Basement Drying >> Remove The Musty Smell From A Basement After Water

Exterior wall insulation must be approved for below-grade use. Typically, three products are used below grade: extruded polystyrene, expanded polystyrene, and rigid mineral fiber panels. (Baechler et al. 2005). Remove The Musty Smell From A Basement After Water Extruded polystyrene (nominal R-5 per inch) is a common choice. 

Expanded polystyrene (nominal R-4 per inch) is less expensive, but it has a lower insulating value. Remove The Musty Smell From A Basement After Water Below-grade foams can be at risk for moisture accumulation under certain conditions. Experimental data indicate that this moisture accumulation may reduce the effective R-value as much as 35%-44%. 

Research conducted at Oak Ridge National Laboratories studied the moisture content and thermal resistance of foam insulation exposed below grade for fifteen years; Remove The Musty Smell From A Basement After Water moisture may continue to accumulate and degrade thermal performance beyond the fifteen-year time frame of the study. 

This potential reduction should be accounted for when selecting the amount and type of insulation to be used (Kehrer, et al., 2012, Crandell 2010). Remove The Musty Smell From A Basement After Water Rigid fiberglass and rigid mineral wool panels (R-4 per inch) do not insulate as well as extruded polystyrene, but are the only insulations that can provide a drainage space for foundation walls because of their porous structure. 

Insulation that is exposed above grade must be protected with a coating to prevent physical damage and degradation. Remove The Musty Smell From A Basement After Water Such coatings include fiber cement board, parging (stucco type material), treated plywood, or membrane material (Baechler et al. 2005). 

Unfortunately, insulating the exterior is more difficult and more costly than insulating the foundation internally; this is particularly true in retrofit applications. Remove The Musty Smell From A Basement After Water For this reason, interior insulation is most commonly used. However, actual costs may be higher if a finished, durable surface is desired. 

In addition, many insulation materials will require a flame-resistant layer for code compliance. Energy savings may be reduced with some systems and details due to thermal bridges. Remove The Musty Smell From A Basement After Water Insulation can be placed on the inside of the rim joist but with greater risk of condensation problems and less access to wood joists and sills for termite inspection from the interior. 

Interior insulation systems are not recommended for concrete masonry foundations without fully filled cores, due to an increased risk of moisture accumulation within the wall. Remove The Musty Smell From A Basement After Water Interior insulation systems are also not recommended in basements that have a risk of moisture intrusion.

Whether due to inadequate drainage, poor soils, high water tables, or other factors, due to a reduced ability for these systems to dry to the interior. Remove The Musty Smell From A Basement After Water Interior insulation should not be used if a positive capillary break is not present between the top of the foundation wall and wood framing system. 

When interior insulation is to be used, it must meet the following requirements (Baechler et al. 2005): Remove The Musty Smell From A Basement After Water Interior insulation should not be applied to concrete masonry walls below grade, unless the cores of the block are completely filled. 

The application of interior insulation over walls where moisture is present is likely to increase the moisture content of the wall, due to its being colder, and to the limiting of drying potential to the interior. Remove The Musty Smell From A Basement After Water The basement wall must maintain some drying capacity to the interior if wetting occurs since the below-grade portion of the wall cannot dry to the exterior. 

This means that interior vapor retarders or any impermeable interior wall finishes such as vinyl wall coverings or oil/alkyd/epoxy paint systems should not be installed. Remove The Musty Smell From A Basement After Water The wall system must be tightly sealed to keep interior moisture-containing basement air from reaching the cool foundation wall via air-transport and condensing. 

Material in contact with the foundation wall and the concrete slab must be moisture tolerant. Remove The Musty Smell From A Basement After Water Capillary breaks must be used to prevent moisture from reaching moisture sensitive materials. There are two good approaches to interior basement insulation: rigid foam panels, and spray foam. 

Rigid foam systems consist of either expanded or extruded polystyrene foam board to the entire foundation wall, as shown in Figure 2-7 (BSC 2002). Remove The Musty Smell From A Basement After Water Spray foam applications typically involve spraying the entire foundation wall and typically the rim joist to an appropriate thickness. 

Additional unfaced batt insulation can be added to a frame wall built on the interior of the foam insulation, if desired. Remove The Musty Smell From A Basement After Water These insulation materials are flammable, and must be protected from ignition. If no additional insulation is desired, wood furring strips can be attached over the foam and gypsum board may be attached to the furring strips. 

In all below-grade construction, non-paper faced gypsum board is recommended to reduce the risk of moisture-related damage. Remove The Musty Smell From A Basement After Water The gypsum board should be held at least a half inch above the basement floor to avoid wetting (Baechler et al. 2005). 

No vapor retarders, such as polyethylene, vinyl wallpaper, or oil-based paint should be used anywhere in the system to ensure drying to the interior. Remove The Musty Smell From A Basement After Water It is possible to eliminate the use of gypsum board as an ignition barrier. This has been done by using foil-faced polyisocyanurate insulation panels, which are rated for exposure in basements and crawlspaces in some jurisdictions. 

Note however that the unperforated foil facing is completely vapor-impermeable, and very little drying will occur through it. Remove The Musty Smell From A Basement After Water Interior insulation retrofits carry additional risks: capillary breaks may not be present between the foundation and the framing; insulating on the interior will tend to increase moisture accumulation in the framing. 

A capillary break may not be present between the footing and the wall, potentially increasing the presence of moisture due to capillary wicking. Since waterproofing and drainage systems are often not present or not working on older houses, bulk water penetration is possible. Remove The Musty Smell From A Basement After Water For description of a robust retrofit interior insulation strategy see Ueno (2011). 

In addition to more conventional interior or exterior placement covered in this handbook, there are several systems that incorporate insulation into the construction of the concrete or masonry walls. Remove The Musty Smell From A Basement After Water These include (1) rigid foam plastic insulation cast within a concrete wall.

Polystyrene beads, granular insulation materials, or spray foam poured into the cavities of conventional masonry walls, Remove The Musty Smell From A Basement After Water systems of concrete blocks with insulating foam inserts, (4) formed, interlocking rigid foam units that serve as a permanent, insulating form for cast-in-place concrete (insulated concrete forms, or ICFs.

Figure 2-5d), and (5) masonry blocks made with polystyrene beads instead of aggregate in the concrete mixture, resulting in significantly higher R-values. However, the effectiveness of systems that insulate only a portion of the wall area should be evaluated closely because thermal bridges around the insulation can impact the total performance significantly. 

Lastly, another technique for basement construction in new construction is to use pre-cast concrete foundation walls. Remove The Musty Smell From A Basement After Water Two types are acceptable. The first are concrete walls with built in footers that rest on an engineered gravel footing that allows the entire assembly to be drained. This means that as long as the panels are sealed correctly during construction, these walls will remain warm and dry. 

These walls are designed to be insulated on the exterior. The second are pre-cast concrete walls that come with one inch of rigid foam insulation attached to the interior. Remove The Musty Smell From A Basement After Water These walls are constructed to allow additional insulation to be installed between the stud bays and come with built in wood nailers to attach gypsum board or paneling (BSC 2002).

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