Please share your favorite products, ideas and links for managing basement moisture intrusion before weatherizing.  I'm not looking for info on exterior water management solutions.  I'd love to hear your thoughts.  Thanks.

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  • SORRY about that. I had caps on lock, (which is why I started with a small i), just didn't erase and start over.
    Any way; we are all here to share experience and knowledge. You got the one bit that I will probably ever have to share.Hope to keep reading your posts.
  • Hello again Allen;

    Submitted my earlier comment before making time to review the web site you recommended, and must say, the text and graphics are some of the best I've seen in regard to clearly and simply laying out for a homeowner what they need to know about wet basements. Along with the excellent link Robert Post provided, a homeowner should end up well informed on the issue, and as I'm sure we all agree, working with a knowledgable client is always the way to go. How many time have we had to deal with suspicious, ignorant (and I mean that in the nicest way ;-) folks who are dealing with an unfamiliar subject and fear being taken advantage of?

    Thanks again for the 411. Just stop yelling (unless you feel it's absolutely necessary :-).
  • So Kris:

    It looks like there is a lot of information here. So did you hear what you wanted or do we need to keep going :)?
  • Gee Allen, you didn't have to SHOUT :-). Thanks for the link to the book...had to use the site search function to locate it, so here's a hyperlink:

    I live over a crawl space now, but have suffered with damp basements (on occassion, up to 3" of damp :-) in the past, and I'm sure this would have come in handy.

    Thanks again!
  • i THINK WE ARE ALL MISSING THE POINT.I recommend reading 'Dry Basement Science,
    what to have done and why' by Lawrence Janesky
    Excerllent short book that spells out basement remodeling and water proofing for the average do it your selfer.
    We have been refinishing basements for 30 years and I like this book the best for our customers.
  • Kris,

    We all know to start at the roof and work our way down to assure that bulk water is managed in the best way possible given the site conditions. Here are the resources we use when working on basement weatherization or remodeling.

    When no apparent water issues are present, we have used Radon Seal to seal slabs and walls prior to finishing. This product is designed to prevent soil gases from passing through masonry. Soil gases are smaller that water vapor molecules, so it does double duty. After weatherization, we always check the radon system to make sure it is within design parameters. When making a building "tighter" one usually decreases the amount of soil gasses entering a home. Theoretically, less sub-slab depressurization is required to evacuate soil gases from the interior.

    The following links you to a document from the Building Science Corp. It has served as an excellent guide for our work and should answer all of your questions.

    Happy reading
    Robert Post
    BPI Building Analyst
  • Agree. There should be a French Drain if the soil is wet or damp.
  • An interior vapor barrier (< 0.1 perm) should be used only in conjunction with some type of drainage system. Otherwise, as Ewald says, it's probably going to collect and trap moisture.

    The best source for info on how to do this is Building Science Corporation, in my opinion, and they wrote a great little booklet called Read This Before You Design, Build, or Renovate with great instructions on how to do it. You can download it for free from their website. Just this week I posted an article in our blog about what we're going to do with a damp, musty basement in my condo building, and you can find the link to the BSC article there:
  • I recommended attaching the moisture barrrier, ( 4 or 6 mil poly), to the concrete wall and extending it out the floor and up over the sill plate to trap moisture against the 'concrete wall'. If I seemed to imply that it should be behind the sheetrock then I hope this clears that up. Basements in the North East only recently have started to utilize a continuous moisture proof membrane against the exterior of the foundation. Prior to that; most basements had an applied liquid coating that doesnt hold up that well. The slab under the concrete floor also needs a continuous moisture barrier. As basements are concrete block or poured masonry,(there are a few systems that utulize pressure treated wood but I hate those), moisture in contact with masonry weeps or wicks into and out. There are still building codes that don't require the membrane; as building codes are locally enforced and vary.
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