(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 19

Thread: Insulating Basement Walls

  1. #1

    Default Insulating Basement Walls

    I recently had a drainage system installed around the perimeter of my basement. The guy that did the work said I should attach furring strips to the foundation walls and attach a vapor barrier to that. He also said to run the bottom of the vapor barrier into the gap he left where the floor meets the foundation wall in case there is any seepage.

    I have read some information on this blog that says I shouldn't do that. One says I should install foam insulation directly onto the foundation wall and put furring strips over that and then sheetrock.

    My main question is... if I attach the foam directly to the foundation and happen to get water, is there enough room for the water to run down the wall and into the french drain??

    Also, if this is possible, after I install the foam insulation can I build a 2x4 wall in front of that and if so do I need to install a vapor barrier at that point?

    Thanks for any help and advice.

  2. #2

    Default

    Don't listen to that guy.

    Frame with regular lumber or metal partition studs and leave an airgap for the wall to breath. You cannot afford to trap water between the foundation and your finished space. It will need to breath.

    He is an idiot.
    http://www.inspectpa.com/forum/forum.php
    My answers are based mostly on the ICC codes. Advice given is my personal opinion and every person performing work should acquire a permit from his/her jurisdiction and get the work inspected. My opinions are not directions to follow for DIYs or professionals

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member seaneys's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Chicago Suburbs
    Posts
    192

    Default

    Owens Corning have an excellent web site with good customer service!

    Steve

  4. #4

    Default Insulating basement walls

    Thanks for the advice but one more thing...

    SO do you think I should frame the basement walls, attach a vapor barrier on the the back side of the wall but leave an inch or so between the wall and the foundation to help with air movement?

    So you don't think the polystyrene foam should be installed directly against the foundation?

    Thanks

  5. #5

    Default

    i would use r 13 for insulation. leave gap for breathing. i have seen other people put poly down in a basement. but it always has high moisture so it basically just traps it and then condenses and runs down to the bottom plate. plus it is nice to have full wall for electrical and plumbing.

  6. #6

    Default

    Just use faced batt insulation between the studs. Get this plastic sheeting out of your head.
    http://www.inspectpa.com/forum/forum.php
    My answers are based mostly on the ICC codes. Advice given is my personal opinion and every person performing work should acquire a permit from his/her jurisdiction and get the work inspected. My opinions are not directions to follow for DIYs or professionals

  7. #7
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY and Fire Island, NY
    Posts
    1,244

    Default

    Disagree with both.

    - Do not, under any circumstances, use plastic anywhere. Basements should get vapor-retarders, not vapor barriers.

    - Do not use batt insulation. Use closed-cell foam.


    If you want all the ins & outs of why I'm saying this... download & read these:

    http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...ding-basements
    http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...lation-systems
    http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...ting-basements
    Master Plumber Mark:

    there is nothing better than the
    manly smell of WD 40 in the air
    while banging away on brass with a chisel and hammer...

    it smells like......victory......

    do not hit your thumb...
    __________________
    Just so everyone's clear: I'm the POODLE in the picture ("french", get it?) The hot woman is my wife.

  8. #8

    Default Great advice

    Thanks Frenchie for those links... That seems to be the way I should go. Thank you everyone for all your help.

  9. #9
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY and Fire Island, NY
    Posts
    1,244

    Default

    No worries. In response to the PM you sent:

    Quote Originally Posted by woog
    Hey Frenchie... I put a question out a few weeks back about insulating basement walls and I liked your idea best. I looked at the links you sent and they were great. Of all the professionals I spoke to, none of them suggested this. They all said to use batt insulation in a stud wall. I'm pretty torn on what to do so would you mind if I asked another question.

    The thing that concerns me is if I attach the polystyrene to the foundation and I get a little water come through the wall, will it get caught behing the foam or will it find it's way down into the french drain. I plan on building a stub wall an inch off of the foundation so I'm not going to attach furring strips.

    Does this make sense or do you have another suggestion.

    I appreciate your help.

    Thanks, Woog
    The first thing I want to say is that, if you have ANY water coming into the basement, you need to deal with that before even thinking about finishing the basement. There simply is no good way to finish a basement that leaks, you need to adress the water intrusion before doing anything else.

    If you just want an extra measure of safety, by having a drainage plane behind the walls & under the finish floor... then... you could either use furring strips, or one of the drainage-plane sheet products, I suppose. I'm not sure what you mean about building a stub wall in this context, and why furring strips wouldn't work. Was that a typo for "stud wall", or...?

