damp proofing & insulating basement

grydDecember 14, 2006

I live in a raised ranch with about 3.5 feet of basement below ground. The walls, for some reason, were never insulated and smell very musty. I was going to take down the paneling in this area and clean up the area (there was water in the past so I'll clean any mold/mildew I find) and use the foam panels to insulate the walls between the studs. I was wondering if I should damp proof the cement? There is damproofing on the outside but it looks weak (the house was built in 1969). Is it recommended to dampproof the interior walls (maybe with Thomsons waterproofer) before I insulate? Any advice would be helpful.


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Im no expert, but have done some research on a product called radonseal. I am in the first stages of finishing my basement and will be using this product. RadonSeal Penetrating Concrete Sealer. It penetrates deep inside concrete (up to 4'), chemically reacts with lime and alkalis, expands into even microscopic pores and hardens. It seals concrete internally against water, water vapor, and even radon gas, combining concrete waterproofing, damp-proofing, concrete preservation, and radon mitigation in one product. Hope this link is useful.

Here is a link that might be useful: radonseal

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 8:29PM
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It seals up to 4 inches not 4 feet. I think I would like to see some reviews and to know how safe a product it is before applying it to a finished basement. Seems like an interesting product though.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 5:27AM
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I'd take down the paneling, let it all air out, and check for any cracks, etc.

Also look for all sources of moisture, and there can be many:

You might have:
* moist "interior" air that condensed behind the paneling on on cold winter walls.
* bad grade/drainage outside
* clogged gutters that cause water to get behind your wall/ sheathing etc. and find it's way to the basement
* cracks in the foundation
etc, etc.

Check all these and more.

My prep for finishing our basement (which is about to go into high gear) has included crack repair, regrading, sealing some gaps around the main entrance above, installing a drip edge under the gutters, and adding another downspout for the less-than-occasional torrential rains.

I'll be putting solid extruded foam insulation onto the walls next, and then frame it out in front of that.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 10:42AM
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I am not knowledgeable about damp proofing, however when our home was new there was a musty aroma the first summer. I cut a cold air return into the furnace ducting and the problem was immediately corrected. If you have forced air heat/air conditioning you may want to do the same after removing any impregnated old paneling, etc.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 12:46PM
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Duracoat offers a complete repair and decorative exterior coating system which gives a life long protective surface, thereby weatherproofing the structure of your home. The exterior coating system will completely reface your home's exterior walls regardless of surface condition allowing your house to breathe, so no more worries about damp walls, peeling paint, mould or bleaching. You will never need to paint again with Duracoat Systems UK Ltd.

Here is a link that might be useful: Damp Proofing

    Bookmark   August 8, 2009 at 2:57AM
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