You may have an exterior damp-proofing spray on foundation walls but likely not a proper drainage mat and perimeter drain or basement flood prevention measures. It caused the damage by prevented the wall from drying to the interior and instead sealed the moisture in. Best regards. I'm looking to lay carpet down on the slab without radiant heat below it and am concerned about both moisture and the low ambient floor temperature. If you feel good, your basement smells good and your windows (and walls) aren’t dripping, relax! Do not let the moisture stay on the surface for long periods. One more question. Rinse the surface with clean water and the process will be done. You would be better off using a "mold-resistant" drywall however. Metal studs provide disaster-resistance and are not prone to termite or mold damage, like wood studs. Is it overkill? We have fully detailed plans for how to insulate basements properly to avoid mold, heat loss and water infiltration, see this page here -, Best practices for basement construction - new home or renovations. It is much more affordable to deal with most humidity issues inside the building. Now moisture can develop due to any reason, however, it is generally the result of leakages around the affected surface and heavy rainfall. FrameGuard ® is a blend of anti-mold and preservative compounds that protects wood used as framing, millwork and trim. Specified correctly for basement Radon Mitigation, this will also act as a radon gas barrier to protect indoor air quality, and it will satisfy building inspectors who are not accustomed to seeing a wall without a vapour barrier and may not allow you to continue. We don’t know if you are aware or not but molds are more than just colored and unsightly spots on the surface. This water-based formulation is factory-applied using a high-tech dip or spray process that provides a broad spectrum of protection against mold, decay and termite damage. Also, you can easily remove it yourself without having to call the professionals. I feel bad for not getting back to you sooner, drop me a line if you like and maybe we can chat, your wife's reaction to air quality ups the stakes a bit so I want to make sure to steer you right. I recently framed my basement walls with 2" of eps foam fastened to the exterior wall with all seams taped and corners spray foamed. For this reason, you cannot afford the weakening of the studs as it can be disastrous. I get where you're going with that thought and its a good question, but no, the drywall should not be at any increased risk without a vapour barrier. Removing existing concrete is not as tough as it sounds - it can usually be smashed with a sledge hammer and removed in pieces. I can't imagine how you are going to apply that comfortbatt without a stud. SPUF works great in such capacities, granted it can be costly but maybe limit its use to where its absolutely necessary? Best procedures for cleaning mold-contaminated wood: This article offers advice on cleaning mold found on surfaces of un-finished wooden building materials such as framing lumber (rafters, floor joists, wall studs), and building roof, wall, and floor sheathing such as plywood, tongue-and groove pine boards, and other structural wood surfaces in buildings. You may hear that EPS is somewhat moisture permeable; this is true, but only slightly so and not enough to be a problem. If you have  very high relative humidity you will be at risk of mold developing on anything and everything down there, drywall included. Generally, all types of mold growth release toxins in the air which damage the surface and also pose a serious threat to human health and indoor quality. Now I want to finish the ceiling and plan on installing resilient channels directly on the joists with one layer of 3/8" drywall (not mold resistant). I moved into the a house that had a room in the basement insulated with 4 inch polystyrene sheets and finished with a skim coat of what I believe to be outdoor stucco. Thanks for your help. But I'm no expert, it is just what a contractor told me. Also, in some cases, it is not the moisture or humidity that results in mold. I noticed moisture was forming where batts were contacting the foam. I have an older(1944) built home that we just bought about a year ago. Comfortboard) instead of XPS or EPS panels right against the concrete, would it be appropriate to put in vapour barrier polyethylene on the interior side of the Comfortboard (stapled to the exterior of the stud wall), and then fill in the stud wall with mineral wool bats and finish with drywall? only install studs & leave it like that? Lay a plastic vapor barrier down. Be very careful how and where you install wood and fiberglass insulation in basements (If you must), and be sure they won't see prolonged exposure to moisture or contact with humid surfaces if you don't want them to go moldy. It is lighter, but residential grade steel studs are very flimsy and can have that office tinny feel. For the life of the home, that block wall has likely not frozen in the abscence of insulation, so, by now adding insulation to the interior it will likely freeze in the winter, and that added stress could lead to cracking. Multiple factors contribute to mold formation on wood studs including moisture, humidity, and poor material. Hi, thanks for this awesome article. Is the concrete floor in the wall and 1 inch gap area insulated or exposed to the gap? A huge number of households experience the issue of mold on wood studs. Poor