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Old 10-23-2002, 10:03 AM   #1
adarlow
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I recently enjoyed reading John's dryrot article and I thought that my particular issue might be of help to others on this forum.

I am finishing a 500 sq. ft. basement in central NJ. I had a friend help me by nailing 2x3 kd wood studs directly into the basement cement walls with a Hilte gun(2.5 inch side flat against wall).

The walls have some kind of paint on them, but I'm not sure how waterproof they are.

I used I didn't put a plastic vapor barrier up behind the studs and I still haven't put up drywall or insulation. I am planning to use the pink 3/4" Foamular insulation with 1/2" greenrock.

I was told by a Home Depot worker to waterproof the walls with a latex product called DryLock and to also paint the edges of the wood studs, leaving the fronts unpainted. I was also advised to drill 3/4" holes in the top and bottom of the studs(from one side to the opposite side, to allow for moisture to escape if it builds up.

I'm concerned about rotting of the wood that is in contact with the wall (a full set of studs is also touching the floor(horizontally), which I understand should have been raised 1").

I'm curious if I should do anything else before I begin painting the wall and sides of the studs to avoid rotting of the wood in case of condensation/flooding. I do have a sump pump and the basement is quite dry in general.

Thank you for any suggestions,

Andrew Darlow
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Old 10-23-2002, 11:49 AM   #2
Robert Villa
 
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Wood should never ever be in direct contact with masonry. I always add poly or building felt as a cushion between the two. I would have used pressure treated lumber too, not kiln dried. If you didn't have pressure treated lumber, I would have bought a can of the treatement, and treated it myself. Since you didn't do any of these things, in my judgment, you messed up. But life will go on. The project will probably be fine.

If you can squeeze some building felt behind those studs, I would try to do it. Since the home is in NJ, then you will probably get some ground moisture in the form of vapor through the walls. I would poly the studs before putting insulation in. Floor to ceiling overlapped and sealed with a caulk and stapled.
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Old 10-23-2002, 01:13 PM   #3
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It's not too late to start over and do it right!
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Old 10-23-2002, 02:52 PM   #4
tileguytodd
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I did Mine Like Robert described.And that was before i ever knew him How long do you want it to last??
5 years your prob fine ,10 years,you may be ok.more than 10 hmmmmmm gambling should be done in Vegas!!!!

You lost a few hours and a few bucks but not much yet..Buy the treated lumber and you will save alot of misery and labor.Paint? Drill holes?? Better yet Buy steel studs and be done with it!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 10-23-2002, 06:26 PM   #5
John Bridge
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Hi Andrew, Welcome

Folks, I asked Andrew to post here after he emailed me. I know nothing about basements. But Robert, you're in Cal., right? I don't recall any basements over there either.

What we really need to know is what Andrew can do not that things are as they are. Are there things he can do to minimize the problems?

And Andrew, Sonnie Layne wrote the article. I lifted it off his site (with his permission).

http://www.sonnielayne.com
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Old 10-23-2002, 07:31 PM   #6
Rob Z
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Hi Andrew

Here is my observation after working in many, many old houses in the DC area...Nowadays, the inspector would require pressure treated lumber anywhere there is contact with block or concrete. This would include furring strips shot onto a block wall in a basement. After tearing out countless bathrooms, kitchens, and basements in houses as old as 100+ years, not once can I remember observing dry rot or any other problems where non-pressure treated lumber was in contact with concrete or block.

The damaged framing I have seen (and repaired) was always traced back to either a plumbing leak, window/door leak, or tub/shower leak.


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Old 10-23-2002, 08:21 PM   #7
Bud Cline
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I can echo what Rob has said. It is very common here to attach firring strips to poured cement and concrete block walls. I'm not familiar with code requirements in those respects but I know of no specific requirements for particular materials or barriers in this area.

I would lean toward local recommendations and advice if it just wasn't coming from the HD bunch.
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Old 10-23-2002, 09:12 PM   #8
Robert Villa
 
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10 years in tract homes in the midwest. 10 years of tract homes in LA.

Basements gallore in Illinois. Vapor barrier is always against the masonry in basements, and against the framing in other locations.
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Old 10-24-2002, 05:26 PM   #9
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Robert,

I wasn't trying to be mean. I only meant that what was needed was what could be done with the situation at hand, save tossing in a grenade.
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Old 10-24-2002, 07:52 PM   #10
flatfloor
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Northeast here, norther than Rob and no problems unless it was a leak as said before. I've got friends living in their original houses from the 60s with no problems.
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Old 10-24-2002, 09:42 PM   #11
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Andrew:

On new construction on concrete slabs (we don't do basements here) I always use treated wood (KDAT so it doesn't shrink) for the bottom plates on the framing - directly on the concrete. I caulk any gaps with expanding foam. When I have concrete walls below grade (earth berm, etc.), I apply a Portland-based waterproofing product (there are many) and frame directly against the wall, again with treated wood, but it would not bother me much if someone put un-treated wood there, except for the sill plate. My experience has been that any rot you are going to see in such walls (or any exterior walls for that matter) is going to occur at the sill plate. I expect that is because any water that does get into the wall cavity will eventually find its way to that area.

But, as Rob and others have said, I have only seen rot in such areas when water had found its way there from unwanted leakage of some sort. In your situation if that masonry wall allows water to enter the stud wall cavity, you're gonna have rot eventually. But the very worst thing you could do at this point is to apply poly to the inside of the stud wall - that is, between the studs and the sheetrock. I would also recommend that you leave that wall cavity completely open at the top if possible, or as open as you can manage. What you want is a way for any moisture that gets into that stud wall to be able to make its way out.

I don't think applying any kind of brush-on barrier will do much good if it isn't applied unbroken behind the studs, which is the case here. Indeed, I think you could make the situation worse. I think I wouldn't bother.

Absent taking down what you've done and starting over, I'd suggest you just continue on as you were. If the masonry wall remains relatively dry as you suggest, you may get along just fine. Just stop telling people how you did it.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Old 11-02-2002, 10:47 PM   #12
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My experience:

Andrew:

Although I'm not a "pro" I've seen a whole lot of basements in Michigan that are framed out close to what you've done. If anything, you've gone a bit better than many I've seen that use 1 x 2 's glued. Not that I'd recommend that.

The basement in my home was finished 20 to 25 years ago (we have been here for 4 years). I'm remodeling the basement bathroom and replacing a fiberglass shower with tile. The basement walls were framed out 2x4 walls with 3 1/2" Kraft backed fiberglass between the studs. Covered with 1/2" dry wall (Not Green Board). When I've gotten into the walls I have found NO damage to the wood. The wood was NOT treated and no vapor barrier was used against the bare cement block walls.

If I were you, I'd leave your wood in place. You might want to use some treated wood for your bottom piece, and get the ends of the studs up off the floor. But just put in the foam, cover it with drywall and enjoy your basement.

I'd also leave the top open like CX said so any vapor would have a way out. If your basement is dry, you won't have a problem. Use a dehumidifier in the summer, and keep a close eye on your drainage and surface water run off around your foundation. With the walls covered you won't see leaks until they get bad.



I do agree that treated wood will last longer than untreated, if moisture is an issue. But my experience tells me the untreated wood is fine as long as it's dry!

There are issues with some treated woods also. Some say that prolonged exposure to the chemicals used to treat the wood is not good. Whether this would be a problem using the treated lumber inside the home is the question. I don't have the answer.

The ambulance chasers are already on this issue.
http://www.injury-lawyer-network.com/ccawood.htm

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Old 11-03-2002, 04:08 PM   #13
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I think,i am probobly further north than anybody(even Bri if you followed the parralels) Basements breathe moisture up in this country.Temperature changes are erratic and extreme to say the least.Spring run off of 100+ inches of snow flash melted causes all kinds of moisture to infiltrate even the tightest of basements.You may not see aproblem when the home is new,but a few years down the road things happen.Can't explain em,they just happen.

Theres a reason most homes have sump pumps in this country and it has nothing to do with sewage
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Old 11-03-2002, 04:28 PM   #14
Dave Ashton
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Go to the buildingscience.com web site. They have a section on how to properly prepare a basement wall prior to finishing it.
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Old 11-03-2002, 04:36 PM   #15
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Welcome Back Dave, Long time no see(we were startin to run out of engineers around here
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