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Finishing off interior foundation basement walls??


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Just so you know i`m training to be a home inspector and haven`t read anything on this subject topic as yet.But in my work history these are things I`ve spotted over the years.Please

feel free to comment on each scenario.Some are obviously simple and some are tricky!

Here are some basement foundation wall systems i`ve encountered.How would a home inspector write these up,thats assuming he can determine how they were built....and all things being equal.[i know that you just do visual inspections so lets just assume there is a section without drywall.]I`m in Canada,so its a northern climatic region.

[1]cement wall/stud wall & fiberglass insulation/vapour barrier/ drywall

[2]cement wall/vapour barrier/stud wall & fiberglass insulation/ drywall

[3]cement wall/water sealer/stud wall & fiberglass insulation/ vapour barrier/drywall

[4]cement wall/water sealer-glue/rigid board insulation & strapping/drywall

[5]cement wall/water sealer-glue/rigid board insulation & strapping/vapour barrier/drywall

[6]The building science engineers also have a wall design and they don`t require a vapour barrier.I couldn`t remember the cross section of that system.

Note...Since I found out about the building science engineers not using a vapour barrier its made me rethink

things.

Your Truly

Michael

PS:This is my first post so I hope its not a dumb one!I also hope my

descriptions are understandable.

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[1]cement wall/stud wall & fiberglass insulation/vapour barrier/ drywall

bad/mold/mush/mushrooms

[2]cement wall/vapour barrier/stud wall & fiberglass insulation/ drywall

depends what the vapor barrier is and if it has a place to drain condensate

[3]cement wall/water sealer/stud wall & fiberglass insulation/ vapour barrier/drywall

see number 1

[4]cement wall/water sealer-glue/rigid board insulation & strapping/drywall

not bad..eliminates a dew point surface. Should be polyisocyanurate or polyurethane foam

[5]cement wall/water sealer-glue/rigid board insulation & strapping/vapour barrier/drywall

as a rule double vapor barriers trap water in an assembly

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The type of foam is critical. It's not adequate to simply say "rigid foam board".

There's polyisocyanurate, polyurethane, and expanded polystyrene. Each one has a specific use. I don't think you want polyisocyanurate below grade on a bsmt. wall; you want a little breathability to the interior.

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Originally posted by Chad Fabry

[1]cement wall/stud wall & fiberglass insulation/vapour barrier/ drywall

bad/mold/mush/mushrooms

[2]cement wall/vapour barrier/stud wall & fiberglass insulation/ drywall

depends what the vapor barrier is and if it has a place to drain condensate

[3]cement wall/water sealer/stud wall & fiberglass insulation/ vapour barrier/drywall

see number 1

[4]cement wall/water sealer-glue/rigid board insulation & strapping/drywall

not bad..eliminates a dew point surface. Should be polyisocyanurate or polyurethane foam

[5]cement wall/water sealer-glue/rigid board insulation & strapping/vapour barrier/drywall

as a rule double vapor barriers trap water in an assembly

Chad...Thanks for the quick response!

[1]This is the most common method i`ve seen in carpentry books

and that i`ve found in renovations.I know in renovations i always find wet spots ,rotting wood in that arrangement.

[2]The vapour barrier is just the normal,generic 6mil plastic

[5] I found this system on a home inspection page as the prefered method.But i questioned the double vapour barrier thing myself,thats why i threw it in.

But I worked for a construction company and the owner framed his first floor with a vapour barrier on both sides of the wall.That was against all our negative comments about it.I have no idea how it held up....but I would assume it would have rotted out.

[6]I was hoping to hear some comments on the building science engineer design without a vapour barrier.From what i can remember they leave an air space / gap then frame the wall away from the concrete wall.

[7]Chad.......Here is a hypothetical scenario...what if you did [1] without the vapour barrier.What problems would you think would arise from this method.

[8]Chad......Here is another scenario...on the first floor wall you have vinyl sidding,tyvex or roofing paper,foam insulation,then partical board/OSB .Now combined with the interior vapour barrier wouldn`t this also be a double vapour barrier.The permability would be greatly reduced.Any comments?

Yours Truly

Michael

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