16, 01:16 PM
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Re-insulating/finishing a basement?

I have a basement room that had some water issue due to a leaky bleeder valve. The leaky pipe did not damage the drywall ceiling, but it did get into space between drywall and concrete, as well as the carpet on the floor, so I pretty much yanked out all the old carpet, drywall that were concert facing, and all the old bat fiber glass insulation.

Now I have a room with a ceiling and bunch of wall framing that are all in pretty good shape. I understand that now days rigid foam board against the concrete wall is the new and better way of doing things.

So now I have couple of options:

1. Do it the old school way. fiberglass batt insulation between the studs (which will be touching the concrete), vapor barrier to seal the stud and insulation, then drywall.

2. Tear down the ceiling and old wall studs, put in the rigid foam board, re-do the studs, put in fiberglass bat insulation, vapor barriers, then drywall.

3. Hire someone to put in spray foam insulation between the studs, vapor barrier, then dry wall.

Obviously, option 1 is significantly less work and cheaper.

Now, here is my dilemma, if it was a fresh unfinished basement, I would definitely go with option 2 or 3, however, I'm only re-doing one room in the basement, the bathroom and rec room in the basement were all done in the old way.

I live in Eastern Ontario, so long cold winters and pretty mild and short summers. the basement is almost completely below grade.

Just wondering what are folks recommendations on this.

Thanks.
 
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Old 09-20-16, 01:22 PM
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If these are below ground walls, skip the vapor barrier.
 
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Old 09-20-16, 02:33 PM
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Post some pictures of the basement walls or tell us their components. Are they furring strips attached to the concrete, stud wall built independent and sitting an inch or so from the concrete? A lot will have to to with the way the walls are built, so we'll wait on the pictures.
 
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Old 09-22-16, 07:18 PM
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Hello, took some photos as requested.They are stud built independent and sitting an inch or so from the concrete (although some places it is more like 1/2 of an inch).

The electric switch board also in that room. The switch board is not attached to the wall studs, but there is a box build around it that is attached to the stud. Now I think about it, the electric switch box cannot be insulated (batt, foam, or otherwise) or have vapor barrier installed. Not sure how this will affect things.

Basement room re-insulation/re-finish - Album on Imgur
 
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Old 09-23-16, 03:32 AM
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(although some places it is more like 1/2 of an inch).
Precisely why the wall is placed away from the concrete. To help allowing you to keep the wall straight. Concrete walls sometimes aren't perfect.

It looks as if the panel is sitting on the studs and the box is built around it. May be my old eyes. If that is the case, then stuffing your insulation under the box would be an option, keeping it as loose as possible. If it is flush to the concrete, then, yes, you cannot insulate behind it, but I don't think it will affect things too much, since it is below grade.
 
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Old 09-27-16, 08:34 AM
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Ah okay, that would make sense on why it is done this way. Yes, the framing is much straighter than the concrete wall.

As for the electrical switches, the board it sits on is fixed directly onto the concrete wall. The stud box (with the door) is build around the switch board. They don't touch, but a lot of wires do run through that area which makes demolishing tricky. So one of the reasons why I left it alone. That area just can't be insulated, not without covering up the switch board anyways.

I see being below grade mentioned a lot, does it make that much of a difference in-terms of condensation and moisture leaks? stickshift mentioned that vapor barrier might not even be needed if it is below grade. Majority of the walls are below grade. There is a slope, but for most part the ground level is about half way around the window pane.

Thanks.
 
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Old 09-27-16, 08:47 AM
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You're going to get moisture coming through the wall below ground. If you have a moisture retarder, like foam, on the walls, that's fine but you otherwise want the walls to dry to the inside.
 
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Old 09-27-16, 09:38 AM
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Okay, thanks.

So that's why no vapor barrier if it is just batt insulation against concrete wall right? to ensure the water vapor properly escapes and don't form droplets on the side of the vapor barrier that is facing the insulation and the concrete wall.
 
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Old 09-27-16, 10:45 AM
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Yes. That said, you want to avoid the situation of batts against the walls in the first place, hence the recommendation for rigid foam glued to the concrete wall.
 
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