Basement Vapor Barrier question - help

wishes30June 15, 2011

Hello All,

I am new to this forum and looking for some information on whether or not I should have put in a vapor barrier in the basement. My home was built in Atlanta in 2007/2008. Long and short, I used a contractor to start renovations in an unfinished basement. He turned out to be crooked and was not delivering the quality I was epecting so I fired him. He only did the first step - framing. After I let him go, I pulled all the permits for the baement to try and handle the renovations myself. I got the electrical and plumbing done to code (I hired the contactors). However, I initially didn't pass the framing inspection. I was told I had to do fireblocking around the walls and add insulation before they could pass me. which was done and I ended up passing inspection.

The inspector told me that I didn't need to put insulation on the cement walls (just the plywood walls on the inside - I used R19). When he gave me a pass, I went ahead and got the drywall put in. Now I am reading all these boards about putting up a vapor barrier on the cement walls to prevent molding (I stmbled across this information when I was looking for information on the best type of flooring to put in a basement). I am really concerned now since I am at the paint and trim stage. Just looking for some advice on what options - if any - exist after the drywall stage?

Some info on my bsement

1 - it is a walk out basement - most of the walls are above ground with the exception of the garage area which was converted to a theater room -most of the walls in the theater room are cement and are below ground

2- the studs in the theater room are about 1/4 inch away from the cement wall - not directly agaist the cement

3. Insulation was only added to the top of the wall area in the theater room that was not cement - insulation was not added to the cement walls

Any advice would be greatly appreciated -Please note that I am far from a handywoman. I have been getting most of my information online.

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See link below.

You're mixing up a vapour barrier with a moisture barrier.

The only one you would have been advised to have installed was a moisture barrier on the concrete wall. But since the insulation--and I'll assume it's fiberglass--isn't touching the wall, don't worry.

In your climate, though, to avoid basement mould problems use a portable dehumidifer to keep the moisture levels below 50 per cent relative humidity.

Here is a link that might be useful: Building Science Corp. on basements

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 10:36AM
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