basement questions

ellis1592October 25, 2007

Hello, I am in the process of finishing my basement, and am wondering if anyone can answer a few questions.

Some things that might help you give me some answers:

The wall does get damp at times of heavy rain, also with extremely heavy rain you can notice a glimmer of water on the block, although it doesnt cascade down the wall. I think I solved most of the problem by grading around the house and fixing the gutters. but still some moisture.

I plan on sealing the wall with the proper paint.

I am not adding heat and A/C.

I did not plan on insulating.

-What is a good distance to have a wall from the foundation?

-Should all the base plates of the walls be preasure treated?

-I do not plan on insulating,should I? If so how and what type is recomended?

I appreciate any and all the help you have to offer!


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In my opinion, you are looking for problems finishing your basement with known moisture problems uncorrected. Mold will grow without air movement to evaporate. Yes, grading and gutter repair are good measures but it may be necessary to have the exterior sealed too.

To your questions -
1 - Once the moisture problem is corrected, the wall can be built against the foundation.

2 - Absolutely PT for a base plate.

3 - I don't know the climate where you live. Insulation will keep the basement temperature warmer in winter - a practical thing since you say adding heat is not anticipated. I used 2" rigid foam in ours but fiberglass has better "R" rating - it retains moisture though.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2007 at 8:43AM
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It is a gamble but I am hoping that sealing the interior basement walls will do the trick. How is it even possible to seal the walls from the exterior with out spending loads of money? I currently live in southern NJ. The 2" foam you used, where was it installed? against the wall, or between the studs?
By the way, thank you for your input.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2007 at 7:35PM
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You can't close a wall that gets moist.

After "sealing" it from the inside, why not simply paint the walls that get wet? Finish the others if you want. That's inexpensive. You can spruce up the room by also painting the joists and adding some lights.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2007 at 7:59PM
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ellis, check out the article linked below. It is a must read before you spend one nickle on your project.

Here is a link that might be useful: Building Science Corporation Basement Insulation Systems

    Bookmark   October 26, 2007 at 9:35PM
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