    ...I can't believe anyone's still using batt insulation in basements. That never ends well.
    Master Plumber Mark:

    there is nothing better than the
    manly smell of WD 40 in the air
    while banging away on brass with a chisel and hammer...

    it smells like......victory......

    do not hit your thumb...
    __________________
    Just so everyone's clear: I'm the POODLE in the picture ("french", get it?) The hot woman is my wife.

  10. #10
    DIY Senior Member harleysilo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    101

    Default

    very interesting links. I researched this heavily but somehow missed these. I had B-Dry do our basement couple years ago. Looks like they did everything correctly except nobody discussed with me jacking up the perimeter of the house to insert nonpermable membrane between top of foundation wall and house rim framing to prevent capillary action...... oh well I would have told them no way to that idea anyways.

    Looks like I need to spray foam insullation down there next, cool!

  11. #11

    Default

    Keep mold food to a minimum! Mold loves wood 2x3s, especially if you have some nice batt insulation to keep it wet. Assume your basement will flood 1 inch or more and design accordingly. By flood detectors (they are cheap) and put them near trouble spots and of course the water heater, washer, etc. They won't prevent a disaster, but if you are home and hear one go off it could save you a major headache.

    Ok, first, paint the walls with a waterproofing latex paint. (Ok, there is no such thing as waterproofing latex paint BUT it will hold out the dampness rather well. Plan on multiple coats. Next, as long as you do not have major water seepage glue the polystyrene to the wall, continuously. If there are a couple of spots where you think there might be minor leakage you can cut grooves into the back of the polystyrene in those locations to allow the water to drain to the floor. Anything more than minor leakage and you need to address your water issues before you can finish your basement. Tape all joints. Use the polystyrene without the foil vapor barrier. Finally frame with 2x3 metal studs and add blueboard sheetrock. Keep the blueboard an inch or more off the floor.

  12. #12

    Default

    Thank you everybody for your responses...Yes Frenchie that was a typo on my email... Thanks for your response as well.

    I plan on attaching the XPS to the foundation and using metal studs to frame out an inch or so away. One more thing if you guys don't mind...

    I have a french drain around the perimeter of the basement with a 1 inch gap all around. Should I run the polystyrene all the way down the foundation wall flush with the gap at the floor or leave it raised a little. I'm not sure what to do because I don't plan on putting a sub floor down because I have minimal headroom and I want to make sure there is no way for the heat of the finished area to get out to the foundation wall.

    I plan on carpeting because I have an uneven basement floor.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. Am I on the right track?

  13. #13
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    South of Boston, MA
    Posts
    885

    Default

    If there is any chance of moisture in your basement I wouldn't put carpet down, I would install on a raised floor system

    I have a stream on the property, our sump pump failed once & we had 6-8" of water in the basement. I'll never finish the basement, it will remain unfinished. We don't need the space with the addition I am building

    Somewhere I saw solid foam board attached to sheathing attached directly to the concrete (foam 1st)
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

  14. #14
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,405

    Default

    Wedi is a tileable foam board that can be thinsetted directly to clean concrete then tile applied on top. It comes in various thicknesses. Panels up to 2" thick (and maybe more) are available.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  15. #15

    Default

    Interesting thread - We don't have a largish basement here in New England - there is more room there than we need, basically a big Ell 40' x 40' on the long sides with a 15' x 15' chunk missing. We used to get basement floods in the spring when the grounds was still frozen and the spring rains would force the water into the basement via hydrostatic pressure (you could watch the water seeping in between the basement slab and the walls (only one step better than watching paint dry). So we bit the bullet and had a perimeter drainage system installed - after spending a weekend putting all the current walls, lumber, sheetrock etc into a dumpster.

    So now I am rebuilding, like I said, its more space than we need, so what I did in order to provide that ventilation that has been talked about, to provide access to my sills in case I need them, to be able to access my drainage system clean outs and to be able to access certain mechanicals etc is I stepped all my walls out from the foundation anything from 12" to 18", sure I lose some floor space but it seems to work for me. It's half done and so far I have had no issues whatsoever, nor do I expect any. My Hydro/Hygro (whatever) meter tells me moisture levels are very low still.

    Construction is 2x4 KD Lumber with PT sills

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •