Vapor Barrier Sealing

klhicksJune 15, 2006

I am trying to resolve many issues concerning my basement. Here is the makeup of my basement; I have 2in polystyrene with I believe six mil poly under my basement slab. I did this to allow my floor to heat up much quicker by separating the ground temp for the infloor heat I ran. So I'm pretty sure my floor is not the source of the musty ordor I keep smelling. My wife and I quit using the shower in the basement because I have do not have it ventilated yet. I have 9 foot walls that I would like to seal up. Problem is that the my contractor framed the basement when I really did not want this yet....either way, I put up R19 insulation between the studs. I Have put 6 or 8 mil poly on some of the walls.

My main question is will having the insulation and the studs in contact with the concrete wall while the vapor barrier contacts the sheet rock be ok? I don't want my studs creating a breeding ground for mold which will eat its way toward the sheet rock or simply rotting out the studs. I also want to eliminate the musty smell. The contractor did not any kind of sealer on the outside or inside of the poured walls. Do I need to cut down the studded walls and add a sealant to the concrete and then put my studs back up?

My second question comes in the area of sweating pipes. I'm currently sealing these to prevent them from sweating. My issue is how do I seal my water bladder tank(well water) from sweating?

I do not want to purchase or use an energy hog such as a dehumidify. My infloor does seem to work for the most part, but I am not seeing how I'm saving as much as the power company says I am by using that verses a dehumidifier.

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klhicks

One quick note I forgot to mention. I do not have any water leaking through the wall as far as I can tell. I have 9 foot walls and only have sweat on lower 2-3 feet. Other walls that i have a vapor barrier over, only produced sweat on the plastic that which excess from the floors overlaps onto the floor. So as far as I can tell I just have sweat on the walls and NOT leaking from the outside.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2006 at 10:30AM
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formulaross

I suggest you read the tech resources at www.buildingscience.com concerning current current good practice in basement insulation and finishing. Two basic rules that I have gleaned are no visqueen and no fiberglass insulation. Reasoning is water vapor will enter the wall assembly from the foundation (worst-case thinking) and the only way out is into the iving space; its OK for the vapor phase to do this, we're not talking liquid water here. The reasoning on fiberglass is that it can act like a sponge and hold liquid water in the wall assembly. Foam insulation is what is recommended (white bead board or styrofoam-type). It's a bummer that the GC didn't waterproof the exterior walls. Look at the above resources, I believe that glueing styrofoam directly to the concrete walls has been used to 'seal' the walls and direct any liquid downward to be handled by an alternate drain. Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2006 at 10:27AM
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