Vapor barrier (Needed In Basement?)


Old 07-09-05, 12:50 PM
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Vapor barrier

I am totally confused by the information on this forum and on the internet regarding the need for a vapor barrier.

I have started framing the second wall in my basement and now having second thought about foregoing the vapor barrier. I'm concerned about trapping molds between the walls. Its too late to use polystrene on the first wall but I could still squeeze in a 4mil poly sheet.

My basement have been tested dried, and I have painted the cinder blocks with dryloc. Currently, my basement is not too cold or too hot. I still plan to insulate between the 2x4 studs with fiberglass.

Question: Is there a definitive answer regarding whether a vapor barrier should be used? I'm in New Jersey (required by code?).
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Old 07-09-05, 07:43 PM
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Hello: newbie2diy

Your question has a lot of validity. The need for a vapor barrier in the area in which you reside and the conditions you described. Therefore, the question requires the advice of the professionals whom are best qualified to answer the question.

To help you obtain such, I moved your question into this forum topic, "Insulation and Vapor Barriers" from it's former location. If you search this forum topic and also read some of the existing questions pertaining to vapor barriers, your likely to find plenty of information until the professionals can post a replies.

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Old 07-11-05, 08:13 AM
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Our basement is insulated with fiberglass insulation and is covered with a vapor barrier. It is wet. The north and east walls look "steamed up" when I "tap" on the plastic with my finger, the water actually runs down the plastic!
Otherwise, our basement has been completely dry. (Basement has not been "finished" of course).

Since our home is new, built one year ago and is under warranty you can bet
I will have the builder remove the fiberglass insulation. Once wet, it never really dries and the R- value is sometimes worse than no insulation at all.

More importantly, the growth of mold is very unhealthy, it is already visable!
Our home is well built, by a well-known respected thirty plus yr. experienced
I am going to request removal and replacement with styrofoam insulation, ( or something appropriate) which will have to be covered with sheetrock due to the fire hazard danger of exposed foam.
Old 07-11-05, 05:41 PM
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w&J2005 the reason why there is so much condensation on the insulation is because you did not allow the cement to cure. The vast majority of materials to build your house had a very high humidity level because they were new. In fact, the cement started out as a liquid to form your walls. Part of the curing process of cement is to expel moisture. It literally takes years for cement to cure. With newly constructed homes it is inadvisable to finish off the basement within the first year because of this. Furthermore, glass is not considered a solid, it is viewed as a liquid because it is already at 100% saturation. Meaning to say, fiberglass cannot absorb any more moisture. So your situation does not apply to the use of vapor barriers in basements as a standard. In your case, the vapor barrier interfered with the process of the curing of the cement.
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