quality studs are more prone to developing molds because they are not resilient enough to fight moisture and humidity levels in the air. That isn't a big surprise since MDF is a heavily processed wood product very susceptible to moisture damage, so it can be a bit of a canary in the coal mine in terms of basement moisture damage since it will show damage quicker than solid wood and most other process wood finishing materials. She did a smell test with individual materials, perhaps that could be a valuable technique for your wife before installing. Here are some posts from our Green Building Guide Pages that may help. SPUF might be the best solution but I seem to have run out of gold bars :). Adding another vapor barrier wouldn’t be a problem for that reason, but also because there is nothing in a floor that can rot. Whether you need drywall, insulation, acoustical tile or construction accessories, we’ve got your jobsite needs covered. I ask this because it seems to me that mineral wool is completely permeable to moisture (unlike the foam products), so it would seem important to compensate for that by adding in a vapour barrier. It also allows for the addition of a radon evacuation stack, which is the perforated tube and T-junction in this image. The good news is the lumber is going to be fine and there's rarely any damage to the wood. And on a slightly different topic, I would be cautious about how much insulation you add to the interior of a cinder block foundation. The Best Removal... Can Mold Grow on Metal? For further convincing on the topic, read 'Built wrong from the start' by Joseph Lstiburek of Building Science Corporation. If exposed, is it possible that is your moisture source? These studs and track are manufactured from mill certified galvanized steel, and are designed for use in curtain-wall and load bearing applications. Rot-Resistant Wood. But why not polyethylene on the inside against the concrete? The blu lumber is treated with some kind of chemical that is supposed to make it termite and mold proof. In winter the room is a bit cool, but I attribute that to the carpet on slab with no other insulation. Outside upgrades are the ideal correction given the way basement walls were left exposed in the past; however, unless you have serious structural problems or plan to excavate for other reasons, that can be an enormous extra cost for an interior renovation project. These mold spores eventually settle down on another surface and there you experience another mold growth coming into existence. In addition to this, there are also those households who are not aware of mold growing on the surface. However, remember to wring the extra water from whatever material you are using to scrub off mold, otherwise, it will allow the wood to absorb the moisture. Never miss a deal. Whether you need drywall, insulation, acoustical tile or construction accessories, we’ve got your jobsite needs covered. All of our employees pride themselves on being hard working, safe, and professional. An error occurred. When SPUF works out, it can be one of the better performing products in basement applications. This non-structural lumber is ideal for landscaping, raised garden beds, flower and herb planters, benches, picnic tables, and agricultural and marine uses. According to Professor Straube, two inches of EPS has a perm rating in the range of 60-75 ng, or 1-1.25 US perms, which is right on the cusp of what is defined by building code as a suitable vapour barrier (60ng and under). Does Simple Green Kill Mold: Facts and Myths. I am going to finish the basement myself. 2 inches of EPS foam attached directly to the concrete with no air gap between the foam and concrete joints taped, but a 1 inch air gap between the interior surface or the foam board and the stud wall, and fiberglass batt insulation in the stud bays. Bluwood resists rot and termite damage, so in a damp climate or a basement, Bluwood is the way to go. The greatest source of moisture to contend with above grade is the warm, humid air generated by cooking, washing and simply breathing. If you don't have a vapour barrier below the slab (which was not a practice done in 1944) then the concrete will constantly be wicking moisture from the groudn below. Ventilate the room by opening doors and windows. This is not only unsightly but it also causes the structure to decay. Probably the most worrisome problem (as reported by a SPUF installer) is that there is a great temptation for installation contractors to tinker with the chemical mix a bit, giving it more volume with less material, which is more profitable for the installers. Here is a link to the demo house, all the products there passed this one woman's test, no guarantee they will work for your wife but its a starting place at least. Thanks. Above grade, walls are designed to dry to the exterior. Another considerable improvement in keeping basements mold-free is to ensure adequate ventilation. I am not an expert in what materials will cause people grief, and it would be different depending on the person, but myself I don't see a big connection between exterior stucco and interior air quality. It a must have, they invented it for a reason. SPF Square Edge Lumber. All of our employees pride themselves on being hard working, safe, and professional. Little do they know that their limited knowledge and neglect can take a massive toll on their property and eventually their health. There really isn't a single 'best' way to design and build a basement