2020 Boise Idaho Real Estate Blog
Adding a basement Main The Durable Green Home
I am seeing quite a few basements being added or expanded on older homes, so what should we be concerned about for durability? Should we insulate? should we have drainage? what about the mechanical equipment and air leakage? Vapor barrier?

So if we are remodeling a older home and there has been water and moisture coming through the old stem walls  or basement  (cellar) walls, why am I not seeing drainage plans for the new basement? Just because we dig them out and then pour new shiny ( or not so  shinny) concrete walls, what have we done to correct the moisture problems that have existed for years? Concrete is porous and will not  stop water or  moisture from moving through it, so if you can not solve the problem from the outside, then you must solve it from  the inside. this is not rocket science, just common sense.

"But the client does not want to spend the extra money" one contractor told me. Well, ask them if they feel they have the money to tear the studs, insulation and Sheetrock off the walls in five years and pay for mold remediation? maybe the contractor is not making it clear enough what the consequences are, or  why it should even be  an option? Remodeling should be more than adding space and granite counters right? We should also fix the mistakes and not make new ones!

So  what to do? I did not have time  to research the product names, but there are several  companies that make a dimpled  membranes that can be installed on the inside or exterior  of a basement wall. if  installed on the interior as in most basement additions the membrane would be run into cactus board, or other types  of collection systems  that take  the water into pipes and to  a place to be collected and taken out of the home, usually by a sump pump. It is also a good idea to paint the walls with a water proofing coating before installing the drainage matt, but don't rely on this for the only moisture protection. after the drainage matt is  installed with the collection system, you can then insulate the walls. best method is  with high density 2 part foam ( look for no offgasing products) then stud and finish. another method would be to apply rigid foam, then stud, insulate and drywall (paperless would be best). Many ways to skin a cat  as they say, but never, ever, just stud in the wall insulate, apply visqueen and drywall. Keep our number if you do, "We will be BAUCK" as Arnold used to say! unfortunately this is the method  that most remodelers are using! I guess that means job security for some  of us, but not  what we want to see being done. Then comes  the slab, Oh Boy lets save this for  next time!!! thanks for reading

you can find more information in the journal of lite construction or from www.eeba.org www.buildingscience.com

Posted by Tad Duby at 9/22/2007 8:23:00 PM
Comments (2)
Re:Adding a basement
Insulated Concrete Forms are also a great way to go for basements. This way the insulation, studding, and concrete structure are all done in one step. There are many good products for waterproofing that are made for ICF's as well, including the dimpled membranes that were mentioned.
Posted by on 9/22/2007 1:29 PM
Re:Adding a basement
Great comment, yes ICF forms are a great way to go. I have used them in new construction as well as existing and we will see many more uses of them as people become more aware.
Posted by on 9/24/2007 4:58 AM
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