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cluelesscontractor

01:46PM | 08/01/04
Member Since: 07/31/04
3 lifetime posts
Bvbasement
Question #1 - our basement is poored concrete, has insulation in the ceiling but its totally exposed...is my family at risk? What can I do to seal it up? Can I use plastic sheets and duct tape or will I trap moisture and cause more problems? can i put up dry wall and finish just the ceiling without finishing the rest (floors and walls)...we do use the basement for rec room as is. Thanks in advance -Clueless ...oh, and yes, money is an OBJECT for me.

tomh

08:01PM | 08/01/04
Member Since: 07/01/03
549 lifetime posts
Fiberglass has not been shown to be a carcinogen and is unclassified for this health hazard, but is a dermal and respiratory irritant when disturbed (such as during installation). When used in insulation batts, and not disturbed, it should pose no hazard or irritation.

The vapor barrier or paper backing is properly installed against the first floor of your house. Adding a vapor barrier under the insulation is not a good idea, but you could add a barrier like Tyvek house wrap which allows water vapor to pass, but is an absolute barrier for any particulate and will give you a white smooth surface. If you put the white unprinted side facing the room, it will brighten things and not look too bad. Costs more than plastic sheeting, but is cheaper and easier than hanging drywall.

You need do nothing for health reasons, unless you have ping-pong balls bouncing off it, or some other persistent activity that disturbs the insulation.

cluelesscontractor

03:13AM | 08/02/04
Member Since: 07/31/04
3 lifetime posts
I appreciate your speedy reply, I will look into this Tyvek paper and see if we can afford to do this...I dont think we can afford not too really. Do you have any ideas of the cost and how this paper is applied? is it in rolls, or sheets? - clueless

tomh

07:03AM | 08/02/04
Member Since: 07/01/03
549 lifetime posts
Currently, the price for spunbond polyester non-DuPont Tyvek (Top Choice brand) housewrap is $105 for a roll 9' x 150 feet (1350 feet). That should be enough for the entire project. This quote is good for the big blue box store that starts with L. The brand name costs about 25% more at builder supply stores.

Since you can just staple it on in large continuous overlapping sheets, it is pretty easy to work with. Tough material, it will not easily rip, but there are plastic tabs that give a larger surface area for nailing or stapling through to prevent ripping. I have used this to keep chipmunks from nesting in insulation under a house and it worked great. An installation tip you won't find elsewhere: Use spray adhesive (Super 77) along the bottom of joists to hold the sheet in place until you staple. It also works to create neat seams and close gaps around pipes and fixtures.

cluelesscontractor

08:48AM | 08/03/04
Member Since: 07/31/04
3 lifetime posts
great tips, i appreciate that. i priced the paper yesterday and you are right on,..our basement is about 14oo square ft so i would have just a small shortage...no biggie...anyhow, i noticed that they sell these 4x8 styrofoam type boards// reinforced with some sort of aluminum foil or something...anyhow, i had been thinking about laying out the cost for drywall but balked when i realized that there isnt anyone to help me with that project...so, if i did the stryrofoam thing, id at least be able to manage the job physically...is this a safe alternative? or would that insulation only trap in the moisture as well? I appreciate all of the time and bother with my questions. thanks again. -clueless
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