wall, think of it as a physics problem to solve. A lot of times building inspectors will call you out on not having a 6 mil poly vapour barrier, this is a way to keep them happy but not rot your walls. Steel can be cheaper, and is straight as an arrow. In addition to this, you will also get to know about effective methods and preventive measures to deal with the dilemma. Screw both sheets together and have carpet installed on top? My wife is reacting to whatever is on the walls. Install the Studs. Sorry for the inconvenience. Basement mold and mildew can easily be avoided with better designed walls. Finally someone with common sense. Being sprayed directly onto concrete walls, it ensures an even and total protection. Also confused, is which one is more impor…, The practice of putting polyethylene vapor barriers in houses was intended to keep them dry, but it ends up keeping them wet. 2-in x 4-in x 92-5/8-in Southern Yellow Pine Stud. There are bacteria, viruses, moulds and mites that will show up on either end of the spectrum if your air is either too humid or too dry. Thicknesses range from 33 mils (20 gauge.) Also I am now about to start the rest of the basement, should I continue this way? I get that you wouldn’t want to put polyethylene between studs, and drywall, because the moist air from outside goes through the concrete and would get trapped within your stud wall. Frame a 2x4 stud wall at 24" centres leaving a gap of at least one inch between studs and concrete. Application to open studs and framing is less efficient than application in a controlled OEM environment. Only treat wood that has not been previously treated by any other chemicals, for the best results. Wood studs are less expensive and more available than metal studs. As an aside, there is also a "Pinkwood" product. What do you recommend to use below flooring to provide a vapor and insulation layer? We have seven locations across Colorado and Wyoming with delivery services within a 75 mile radius of any of our yards. And unfortunately for many homeowners,  the way basements were finished for the last few decades is about as logical as jogging in a raincoat. FrameGuard wood is available in framing and truss lumber, plywood, OSB, and SIPs, as well as other engineered wood products. Does Pine Sol Kill Mold? Or would I be far better off just to get a spray foam guy in to spray directly on the concrete? It is important to know that there are numerous microscopic mold spores in the air when any surface is affected by the fungus. I think the poly is exterior as well. Drywall should be attached directly to studs, latex paint will act as a vapour retarder slowing any outward moisture migration while also allowing walls to dry inwards. I suspect that the concrete isn’t actually that well-sealed, and even if your foundation wall has a membrane or bituminous spray, it’s unlikely the footing was sealed, and being porous, the concrete will continue to wick moisture from the ground. Treating wood that has been water sealed will be ineffective. This technique of rigid and batt insulation may require a few more steps, but it can offer you a greater R value per dollar invested than SPUF and it allows you to do a lot more (or all) of the work yourself. Like Bluwood it is also mold resistant. Compare budget options and special offers for manual humidity meters here (we've tried and like the ThermoPro TP 50), Or if you have a Smart home or are heading that way, See here to compare humidity meters online including smart trackers and alarms and find special offers and reviews. If you're in an older home sat above a basement, don’t panic. The process of treating mold can be cumbersome and tricky but there is no need to lose patience because eventually, it works out well enough. Any suggestions? The basement insulation solutions proposed here are for those that have no exterior protection. And if you do choose to spray foam your basement walls, there are currently two companies that have switched to much less harmful blowing agents, Demilec and Elastochem, so check with potential installers to see which brand they spray. When exposed to flames, PKboard will produce a dense layer of protective char that insulates the panel surface significantly reducing the ability of fire to start and spread. So how would you vapour proof and insulate the floor in this below-grade basement scenario? Latex paint would offer some resisitance to moisture, but for the effort and cost I would propose you just do it with poly, then the roxul. I then layed down some barricade subfloor panels thoughout the room, then built a 2x4 wall snug up against the ridgid board on top of the subfloor, and insulated these cavities with roxul insulation. I've also just had an HRV installed but don't want to hook it up until the basement is taped. This was a typical basement wall assembly, with a stud wall directly against the foundation followed by fiberglass insulation and a vapour barrier. Single-family and multi-family residential, shopping centers and restaurants, low-rise construction See here to choose the best rigid foam insulation. It does involve some hard work and heavy lifting, but the end result will not only be a more efficient and comfortable home, but a more valuable one at a time of resale and less likely to create the conditions that are best avoided - high humidity plus likely condensation points - both factors in producing a moldy, unhealthy basement. Sponsored Links #2 11-21-11, 01:14 PM ... Cover this with mold resistant drywall and you have probably done the best possible job. As it is only held together by mortar at the joints, it is nowhere near as strong as a concrete wall. Dry it out as soon as you detect the moisture. Here is a technical guide & design guide for construction of a sla…, We spend an average of 90% of our time indoors, where air is usually 3 to 4 times more polluted than outside air. Putting EPS foam against concrete is usually a good idea as it prevents moisture from coming through. Thanks, I am having a new home built with 9' poured walls. My basement wall occasionally leaks so I'm having my walls waterproofed from the inside using the interior membrane and sump pump arrangement (membrane on wall, trough at floor with weeping tile leading to simp). Below grade, it is that big porous sponge called concrete that is sucking up water from the wet ground. Get $10 off your next purchase. SPUF is quite expensive; so rigid insulation panels and a 2x4 wall with batt insulation can be a much more affordable option - but you need to know the right techniques for a succesful and mold-free wall assembly for a basement application - read on! FrameGuard® mold-resistant wood is coated wood combining a blend of anti-mold chemicals with borate technology, alleviating problems from mold, termites and decay-causing fungi. There are not a lot of reported cases of this, but when it goes wrong it goes very wrong. Cherokee Building Materials serves both commercial and residential customers and offers the largest inventory of construction supplies in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Allow the solution to settle and let it dry completely and then repeat the steps if necessary. Also, you can easily remove it yourself without having to call the professionals. How to Treat Mold on Wood Studs: The Best Removal Method, What to Put in Humidifier to Prevent Mold, Alternaria Mold: Everything You Need to Know, ERMI Mold Test: Everything You Need to Know. But the biggest problem you have, and that all basements have, is a vapour barrier sealing organic materials in with wet concrete. that way all the moisture stays on the exterior. It would take a lot of screws to keep flat. It really depends on her level of sensitivity. The materials and design you choose are very important to prevent mold and should be appropriate for the environment they are destined to inhabit. The title itself is fairly indicative of its intended purpose, it is intented to be a 'barrier' against 'vapour'. And, the assembly shown in that image includes a 6 mil poly barrier for radon gas protection, but worth noting is that 2 inches is about the thickness when EPS rigid insulation acts as a vapor barrier anyway. However, I was wondering if this technique can still be used if a waterproof membrane was installed on the exterior of the foundation wall. If you keep the basement relative humidity low enough (under 50) you shouldn't have a problem, there is a bigger concern with moisture moving inwards than moisture moving outwards, that's the reason for the slightly more permeable 'vapour barrier' would would more accurately be called a 'vapour retarder'. Think of it like double glazed windows. The dehumidifiers are a great idea, I would say keep doing that even after you make repairs, or at least keep an eye on the humidity levels and try to keep it below 50 RH. Every piece meets the highest grading standards for strength and appearance. To sum up, mold on wood studs is dangerous and should be removed before it turns disastrous for you and your property. My concrete basement walls already have a 2x4 framed wall. Measure between the plates at each layout mark and cut each stud to length. Tip. Thar should provide all the answers you need, and feel free to ask a follow up question once you've read it over. All that said, here's how to proceed if you plan to insulate a basement with SPUF: There have been a few nightmare cases reported where a SPUF installation went very wrong and apparently made homes uninhabitable. Am I correct to think that the EPS, 2 x 4, mineral wool batts, latex paint combination would be acceptable for my situation? Invest in a high-quality ventilation system if you feel doors and windows are not fulfilling the purpose. That said - we had a woman who is extremely sensitive to chemicals come and visit our Edelweiss House and she was fine with it. Mold Protection for Builders & Building Materials . P.S. Part of the QuietRock ® Sound Damping System, QuietRock ES Mold Resistant delivers reliable acoustic performance at a low installed cost - saving time, labor, materials, and valuable floor space. Along with removing contaminants from the air, there are health consequences from having either too much or too little moisture in our homes. Metal Framing & Studs. A different problem demands a different solution - wearing a raincoat will keep you dry when standing in a cold rain, but it won't keep you dry when jogging under a hot sun. Meaning, the last thing you should do in a basement is put a 6-mil poly vapor barrier after the studs, which only serves to keep walls wet, not keep them dry. I am redoing the space and am wondering if I should take the walls down and replace with EPS/mineral wool/drywall as per the article; or just put the drywall up on the existing 2x2 studs? It cost me about an extra $500 for the lumber to do it that way. If I stick with the method above(no vapour varier, and insulating the wall after the foam is glued to the concrete wall), what