Thursday, March 11, 2010

Framing Basement Walls: Moisture

Typically you build the walls for a basement right on top of the cement floor. There is usually moisture inherant with locations below grade. Even with a vapor barrier under the cement floor, it is damp. There are a couple of key things to do to minimize the problems that come with these conditions. First, pressure treated lumber must be used anywhere that the wood comes into contact with the cement. This will minimize rotting that is caused by mold and mildew that could grow in untreated wood. Metal studs could be used instead of wood, but there are more negatives than positives when framing with metal over wood in a basement.

It also is a must to leave at least a 1 inch gap between the framed walls and the foundation. This allows for there to be air circulation behind the walls, and it keeps moisture from wicking into the wood and insulation from the foundation.

Once the basement is finished, it is a good idea to run a higher-end dehumidier with a moisture sensor and drain next to the furnace. This keeps the mositure in the house and basement in comfortable levels, and can help cut down on extra moisture that would facilitate mold growth and the musty/mildew smell.

Call for a free estimate if you live in Orland Park, IL. or in the Chicago area. 708-479-4570 Visit for more information!

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