09:39AM | 03/06/03
Member Since: 03/05/03
1 lifetime posts
My house is 40 years old. I had moisture problems in the basement, after gutting it I found out the problem was from condensation on the cement that is above ground level.
What is the proper way to finish the basement to prevent this from happening again. I have about 4ft. of cement above ground level. Would insulating the outside of the basement be the answer. Currently there is cement and stucco on the outside walls. What about styrofoam insulation on the inside.


Jay J

04:00PM | 03/06/03
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
Hi kotylakj,

I'm not clear on your problem. If the moisture is coming from the floor, then let it breathe. I mean, if it's moisture, let it breathe. If it's "water", you don't want to pass GO! If you seal the floor or start gluing tiles to it, the moisture will eventually ruin the finished job. Consider a floor that requires Sleepers. It will raise your floor so consider the headroom. Plan B might be to use an indoor-outdoor carpet. Again, don't glue it to the floor or seal the floor. Sometimes, that's the best you can do.

If the moisture is coming through the outside walls, you have a couple of options. 1) Mitigate the source from OUTSIDE the basement, 2) as stated above, as long as the moisture is moisture (not water) that's coming through, you can let it come in. Use a Pressure Treated wood in EITHER scenario! It won't rot.

THEN, the last thing you do is build in a dehumidifier. You see, it's OK to let moisture in as long as you get rid of it. Be sure to THINK AHEAD as to where you're going to run your tubing for the dehumidifier. My Municipality prevents me from 'dumping' the water into the Sewer System. Also, if you route it outside, it needs to 'run' somewhere. Also, if you experience Winter, you need to prepare for that too.

My best to ya and hope this helps.

Jay J -Moderator

PS: There are plenty of DIY books that go through the steps of finishing a Basement. Since you're doing the work yourself, spend some of that saved $$$ on a GOOD book!

PPS: God Bless America!

[This message has been edited by Jay J (edited March 06, 2003).]


05:22PM | 03/09/03
Member Since: 01/28/03
693 lifetime posts
The reason you are getting condensation on the inside of the black above grade is that the block is getting colder than the dew point of the interior air.

Block below grade rarely gets to that point.

The BEST solution is to add foam insulation on the OUTSIDE of the foundation, then stucco on top of that.

Short of that you can add the ridig foam insulation on the inside but still risk having any penetrating moisture enter the space between the concrete and foam and condense.

Respectfully disagreeing with the moderator, under NO CIRCUMSTANCE should water vapor be allowed to enter a basement from outside.

It is this type of water infiltration that creates most basement damp problems.

Basements walls and slabs should ideally be treated on the out and underside respecfully to prevent any and all vapor penetration.

Short of that, the walls and slabs should be treated with a vapor barrier coating (typically in the form of an epoxy based coating) to prevent vapor penetration.

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