12:39PM | 12/10/06
Member Since: 12/09/06
1 lifetime posts
We are finishing our basement walls not the ceiling. To date I have no history of water or mold issues. I have an old 1933 colonial in NJ. The heating system is pretty strange. There are steam heating pipes that run along the top and bottom of the foundation walls for about 75% of the basement. This makes it difficult to near impossible to build walls against the foundation. I had a few contractors come in... They all said they would just build the walls out beyond the bottom pipe, but inside the top pipe(about 11 inches). That gets around the pipes, but now I cannot insulate properly because the walls are so far from the foundation. Now, I'm concerned about mold growing on the drywall without a vapor barrier. Someone said, since I'm not finishing the ceiling and the walls will be so far from the foundation, moisture won't get trapped behind the drywall. They also said, trying to install insulation with the heat behind and in front of the drywall may actually create a mold problem. what should I do? The contractors are building the walls as I write.


04:19AM | 12/11/06
Member Since: 03/03/05
273 lifetime posts
If you do not have air flow behind the wall, any moisture that is present will stay there. If you can create some type of air flow it would be one solution. Your electrician can install small, silent circulating fans with ease. However, if you have and mold, air flow will circulate the spores around your basement. You may want to consider having the foundation sanitized before you cover them up. Also, if you plan on heating the basement, these fans will pull the cold air away from the wall and reduce your heating efficiency.

There are many theories on how basement walls should be finished and whether the use of a water block should be used. I wish there was one definitive answer, but since each home is different, there is not.

Don't fret the gap, air pockets can be a source of insulation just like the space used in thermal windows. Unfortunately, basements are just not good for living space.

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