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    Basement wall - vapor barrier

    Help.

    I'm framing a exterior basement wall and am a little confused on the whole vapor barrier thing. If I'm using that pink compressed foam insulation between the 2x4s and the concrete wall does that act as the barrier? Or do I still need to hang a sheet of plastic? And I THINK the barrier needs to be directly on the concrete ... but some websites seem to say it should be just under the drywall ...

    I could just call the city building inspector, but I'd kinda like to accomplish something tomorrow and not wait til Monday.



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    Re: Basement wall - vapor barrier

    I would to keep the walls dry, under the drywall. I am redoing my basement, the old is 20 years old and has been wet due to condansation and had on barrier. The old foam was white foam. I am using foil faced foam this time, laying 2x4s flat over the foam. I also painted the walls with water barrier paint.


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    Re: Basement wall - vapor barrier

    I believe some cities have code that specifies that it needs to be right behind the sheetrock.
    I think the best place for it is right against the concrete. Could be wrong though. You definately shouldn't do both. That creates what they call the "soggy diaper" effect, which traps the moisture between the two vapor barriers and will mold, etc.
    So to answer your question, I don't know.



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    Re: Basement wall - vapor barrier

    It is usually between the insulation and the drywall.


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    Re: Basement wall - vapor barrier

    I painted the walls already with a barrier paint, it protectes against something like 15 psi , so not that great, but its something. Basically I don't want to create a problem that doesn't exist by adding the plastic and cutting off some type of air flow. I've heard the horrer stories about creating that "pocket" with 2 barriers.



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    Re: Basement wall - vapor barrier

    Quote Originally Posted by brianhos View Post
    It is usually between the insulation and the drywall.
    Well Home Depot told me its between the concrete and the insulation and Menards told me I don't need it at all because I'm using the solid foam (pink) boards of insulation.

    its very confusing for something that seems like it should be very easy.



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    Re: Basement wall - vapor barrier

    Quote Originally Posted by clones_jer View Post
    Well Home Depot told me its between the concrete and the insulation and Menards told me I don't need it at all because I'm using the solid foam (pink) boards of insulation.

    its very confusing for something that seems like it should be very easy.
    I used that foam and I did not put any on. I did paint the walls with moisture proof paint though.


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    Re: Basement wall - vapor barrier

    Quote Originally Posted by brianhos View Post
    I used that foam and I did not put any on. I did paint the walls with moisture proof paint though.
    Did you seal the seams or just butt it up tight to one another?



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    Re: Basement wall - vapor barrier

    Quote Originally Posted by clones_jer View Post
    Did you seal the seams or just butt it up tight to one another?
    The seams of the insulation? Just butted them up together.

    So mine was that owens corning basement insulation stuff that just fits together and you use a 1x3 furring strip and attach that to the wall with anchors. I did not want to lose the space of a 2x4 wall since the basement was so small anyway.


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    Re: Basement wall - vapor barrier

    I'd put the plastic up against the concrete


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    Re: Basement wall - vapor barrier

    I've finished basements in three homes that I have owned and used the pink foam you describe in two of them and the beaded styrofoam in the other one. In each case I framed the walls and installed the insulation. I then ran a continuous roll of plastic over the top of my framing and insulation prior to hanging the wallboard.

    In one town, per code, the city building inspector approved everything that I did. This system always worked fine for me and I never had any problems.



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    Re: Basement wall - vapor barrier

    Maybe I can help on this subject.

    You are correct on your assesment of not wanting to create that "pocket" within your wall. What happens is moisture gets through your concrete wall, hits no vapor barrier, creates moisture in your insullation and then causes mold behind your dry wall.

    So first, your pink rigid board does not act as a vapor barrior. If you ever recall new construction, you usually see a black tar coating the outer walls with the pink rigid board on the outside of that. The black tar would be your vapor barrier. Also, I would stay clear of running your barrior after installing any framing and insulation. If you haven't, then you've just created your air / moisture pocket that you don't want.

    Surprisingly there are some latex paints that work awesome for interior barrier applications. It keeps moisture out of your house, but allows your house to breath. The second part doesn't really matter because you are going to cover it with rigid board and drywall later, but at least you have a barrior applied directly onto your concrete which is the best place to have it.

    After applying your barrior, then install your framing and insulation and you should be set. Also be sure to properly insulate around your electical outlets and such. Those are ideal places for cold air to leak into your home and warm air to escape. If your able to use the blown in insulation instead of rigid or batt insulation you would be better off.


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    Re: Basement wall - vapor barrier

    Quote Originally Posted by guitarchitect7 View Post
    Maybe I can help on this subject.

    You are correct on your assesment of not wanting to create that "pocket" within your wall. What happens is moisture gets through your concrete wall, hits no vapor barrier, creates moisture in your insullation and then causes mold behind your dry wall.
    Maybe I'm not quite understanding this right, but isn't the moisture barrier installed to prevent water from the INSIDE air hitting the cooler walls and condensing? That seems to be the sticking point ... GoClone method seems to be intent on preventing that.

    My foam board is going to be installed underneath the stud wall, so it will all be 1 giant piece, taped together. I'm only doing half of the walls in my basement (the other two will remain unfinished for now .... its a big basement), so maybe its not a big deal either way.



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    Re: Basement wall - vapor barrier

    Quote Originally Posted by clones_jer View Post
    Help.

    I'm framing a exterior basement wall and am a little confused on the whole vapor barrier thing. If I'm using that pink compressed foam insulation between the 2x4s and the concrete wall does that act as the barrier? Or do I still need to hang a sheet of plastic? And I THINK the barrier needs to be directly on the concrete ... but some websites seem to say it should be just under the drywall ...

    I could just call the city building inspector, but I'd kinda like to accomplish something tomorrow and not wait til Monday.
    How old is your house? I am a home builder in the Des Moines area and we do our fair share of basement remodels. I would tell you the same thing that others have shared. We always put the moisture barrier on top of the framing right before drywall. Go with that system and you shouldn't have any problems. Happy remodeling



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    Re: Basement wall - vapor barrier

    Quote Originally Posted by bhoodjer View Post
    How old is your house? I am a home builder in the Des Moines area and we do our fair share of basement remodels. I would tell you the same thing that others have shared. We always put the moisture barrier on top of the framing right before drywall. Go with that system and you shouldn't have any problems. Happy remodeling
    1959. So in the end I'll end up with the following:

    concrete wall -> water based sealer paint -> 1" pink foam (R5) -> studwall (possibly with unbacked bats of insulation added depending on $) -> plastic sheet -> drywall.

    Home Depot showed me some plastic that was like $45 a roll ... seems excessive for plastic ... can I just go to the paint section and pick up some 3 or 4 mil laydown plastic?



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