interior french drain with integrated vapor barrier is a good ?

james_007November 15, 2010

We are evaluating companies for our basement french drain. One of the companies has an integrated vapor barrier system option. sound attractive to me. it likes this (or link at the bottom):

The vapor barrier's bottom will be burried into the french drain. On the top the vapor barry sheet will be sealed with wall. I have a poured concrete basement. Poured in 1950. No water seen through the wall but lots of efflorescense.

What's your opinion about this? the bottom

Here is a link that might be useful: French Drain with Vapor Barrier

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Interior systems may keep the living area dry. But they do nothing to stop the deterioration of the wall and the underlying soil from the flow of water.

I would only use an interior system where: 1) there is no access to the exterior, as in homes built on or near the lot line next to similarly situated homes; 2) the water is coming up through the basement floor; 3) foundation walls cannot be excavated without risk of collapse, e.g., rubble walls; 4) it is in conjunction with exterior water control measures.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 2:54PM
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In my case, it is not practical to do those waterproof and dampproof from outside. We have done what we can from outside to stop sureface water close to our house.

we will put interior french drain but don't know if we should go with that vapor barrier system or not. Don't know if it works and how long it will last? the saleman told me their warranty is 20 yrs for the vapor barrier.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 10:11AM
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Here's how Building Science Corp. used an interior drainage system on a rubble foundation. The interior vapour barrier is continuous from under the wood sill into the newly poured floor and serves as a base for closed cell spray foam insulation. Any moisture barrier on the interior basement wall must make provision for handling moisture transmission at the above grade portion. See Figure 2. In other word, the vapour barrier must not lap over the wood above the masonry in your basement.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 11:34AM
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My basement concrete walls are higher than the outside ground. There is about 1 foot is above the ground. Can I ask them to seal the vapor barrier on the wall at the level of the outside ground? the moisture from the walls will be trapped between the vapor barrier and the wall. Does it make sense?

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 1:00PM
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It's important not to seal the wood structure of the home behind a vapour barrier. So the answer is "yes". However, you should insulate that area with XPS, EPS, or foam. No fibrous materials.

Interior Perimeter Drain and Insulation Detail
Source: Building Science Corporation--Building Science Insights-041

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 2:46PM
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Yes, you are right. If we seal wood in between, the wood will be rotten soon.

I was planning to insulate entire wall with XPS against the walls anyway. If we put the integrated vapor barrier here, we will put XPS after the barrier. Sound right? Then there "should" be no condensation water on the interior side of the barrier. Or we should put XPS between the barrier and the wall?

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 3:20PM
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Though your wall has efflorescence, indicating the presence of excessive moisture in the wall, there's no actual running water. So you could use the XPS against the wall--it will simply slow and diffuse the seasonal moisture drive.

The system you link to looks like it is installed so any water runs down the wall behind it. Will this work if foam board anchors penetrate it?

The main problem with interior waterproofing is that the water is still attacking and affecting the wall.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 7:38PM
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