[time-nuts] Concrete basement moisture proofing

Perry Sandeen sandeenpa at yahoo.com
Fri Oct 28 02:40:26 EDT 2016

I have rehabed three houses that I have owned that have cement basements. All three were in Colorado.

Bare concrete will weep moisture.  The solution is to paint (actually spread) a product made by UGL.  It is $125 for a five gallon bucket.  It is a latex based product that seals the surface.

Any exterior concrete wall will suck out heat in the winter and needs to be insulated.

In the two housed with full basements I used 2 x 4 studs on 16 inch centers and filled the space with IIRC R 13 fiberglass insulation.  That was all that was practical at the time but still cold was conducted to the interior in the winter.

The third house we had in the mountains outside of Westcliffe, Co and had a 4 foot stem wall.  About the upper third part of the shorter back wall was open to the elements.
I bought 4 x 8 foot panels of 2 inch foam that was covered on one side with aluminum foil at Home Depot.  They were about $25 a sheet.
I covered the stem wall on all sides with two layers of insulation as well as the rim joists.
Since we were at 9,000 ft moisture was not a problem.
Even though it was well below zero F much of the winter, the electronic thermometer probe on the floor which I monitored all winter stayed a 54F.
Now the fact that we had a 450 gallon water cistern in the crawl space probably helped to some extent as the crawl space was 30 x 40 ft.
If I was building a temperature controlled room with an exterior concrete wall I'd seal it with UGL and put a 4 inch layer of foam to stop exterior heat variations. 
When I had a work shop in TN, I stapled aluminium screening material from Home Depot to RF proof my exterior walls. If one chooses this method, an electric staple gun or better yet, an air driven staple gun makes it a relatively reasonable project.
Remember if one goes the old refrigerator route that  some states (CO, CA) for example have extremely strict requirements for the old refrigerant to be removed and tagged by  licensed  personal (or else...). Just FFT.


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