concrete walls in basement

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  #1  
Old 05-04-02, 11:28 AM
cfa
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concrete walls in basement

We had to remove some drywall in the basement in our family room due to mold and when we took off the old drywall we found one wall had been glued directly to the concrete wall on the entire west side of the house. We will add 2X2's on that wall. Should we use plastic as a vapor barrier or the green drywall on the lower part of the basement where the concrete is? Also, up above there is this black stuff where the brick is on the front of the house. Should this have green drywall or is regular OK and should plastic be added. There seems to be an odor in the black stuff but I don't think it's mold. The house is 30 years old so it's probably just smelling due to age and the type of material it is.

Cheryl
 
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  #2  
Old 05-07-02, 05:36 AM
workatit
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I have read that a vapor barrier should not be used with green wall. The concern is that moisture can get trapped. I would just use a furring strips, vapor barrier and normal drywall to save cost. You can also install foam board insulation between the furring strips during this project.

The black discoloration you spoke of could be mold and should be cleaned with bleach and water or some other mold killing cleaning. Mold is a common cause for illness, some types can be lethal. Once cleaned if there is still an odor you could paint the surface with a sealing primier like Zinzer Bin.

Good Luck.
 
  #3  
Old 05-07-02, 07:09 AM
cfa
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The black stuff I was referring to isn't mold. We did have some very toxic mold (Stachybotrys) in our house in some of the walls which we've already removed so that's why the sheet rock had to be removed completely in the basement family room. This is some sort of wall material that is black behind the brick front. I'm not sure what it's called. It's very stiff material but not wood. Can it be sealed with the sealer you mentioned? I've already spayed it good with bleach.

Also we have some sort of a brown film on many of the studs in walls which do cause symptoms. We've removed some sheet rock and bleached the wood already but it seems to be on the wood in the entire house. I've sent it to 2 different labs and they're telling me it's not mold but it's causing headaches. DO you know what it might be? Maybe mildew? Also we had vynal siding added last fall. Could that be causing the mold and mildew problem and what can we do to add some ventilation in the walls? Thanks.

Cheryl
 
  #4  
Old 05-07-02, 01:47 PM
workatit
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It sounds like you have taken the correct course of action on the mold. Your homeowners policy should pay for a third party to come in and evaluate any health hazards that exist. Do not just trust the insurance company rep. They are in the business of making money not spending it. I am not a mold expert so I cannot help identify the other markings/smells.

Regarding the black building material, this is hard to call without seeing it ... how thick is it? Is it soft or hard? If soft will it tear? Are there any manufacturer markings anywhere on the product. Is it a uniform black color or would you believe it to have turned black over time? Does your house have a full basement or do you have a split level? Is it black or maybe a very dark brown?
 
  #5  
Old 05-08-02, 12:34 PM
cfa
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Unfortunatly our insurance isn't helping very much since they don't cover "average house mold" . They did help some on the flooring and some sheetrock removal but they are saying the mold we found in the walls wasn't related to the water intrusion.

The black stuff is some sort of building material used behind the brick. It's always been black and isn't brown. It's not very thick but is rather stiff but not as hard as wood. It's not used anywhere else in the house. It only has slight odor I think from age not mold.

Should the vapor barrier be just plain plastic that goes behind the furring boards and then the foam inbetween the boards? Will the foam mildew. We had some stored in our garage once that molded fairly quickly.
 
  #6  
Old 05-08-02, 03:54 PM
workatit
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The black board must be the outside sheathing installed prior to bricking and siding. It is interesting that it is only behind the brick. I have seen new houses built that use OSB or plywood on the corners to ensure the house stays square then use a less expensive sheathing on the balance of the home... not just behind bricks. If the board is dry then I wouldn't worry about it. If the smell is strong, experiment with a sealer/primer to see if the smell is masked.

The vapor barrier is placed over the studs and insulation. If the wall is dry moisture should not get trapped. The garage environment may have had airborne moisture.

Good Luck
 
  #7  
Old 05-08-02, 06:59 PM
woodbadger
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You will also want to check with your local building inspector.

Many areas have code that state exactly how much insulating you need to do on an exterior basement wall and where the vapor barrier goes.

Note: It is a lot easier to build a 2x4 wall than to attach 2x2 to cinder block, but if you can't bear to lose the extra 2 inches ...

Note2: water is pushed up through the concrete floor in areas that have low water tables, not just through the walls. If you have a mold sensitivity you will want to know if a vapor/radon barrier was put down prior to pouring the concrete.

Note3: the vapor barrier is not a water barrier. If you have a moldy basement, you have a water drainage problem that needs to be fixed outside of the house. Many times, this can be fixed by just putting up gutters.
 
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