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Speaking of adhesives.. (bit of a rant)

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Posted by The Milwaukee Road Warrior on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 9:34 AM

 IMG_1323 by The Milwaukee Road Warrior, on Flickr

This entire corner of my basement block wall was basically covered with staining of various shades of brown, black, and gray.  The problem downspout was right at the corner where the two exterior walls meet, to the left of the window.  This side of my house has a driveway at window level (about 3' above the basement floor).

Andy

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Milwaukee native modeling the Milwaukee Road in 1950's Milwaukee.

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 10:05 AM

 All the drainage on my house was badly neglected. The gutters were the original jointed type, and the joints were almost all leaking, droppign water all along the rear of the house (on the front, it was out past the porch, and also down hill, so what did come down in the wrong place always ran away from the foundation, and the rest was in front of the garage, which ran down the driveway and not back into the house). There is a later added roof over the patio, but it stopped about 2 feet short of the one corner of the house, so there was a tiny section of gutter with its own downspout, that dropped straight down in the corner of the house. On my plans I've posted, it's the top right corner. Guess where the worst water penetration was on the block, and the worst mold on the old walls when they were ripped out was?  On top of that, the downspount fromt he patio roof dropped water right int he corner of the patio, which was getting undermined. The patio was coated with a layer of cement with a brok pattern, but the undermining cause the two slabs to settle differently and there are big chunks of it all cracked out now. I'm going to have to chip it all off, and either just have a plain concrete patio, or have that done over again. With the new gutters, water only runs off through the downspouts, and the two problem ones were extended out to keep the water away from the house. On the garage side, there is actually a pipe alongside the house that exists into the driveway, why this wasn;t done on the other side of the house, I'll never know.

Plus they made a mess of things when they put the pool in, the whole yard slopes right to the back of the house. The removed dirt was piled on the hill outside of the fence, then the pool area is flat, then a down slope to the house. The pool deck is about 2 feet higher than the ground level at the foundation. We put in stone edginf along both flower beds to either side of the patio and filled it all in to make them raised by about a foot, combined with water fromt he roof no longer dropping right along the foundation edge, this has stopped the water seeping in (never puddled in the basement, just kept the block damp). There has never been standing water int he basement, no evidence of it from the past (no stains under the carpet after it was removed), and nothing in the nearly 6 years I've been there. And we've had plenty of heavy rains where it filled up and actually oveflowed the pool. So I'm pretty confident that the issues are all solved, finishing the walls will only make it even better. At the height of summer humidty, I got a dehumidifier, starting humidty was around 70%. The single 50 pint rated dehumidifer I got was able to reduce and maintain it under 40% with no problem - running idle most of the time after the initial period of drying things out. 

                                       --Randy


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 10:35 AM

York1

I'm not sure about the places you all live, but in my area, all basements built in the past 20 years have to be insulated floor to ceiling, regardless of how deep.

 

Yes, that applies to new houses, it has been part of the IRC for about 20 years. But even in a renovation, most jurisdictions do not require bringing that up to current new construction standards.

The reason for that code is simple, to reduce energy costs and "save the planet", a conversation not for this forum. I will just say, as a building engineering professional, it is questionable how much energy it actually saves, and at what cost in other problems and added building cost.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by The Milwaukee Road Warrior on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 11:00 AM

I am also involved in construction and engineering for my work, and in the past I did work that involved energy conservation at a lot of rural farmhouses in Iowa.  Spent a lot of time under them insulating nasty crawlspaces and blowing cellulose insulation into 100-year old walls that had no insulation whatsoever.

I confess I am at a loss to understand why the foam would NEED to adhere to the exterior wall.  If anything, I would think that a small air gap between the block and the foam would serve as a sort of thermal barrier - similar to argon-impregnated window panes in many modern replacement windows.  The surface variations of concrete block would make it impossible to get any good tight bond between the block and foam I would think.

Concrete block will sweat anyway, its just the way it is.  Vapor pressure pushes moisture thru the block.  So it seems that you will eventually get moisture between the block and the foam no matter what you do.  My concern is always what happens with the moisture once it is in that annular space: if there is no air movement in there it will have no way to dry out, which can lead to other problems.  Interior air quality is a huge problem for so many homes...

My 2 cents.

Andy

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Milwaukee native modeling the Milwaukee Road in 1950's Milwaukee.

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 11:08 AM

In Indiana, I believe the frost line is 30 inches.  Since at least 1997, many builders will insulate the top half of the sunken basement walls, but not the bottom half.  I think its a best practice there, but not a strict code.

They place fiberglass insulation directly on the concrete and attach it with big washers and fasteners, then wrap that in a vapor barrier.  It results in a 4 foot wide strip of useless ugly fiberglass around the top perimeter of the basement.

