Moisture On Poured Walls - Basement Remodel

 
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:05 AM   #1
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Moisture On Poured Walls - Basement Remodel


I'm finishing off a daylight basement where the 8" poured walls were covered with a 1.5" insulation mat. The homeowner pointed out a possible moisture problem on the north wall so I removed the insulation to take a look.

There were a couple of spots of obvious 'sweating' but it wasn't too serious. We figured once the wall could breathe a little it would dissipate. But now that the weather has changed (about 15 degrees F now) and the inside surface of the wall is in direct contact to the heated basement the moisture has increased significantly.

I have built a full 3 1/2" wall about an inch away from the foundation and plan to insulate it with R-15 batts.

Is there something more I should do? Throw some plastic behind the wall? Maybe some sheets of foam insulation?

I've got opinions from a damp-proofer, an inspector, an HVAC guy, other trades people. Most of them say, "Hmm. Not sure."
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:14 AM   #2
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Re: Moisture On Poured Walls - Basement Remodel


When were the walls poured?

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Old 12-16-2016, 01:15 AM   #3
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Re: Moisture On Poured Walls - Basement Remodel


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when were the walls poured?

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Old 12-16-2016, 01:30 AM   #4
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Re: Moisture On Poured Walls - Basement Remodel


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Ah so they should have cured by now.

How's the drainage on that side of the house? Grade sloped appropriately? Gutters clear and downspouts running away from house? Where is grade relative to those walls?

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Old 12-16-2016, 01:39 AM   #5
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Re: Moisture On Poured Walls - Basement Remodel


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Ah so they should have cured by now.

How's the drainage on that side of the house? Grade sloped appropriately? Gutters clear and downspouts running away from house? Where is grade relative to those walls?
The damp-proofing guy says he does not like the insulation batts they glue to the walls because they don't let the walls dry out properly. But, code says you need insulation, so....

Drainage might be an issue. We are probably going to dump 5 or 6 yards of soil along that edge of the house to taper the grade away from the wall a little. Right now grade follows along the bottom of the dark spot in the photo. It's a gable end, so no roof runoff.

Adjusting the grade may help a bit, but it seem to me like the majority of the moisture is coming from just above the grade line. I don't know what you would do to fix that.
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:42 AM   #6
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Re: Moisture On Poured Walls - Basement Remodel


Here's the outside.
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Old 12-16-2016, 01:54 AM   #7
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Re: Moisture On Poured Walls - Basement Remodel


Agreed. How cold is it there and how damp is the basement? That could easily be condensation from the moist interior air against the cold concrete.
I assume the interior picture is the reverse of the outside image? Left is right and right is left?
Does the siding cover the concrete wall past the a/c unit?

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Old 12-16-2016, 02:04 AM   #8
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Re: Moisture On Poured Walls - Basement Remodel


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Agreed. How cold is it there and how damp is the basement? That could easily be condensation from the moist interior air against the cold concrete.
I assume the interior picture is the reverse of the outside image? Left is right and right is left?
Does the siding cover the concrete wall past the a/c unit?
It's been in the teens lately (fahrenheit) with windchills around zero.

Yes, the back corner of the exterior shot is the far right edge in the interior shot. Yes, the siding covers the wall on the back corner.

I think you're right about the interior air causing the condensation since that would be the spot on the wall where it's the coldest. If that's the case then maybe just building an insulated wall in front of it will solve the problem.
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:03 AM   #9
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Re: Moisture On Poured Walls - Basement Remodel


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I think you're right about the interior air causing the condensation since that would be the spot on the wall where it's the coldest. If that's the case then maybe just building an insulated wall in front of it will solve the problem.
Agreed, while I've seen plenty of block walls with moisture soaking through, that's unlikely with poured walls.
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Old 12-16-2016, 03:21 PM   #10
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Re: Moisture On Poured Walls - Basement Remodel


That's condensation from warm moist air smacking into a cold wall. Foamular panels directly against the concrete wall would be my choice.

Seek all sources of interior moisture and address them as well.
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Old 12-16-2016, 06:04 PM   #11
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Re: Moisture On Poured Walls - Basement Remodel


2" XPS against the concrete with joints taped or foamed, THEN the stud wall. After you have 2" of XPS it's safe to use unfaced batts in the stud wall, which I would do on any wall that isn't well below grade as R10 isn't enough in your climate. Make sure you get good insulation against the rim as well, or they'll have cold floors forever.
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:14 PM   #12
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Re: Moisture On Poured Walls - Basement Remodel


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2" XPS against the concrete with joints taped or foamed, THEN the stud wall. After you have 2" of XPS it's safe to use unfaced batts in the stud wall, which I would do on any wall that isn't well below grade as R10 isn't enough in your climate. Make sure you get good insulation against the rim as well, or they'll have cold floors forever.
I might put 3/4" foam insulation against this wall because the cellulose matt was removed. The rest of the walls still have the matt, which I think has an R value of 6. Along with batts of R-15 in the walls, we should meet the requirements. All total, with 8" concrete wall, R6 matt, R15 batt, 1/2" drywall it should be about R23.

The rims were sprayed with foam already.
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Old 12-17-2016, 05:32 AM   #13
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Re: Moisture On Poured Walls - Basement Remodel


I agree with above. Warm basement air coming in contact with cold concrete wall. I prefer to have 1" of foam sprayed on the walls. It will cost a little more, but by the time you figure labor, it will be close.

We frame our walls about 1/2" away from the concrete. The foam gets sprayed in after that. We also rough in electrical before foam. Makes it a little easier.

Of course you will need to let it dry before you do that. Once the moisture in the house decreases, I think you will see the wall dry out.

A little off the subject, but how about the electrical service. By the looks of your picture, it needs some attention. I'm guessing they backfilled and then ran the electrical service. When the overdig settled, it started pulling the conduit.
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:41 PM   #14
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Re: Moisture On Poured Walls - Basement Remodel


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Originally Posted by dutchroots2 View Post

Is there something more I should do? Throw some plastic behind the wall? Maybe some sheets of foam insulation?

I've got opinions from a damp-proofer, an inspector, an HVAC guy, other trades people. Most of them say, "Hmm. Not sure."
That deffinately looks like water coming through the wall along the grade line.

Is the exterior of the wall waterproofed above the gradeline?

Sweating is caused by the difference in temperature outside to inside that concrete wall. since concrete is not good for insulation, convection occurs on the surface creating moisture. if the wall was sprayed with cellulose that wouldn't happen unless the waterproofing did not protrude higher than the grade-line.

if there are no problems with moisture coming through the wall, and you spray with cellulose, there will be no sweating. However this looks like an issue that should be resolved before finishing that wall.

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Old 07-06-2017, 12:47 PM   #15
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Re: Moisture On Poured Walls - Basement Remodel


here is a video i just publised a couple months ago about spraying cellulose insulation on basement walls.

http://www.airlock-insulation.com/basement/

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