No insulation behind drywall?
Sorry in advance of this lengthy message, but I know you guys will have some thoughts on our situation.
We have been planning to repaint our basement walls after we stripped the awful plaid wallpaper down from the drywall. In doing some drywall exploration, it seems like there's no insulation between the studs on the exterior walls. While I know this isn't ideal from an energy standpoint, is it bad from a moisture standpoint? Or would it be OK since there's plenty of room for air to circulate between the studs? I have no idea if the concrete walls were sealed or not.
The husband is reluctant to let me cut out a hole in the drywall and do a moisture test by sealing some plastic over the walls. He justs wants to paint and be done with it without causing extra drywall repairs.
Last winter (our first in the 35-year-old house), the basement was quite warm, but I am concerned about what might be growing on the back of the drywall. We live in the Midwest, so we have extreme temperature and moisture changes throughout the year.
The basement does have a rather musty smell spring to fall (we do run a dehumidifier), but we also have old carpeting with thick padding on the floor that eventually will come out after painting. I'm hoping that removing the carpet and pad will help with the smell.
Once we figure out the drywall, we'll need to figure out flooring. I did put some sealed plastic down this morning so see if the floor is seeping moisture, but the concrete has old black adhesive that I have no idea how to handle.
Could we just lay down a moisture barrier sheet before putting commercial carpet down? Or would the moisture cause mold between the concrete and the vapor barrier?
While we would love the kind of budget that would allow us to rip everything out and do it again properly, that's not our reality. We have four young kids and really just need a nice, safe, inexpensive place for them to play in basement.