I concluded that if the insulation actually functioned for the top half of the basement wall, there would be a condensation problem, which would seem to be an issue with fiberglass directly on the concrete. I'm no expert, but it seemed very odd.

We tore it down almost immediately, plastered up the holes and other imperfections in the concrete and painted the walls with moisture resistant primer (as a precaution) then a tannish gray.  We had no problems at all with condensation from excessive frozen winters or even noticed a temperature difference.

I'm assuming Randy's contractor is using rigid foam instead of the fiberglass and attaching it with adhesive rather than big washers and fasteners.  There is probably a good reason for that since the basement is partially exposed.

- Douglas

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Posted by The Milwaukee Road Warrior on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 11:28 AM

If the walls are in such bad shape that they can't control the environment then I suppose insulation in some form may be called for.  Otherwise, why not just close up any cracks with an aforementioned product (or polyurethane caulk), seal, paint, and leave it alone.  

I too am reluctant to punch holes in block on exterior wall for the purpose of anchoring anything to the wall - so I understand if a contractor feels the same.  I just don't get the need for the foam to adhere to the actual block.

My framing for my backdrop will be supported by 2x4 screwed/bracketed into the bottom of my ceiling and/or floor joists so I don't have to put any holes in my exterior walls.

 IMG_0634 by The Milwaukee Road Warrior, on Flickr

 IMG_0633 by The Milwaukee Road Warrior, on Flickr

 IMG_0635 by The Milwaukee Road Warrior, on Flickr

Andy

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Milwaukee native modeling the Milwaukee Road in 1950's Milwaukee.

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Posted by NittanyLion on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 11:48 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

 

 
York1

I'm not sure about the places you all live, but in my area, all basements built in the past 20 years have to be insulated floor to ceiling, regardless of how deep.

 

 

 

Yes, that applies to new houses, it has been part of the IRC for about 20 years. But even in a renovation, most jurisdictions do not require bringing that up to current new construction standards.

The reason for that code is simple, to reduce energy costs and "save the planet", a conversation not for this forum. I will just say, as a building engineering professional, it is questionable how much energy it actually saves, and at what cost in other problems and added building cost.

Sheldon

 

Fairfax County VA requires it for all renovations, which has thrown a bizarre wrench in my basement refinishing plans.

The wall was originally furring strips and paneling on the block wall. The only doorway is in the corner of the basement and the door frame is pretty much up against the block. With the thin furring strips and paneling, this isn't an apparent issue. We had to pull the paneling down on that wall as part of the waterproofing we had done. Now, if I refinish that wall to code, the wall actually intrudes into the doorway. 

 

Fantastic. 

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Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 1:33 PM

 My contractor raised that point about my exterior door as well. My old finishing was the same - furring strips with paneling nailed to it. With a proper wall there, the door will be set into the wall a bit. But the door to the garage is already like that - on that wall, they used 2x3's with the paneling nailed on.  Still no insulation or anything, so why that wall got thicker actual studs and the wall that really is an exterior wall got only furring strips, I have no idea. A lot in this house has me shaking my head - stuff that was hidden until the old stuff was all ripped out. Not just stuff in the basement, either, other things have been exposed and are nuts.

                               --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 2:35 PM

So, that's something I would never do, attach furing to block walls and then put drywall on them, with or without insulation.

In my view, the only proper thing is to build a stud wall that stands an inch way from the block/poured concrete wall. A wall that can be properly plumbed, properly wired, and properly insulated.

Which I am not going to do in my new layout room basement. The block walls are just fine, no one will see them once the layout backdrop is up. And I am not giving up 1 foot of layout space.

As for permits for this kind of work, yes more and more it is coming to that everywhere. But not so much yet where I live. I will be retired before they get that nosey here.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, January 9, 2020 1:24 AM

When I finished the laundry room/storage area of our basement years ago I only installed strapping, insulation and vapour barrier to about 12" below grade. That left about 30" of exposed cinder blocks above the floor. I'm kind of glad that I left part of the wall exposed because very occasionally there has been a bit of moisture that enters between the bottom of the wall and the floor. As a result there has been a tiny bit of mould growth, but things dry out very quickly. If I had extended the wall all the way to the floor the moisture might not have evaporated as quickly with the  result that there would have been a lot more mould growth.

To go back to Randy's original 'rant', FWIW I have used both PL300 and cheap latex caulking to glue foam together. The PL300 is inseperable. The cheap caulking came apart easily.

Dave

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Posted by rrinker on Thursday, January 9, 2020 7:56 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

So, that's something I would never do, attach furing to block walls and then put drywall on them, with or without insulation.

In my view, the only proper thing is to build a stud wall that stands an inch way from the block/poured concrete wall. A wall that can be properly plumbed, properly wired, and properly insulated.