is your recommendation, can I get away with EPS? Protection before, during and after construction STAY UP-TO-DATE. Quick Fact Check: Eliminating all mold and mold spores indoors is virtually impossible, but controlling indoor moisture and the hidden moisture within basement wall assemblies will control the growth of indoor mold. However, spray foam itself is a vapour barrier, so you wouldn’t need to apply a typical 6 mil polyethylene vapour barrier on the wall after the foam (though in some areas building inspectors may actually require it). If you are looking for pre-coated lumber products, PinkShield is used to coat the following products. I am already planning to install an insulated sub-floor. Because remember that the problem can be treated and prevented by following just a few steps. Similarly, mold on wood studs can also occur due to molds on nearby surfaces. What you did on the walls sounds about right, so if you're happy with the price and work load I wouldn't necessarily switch to spray foam unless you're sick of doing the work because it will likely cost you more. That is correct about the wall assembly, but I have no poly on the walls. Correct that if any of it is wrong, and, do you have a 6-mil poly barrier sealing the whole wall together? There is 'idea' construction and then there is what makes sense in an given situation. We do have efflorescence on the cement. How to Remove Mold from Tile Grout: Best... How to Prevent Mold in Closet: Causes and... How to Clean Mold from Windows Including Glass,... How to Tell if Mold has been Painted Over? My question is can polystyrene cause breathing problems in a healthy person and if so is there another product that we can use as insulation that ticks all the boxes you have covered in this article? A had debated laying down some dimpled membrane with plywood as the barricade flooring is a bit if a pain to install in a floor that wasn't poured very well. Is it ok? Chaparral Materials serves both commercial and residential customers and offers the largest inventory of construction supplies in the southwestern United States. Flange or leg sizes for both studs and track range from 1 inch all the way up to 3 inch. The word 'breathe' is also perhaps not the right word since it implies air movement, and that is anothter thing you don't want in an insulated wall assemly. We have many pages on how to build basements properly (which I will link below) and the idea you proposed of spray foam insulation on basement walls is not a bad one. I then drywalled over that and primed and painted with latex paint. Question: The basement of my 45 year old house has a 2x2 stud wall (sitting on concrete slab, not on EPS spacers) packed with fiberglass insulation, all directly against the block wall, faced with wood paneling. Whilst cracking open a window if your basement has them is fine if the humidity conditions outside are favorable, that's pretty hard to judge; so a better alternative is to choose a good quality discounted HRV or ERV system with an automatic electronic humidity control. But I do wonder if you won't find it a bit spongy if you have a  plywood subfloor laying directly on a couple of inches of foam. We have 'best practices for basement construction' page you may be interested in as it highlights different options. Western Wood Products Association 1500 SW First Ave., STE 870 Portland, OR 97201 Phone: 503-224-3930 Fax: 503-224-3935 Email: Building practices and building materials can…, Outlining the benefits & drawbacks of slab-on-grade construction compared to basement foundations - As the first step of home design is deciding which foundati…, Can a house be too airtight? Whether you need drywall, insulation, acoustical tile or construction accessories, we've got your jobsite needs covered. Good luck! BestPLUS Plastic Lumber is made in the USA with up to 97% recycled materials. Hello. Rigid insulation board against concrete adds R value, breaks the thermal bridge and raises the temperature of the stud wall, which helps prevent moist air from condensing. Most older basements have very limited head room and owners are often reluctant to lower it even more by adding insulation to the floor. Although mold on wooden studs is quite a nuisance, it is treatable which is a relief for all of us. Many homeowners experience mold and mildew on their lumber as houses are built or room additions are constructed. I keep seeing conflicting information about EPS vs XPS ridged foam. Even half-inch polyiso or 3/4" or 1" foil or vinyl faced Type I EPS (commonly found at box stores) held against the wall by the 2x4 studwall would be enough for dew point control on 2x4/R13, providing the necessary air-barrier on the foundation side of the batts, and puts a moisture barrier between the foundation and the studs/batts. I live in Edmonton, Canada, so our winters are cold. Although it is impossible to bring down the moisture levels to zero, it is important to prevent excessive moisture to build upon the surface for longer periods.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'moldhomes_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_3',107,'0','0'])); Humidity levels also give a green signal to mold growth on wood studs. Here is what all you can do to get rid of mold on wood studs in your house.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'moldhomes_com-banner-1','ezslot_4',109,'0','0'])); Before you go ahead with this guideline on how to treat mold on wood studs, make sure to wear protective gear.