Opening Vapor Barrier Wall

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Old 02-12-2017, 06:09 AM   #1
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Opening Vapor Barrier Wall

Need to add outlets, cable and speaker wire to an outer basement wall that is already finished with drywall. Presently having none of this. Only flat open walls...

Problem is when the drywall is cut, no matter how careful with the depth, etc, that plastic vapor barrier will be breached. Opening to maybe a four to six inch line around the room at electrical height.

About the only plus I see is that most of the wall area is above grade because of the generous ground slope outside (except for side walls).

Since the cut in the barrier will be right under the newly cut edge of the existing drywall, how to seal it back up? Not much of a way to slip anything underneath, more so even around the stud areas ...
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Old 02-12-2017, 06:19 AM   #2
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Re: Opening Vapor Barrier Wall

Most guys aren't even going to think twice about this.

If it were new construction, don't you think there would be a hole in the vapor barrier then also.

If it makes you feel better, how about some window and door foam squirted in there?


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Old 02-12-2017, 07:05 AM   #3
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Re: Opening Vapor Barrier Wall

It can be done but it's super annoying/time consuming.
If you're really concerned, what you can do is cut the drywall and vapour barrier trench. For the existing edge that has the cutoff drywall and vb, run a bead of acoustical sealant between them that will stick the vb to the back of the the existing drywall. Use gasketed boxes then just install the drywall back in the trench with acoustical seal at the studs. This will maintain the air barrier, vb don't really need to be continuous.
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Old 02-12-2017, 08:25 AM   #4
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Re: Opening Vapor Barrier Wall

Ahh location, location, location - Plastic isn't really needed in your area as compared to Philament & it definitely shouldn't be used in Builditguys area

Your vapor retarder is essentially the paint maybe even the fiberglass with kraft paper
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Old 02-13-2017, 08:15 AM   #5
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Re: Opening Vapor Barrier Wall

It can be done, but it's a pain.

Once you've cut out the drywall where you want to, you need to find the screws holding the rest of the board above and below your cut, and remove them too. That will allow you to lift the board away from the studs and seal the joint in the VB with vapour tape.

I would avoid trying to caulk with acousti-seal, only because if you get it in the joint and it contaminates the mud at all you're going to wish you'd been a dentist instead of a renovator.
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Old 02-13-2017, 08:20 AM   #6
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Re: Opening Vapor Barrier Wall

We do it often, fish in front of the insulation where you can, tape up where you cut. No biggie.
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Old 02-25-2017, 04:54 PM   #7
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Re: Opening Vapor Barrier Wall

We do it all the time as vb's are very important in the north. I just set the depth of the drywall zip tool to slightly less than the rock depth and work it our slowly. Sometimes you penetrate the vb but red tape or acoustic sealant and a small piece of 6 mil plastic should be easy enough to install.


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