03:23AM | 02/07/08
Member Since: 02/06/08
1 lifetime posts

I have a 9-year-old cement foundation, that is 24x50 and live in New Hampshire. One full length of the foundation is an exposed walk-out with wood walls. The other 3 sides are cement and mostly underground (approx 2 ft exposed above ground). I have no water problems and have a French Drain around the foundation. The walls are always dry. The basement has low humidity as I run a dehumidifier in the summer and a woodstove in the winter. My ultimate goal is to drywall or panel over the cement walls and never have to do it again.

Thinking that it would be a simple project, I have nailed 2x3 furring strips (flat-side against the wall) horizontally along the base of the wall and the top of the wall. I then nailed 2x3 vertical furring strips (flat side against the wall)every 16" on-center. The furring strips are kiln dried and not treated. The cement wall has not been water-proofed. Since nailing on the furring strips, I have heard conflicting reports on what to do next.

Questions: Should I Tear off furring strips and start over (I would really hate to do this)???? Waterproof the cement wall??? Add rigid insulation between furring strips??? Do I need to add a vapor barrier??? If so, is the VB to be placed between the furring strips and drywall/panel??? Any advantages to paneling vs drywall??? I want to make sure I do this project right, and not create mold/moisture problems that I will later regret. I would appreciate any advice you can provide. Thank you very much.


04:32PM | 02/10/08
Member Since: 03/03/05
273 lifetime posts
Being in the mold remediation business, I am always asked this question and asked how to "do it right". The answer is, there is no right answer.

1. Waterproofing from the outside is best.

2. Moisture barriers are good, but can still trap moisture.

3. Wood strips are organic and are a perfect source of food for mold.

4. Standard drywall has paper liners with act likes sponges and are also a food source for mold.

5. Wood paneling is a source of food for mold.

I have inspected walls with vapor barriers behind drywall walls with massive amounts of mold growth. The key is to eliminate the moisture. However if you heat the basement and the foundation is cold, you have the potential for condensation. Even the driest of basements can get wet, it's a matter of when.

So, it comes down to what you think is a reasonable plan. First off, using non organic building materials is a start. If you can create air movement behind the walls, it would be benificial.

We consulted on a basement project in Beverly, MA that consisted of vented walls with partial framing to allow for air flow. We installed two air handling units and it was enough to create enough air flow behind the walls to produce a wicking effect behind the walls dry.

I'm in the Boston area, if you would like to correspond, email me at [email protected] and we can go from there.

Good luck!
Click to reply button
Inspiration banner


Post a reply as Anonymous

Photo must be in JPG, GIF or PNG format and less than 5MB.

Reply choose button


Post new button or Login button

To test the boundaries of small-footprint living, interior designer Jessica Helgerson moved her family to a 540-square-foo... Filling an underutilized area beneath the stairs is a smart way to save space. Doing so with a stash of wood, however, is ... The Audubon Society inspired wallpaper in this Adirondack-styled mudroom will get you in the outdoor mood. Grab your coat ... Chalkboard paint opens up endless possibilities for customizing your dresser time and time again. Use chalk to label the c... A fireplace in the bathroom creates the ultimate setting for relaxation. Homeowners often choose electric or gas over wood... This roomy boot tray made from punched metal stands up to all the elements. Station it in your mudroom or at your back doo... There’s nothing like a new set of cabinet hardware to refresh a room. The possibilities are endless: Go modern, rustic, or... FLOR tiles are an affordable way to customize a carpeted floor covering for any space. Make anything from runners to wall-... Chalkboard paint features prominently in this elegant yet unpretentious headboard design. Add a new message daily to reflec... Salvaged boards in varying widths and colors make up the dramatic accent wall in this attic space. The high-gloss white of... The indecisive homeowner need not fret over choosing one (or even two) cabinet colors. The kitchen cabinets in this artist... Incorporate nature into your lighting scheme by securing a dead tree in a concrete mold and draping your pendant lamp from... Simple and striking, a couple of pieces of "lovingly used" furniture creates a special kind of charm. A weathered chair fo... First dress up your metal shelves with a coat of paint in an accent color that complements your kitchen decor. Then arrang... Dark wood shelving and a matching upholstered bench keep this closet sleek and refined. The large window brightens the sub...
Follow banner a
Newsletter icon Flipboard glossy Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube Rss icon