Basement insulation, vapor/moisture barrier


Old 02-13-05, 08:19 PM
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Basement insulation, vapor/moisture barrier

We are just getting started with finishing our basement. We are planning to paint the walls with a waterproof sealer and then glue up plastic (from what I have read, this is called moisture barrier). We are then going to frame it out with 2x4's and use R-11 insulation with the paper side toward the room. Should we put up a vapor barrier after we install the insulation before we drywall? Why would this be necessary?

I have read many postings trying to find an answer to this, but I have not had any luck. If someone could suggest the best steps to follow to insulate the basement and have it moisture resistant, I would appreciate it. The house is 2 yrs old, poured concrete walls, no moisture problems, in Illinois.
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Old 02-13-05, 08:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 197

You can find different opinions on basement moisture barriers and where they

should go. I think if you are going to use one on the base. wall, I would

leave a couple inches of air gap to the wall studs and just use the paper

faced to the heated side. Something else to consider when finishing a 2 yr.

old basement is the chance of future cracks in the poured walls. Most 2 yr.

old basements have pretty much settled-out, but if you have signs of recent

cracking, it could pose leakage problems in the near term, as your water-

proofing probably wouldn't solve more than a hairline crack. One other thing

to consider is future ''rod hole'' problems. Steel rods are imbedded in your

walls and depending on the moisture activity of your soil, these rods will rust

through in 10 or 20 yrs. If you plan to live in this house for an indefinite

period of time, you might consider having these rods drilled back and have

hydraulic cement used to fill the voids. Most homeowners don't go to this

much trouble, but when water problems are found behind finished walls, it's

usually a leaky crack or rod hole that's the problem. Don't expect the

''water-proof'' coating to perfom miracles 10 yrs. from now, there is nothing

more persistant than water pressure on the back-side of this material. Water

usually wins out in the long haul.

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