07:46AM | 08/17/01
Member Since: 08/16/01
1 lifetime posts
I just noticed condensation under the plastic covering our insulation. On the floor were small wet spots-I assume these were spots created from the condensation dripping onto the floor underneith the plastic.

Now here is what I did that was stupid. Last summer I layed bricks down underneith our deck. I put down vapor seal instead of weed cloth and did a average job of grading the dirt. Now I see that the bricks have settled the dirt and the grading is slanted slightly towards the house. To top things off, we have no gutters (are getting them in 2 weeks), our neibhors kids left the hose on for 2-3 hours right by the bricks, we had 2 weeks of horrible humidity, and we are on a clay foundation.

Other than the gutters, do you think grading the dirt and relaying the bricks would take care of things? We are getting the basement finished soon so we want to make sure we have no water problems. Would a dehumidifier help?

Jay J

04:02PM | 08/17/01
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
Hi Doriod,

Bad news - In a basement, the vapor barrier goes ON the floor; NOT on top of the insulation!!! The idea of a vapor barrier is to PREVENT moisture from getting PAST the barrier. If you were to put the barrier on your ceiling joists, then you might as well live in the jungle. The barrier goes at the LOWEST point in the basement. What books did you read on how to finish a basement??!

Remove the barrier immediately. If possible, lay one on the FLOOR. Better yet, if the moisture is just condensation vs. major drop w/dripping, forget the barrier all together. Instead, 'allow' the moisture to rise up THROUGH and/or around whatever it need to in order that it 'enters' the living space, AND install a GOOD dehumidifier to keep the place dry. Be sure to get a unit that automatically empties into a sump pit or a drain line. DON'T buy one that empties into a bucket, or something.

I hope you have Pressure Treated lumber on the floor. If not, in a couple of years, you'll be writing to 'us' asking us to explain why it is your 'sleepers' rotted on the floor. And spend some decent money on some decent books, and use them, especially before you start the work. Obviously, this 're-job' may cost MORE than the price of a few good books.

DIY, but do it right! My best to ya and hope this helps. (Sorry for being so heavy. I had a bad day. And this is the kind of 'thing' that upsets me a bit when it comes to DIYers wanting to save $$$ by doing the work themselves. It just proves why a Contractor charges what he/she charges. They do earn their $$$. Idonno - Maybe I shouldn't have written a thing ...)

Jay J -Moderator

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