Which I am not going to do in my new layout room basement. The block walls are just fine, no one will see them once the layout backdrop is up. And I am not giving up 1 foot of layout space.

As for permits for this kind of work, yes more and more it is coming to that everywhere. But not so much yet where I live. I will be retired before they get that nosey here.

Sheldon

 

 This is why I opted to rip it all out and start over. That's how mine was done. ANd even in palces where they used studs and not furring strips, it was just paneling nailed right to it, and there was no attempt at all to set a standard spacing. Some would be 12" apart, then the next one would be spaced out 18", then you might get one at 16"

 If I did it all myself, forgetting about how much longer it woudl take me, it wouldn't be as good as what I'm getting, but it would have been a whole lot better than what was there. I know better. I also have some sense of what I don't know, and will research it before just trying to do it if I'm not sure. No, they didn;t have the internet when the old work was done, but there were books - we had a whole series of them that I read cover to cover, several times over, as a kid, that showed all sorts of how tos for building things.

                                 --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Friday, January 10, 2020 11:31 PM

NittanyLion

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL

 

 
York1

I'm not sure about the places you all live, but in my area, all basements built in the past 20 years have to be insulated floor to ceiling, regardless of how deep.

 

 

 

Yes, that applies to new houses, it has been part of the IRC for about 20 years. But even in a renovation, most jurisdictions do not require bringing that up to current new construction standards.

The reason for that code is simple, to reduce energy costs and "save the planet", a conversation not for this forum. I will just say, as a building engineering professional, it is questionable how much energy it actually saves, and at what cost in other problems and added building cost.

Sheldon

 

 

 

Fairfax County VA requires it for all renovations, which has thrown a bizarre wrench in my basement refinishing plans.

The wall was originally furring strips and paneling on the block wall. The only doorway is in the corner of the basement and the door frame is pretty much up against the block. With the thin furring strips and paneling, this isn't an apparent issue. We had to pull the paneling down on that wall as part of the waterproofing we had done. Now, if I refinish that wall to code, the wall actually intrudes into the doorway. 

 

Fantastic. 

 

Here in Maryland, the waterproofing would be considered a "repair" and would not require a permit.

And thereby the replacement of the wall would be considred a repair and not require a permit. And, even if the inspection authorities were involved for some additional reason, they would allow the wall to be "restored" to the way it was, as it would be part of a "repair".

I just moved out of my 1901 Queen Anne house that I restored in 1996. We did extensive work to the front porch. We were not required to meet new codes regarding railing height or balaster spacing - because it was a repair, we repalced damaged materials and put it back exactly the way it had been.

The application of such rules varies from area to area....

Sheldon 

    

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Posted by The Milwaukee Road Warrior on Friday, January 17, 2020 3:41 PM

Here is a great video going into the nuances of basement wall insulating for exterior walls.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwn0Vjw_ji0

 

Andy

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Milwaukee native modeling the Milwaukee Road in 1950's Milwaukee.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Friday, January 17, 2020 8:02 PM

The Milwaukee Road Warrior

Here is a great video going into the nuances of basement wall insulating for exterior walls.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwn0Vjw_ji0

 

 

All very valid and interesting if I am building a new structure, especially in a colder climate.

Of interest to, but not of much practical value for those dealing with existing structures with no external insulation.

Here in the Mid Atlantic, winter is cold, but not like the upper mid west, and a great argument can be made for little or no basement insulation here.

We insulate existing sills with fiberglass here all the time with no moisture issues, BUT, we are careful to only insulate to the width of the sill plate, still allowing the top of the foundation wall to breath, just as was discussed in the video.

If you want to build the best insulated frame house and basement foundation house, we use Weaver Precast foundations and ZIP system insulated sheathing.

https://zipsystemrevolution.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQiA04XxBRD5ARIsAGFygj-5m3Djj9OCwoQi0iylAnp2qhd4zQ40APk7j29mHsfV_-JQDEJxFz4aAh1AEALw_wcB

 

https://weaverprecast.com/

 

All that info in that video, is why my basement layout room (the whole basement) will not have drywall walls........or interior insulation.

I'm happy to have to heat it from a max heat loss of 55 degrees, and a dehumdifier makes that a cool comfortable space in the summer with no A/C cost at all.

Sheldon  

    

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Posted by The Milwaukee Road Warrior on Saturday, January 18, 2020 12:05 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

All very valid and interesting if I am building a new structure, especially in a colder climate.

Of interest to, but not of much practical value for those dealing with existing structures with no external insulation.

Right, and that was my point in linking it: at one point he says that its extremely difficult to seal and insulate a basement in a NEW home under *ideal* conditions, and basically impossible to do with retrofits of existing homes.

Andy

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Milwaukee native modeling the Milwaukee Road in 1950's Milwaukee.

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