Water on vapour barrier with moldy drywall


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Old 10-27-14, 04:03 PM
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Water on vapour barrier with moldy drywall

I've been fixing up my great aunties house so she can sell it and came across what appeared to be a leak on a basement wall. Upon further investigation I found that all of the drywall was moldy or soaked and needed to be pulled off. I pulled it off today expecting there to be some moldy insulation or beams but the only moisture I found was on the outside of the barrier. I don't know what could have caused this and was hoping someone here would be able to help me out with that. Thank you in advance.
 
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Old 10-27-14, 08:47 PM
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Describe how the wall is constructed from inside out, ie drywall, VB, fiberglass insulation, foundation (blocks or concrete)?

My suspicion is condensation, but add the mold to the above list and I will have a better guess.

Bud
 
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Old 10-27-14, 09:20 PM
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It goes drywall with mold, vapour, fibreglass then concrete. It's a large section of the wall but not near the top which is what is puzzling me.
 
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Old 10-27-14, 10:09 PM
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BTW, welcome to the forum.

Sounds like high humidity in the basement. You may need a good dehumidifier. Any idea as to relative humidity down there? Is the basement heated, air conditioned, or vented?

Although not your current problem, guidance has shifted away from using a vapor barrier on basement walls as they need at least one direction to dry. Codes may still require one. Along with that thinking is the need to manage the moisture (humidity) in the basement.

How involved you get, like going past the VB is up to you, but it sounds like no current problem on the foundation side. I'll add a link on basements for reference.
BSD-103: Understanding Basements — Building Science Information

Bud
 
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Old 10-27-14, 11:07 PM
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I'm not positive of the humidity and I'm not sure about temperature control in the basement as I'm not there right now. It is am older house though if that makes a difference. The humidity sounds like the most reasonable answer I've found so far. I'll give the basement a look tomorrow morning and find out how it is controlled. Not sure if I'll be able to check the humidity thought but I will post again tomorrow with updated info.

Thank you for the welcome and all the info you have provided thus far! Very much appreciated.
 
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Old 10-28-14, 05:53 AM
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A common occurrence in cold climates is to turn off the heat in the summer (and breathe a sigh of relief) and enjoy the cool basement. But when the humidity outside is 60% with a dew point of 55, the air that leaks into the basement is cooled below that point and deposits its moisture on the cooler surfaces. That would correspond to the lower portions of those walls.

A meter to read humidity can be an inexpensive household one as they will be accurate enough for what we need. When you take a reading, also take the temperature at that location.

Bud
 
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Old 10-28-14, 08:06 AM
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Yeah that could be a definite reason then. I live in Canada and my aunt was very stringent on turning the heat off as soon as it started to get nice and keeping it off until winter. I'm gonna be heading my way there soon so I should have an update
 
 

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