Vapor Barrier on Basement Walls



Hi. Paul-Marc;

Now this is one French name to another I believe. ha. ha.

I found this for you to support somewhat what I was saying.


How To Insulate Basement Walls

Insulating Basement Walls

Insulating a basement properly is rather challenging in cold climates. In this post I’d like to discuss how to insulate basement walls in cold climates.
Insulating basement walls in cold climates is a great way to keep your home warmer and drier. However, special care should be used when insulating concrete basement walls. Below grade concrete foundation walls are very cool and damp. If you were to insulate the walls with regular fiberglass batt insulation it is very likely that a mold problem would develop.
Therefore I like to use a combination of products to insulate basement walls. In order to create a vapor barrier and separation between the concrete walls and wood...

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Basement walls are susceptible to water damage because they are built underground. A vapor barrier can be installed to give your basement walls some extra protection from this danger. Water damage can be very costly to repair because it can damage anything in your home.

Installing a vapor barrier in your basement walls is actually very easy as long as you have the right tools and enough time to complete the job. If your basement walls are damp and moldy, vapor barriers may be an effective way to prevent water from being able to seep inside your house. Follow these steps to instal a basement vapor barrier.

Step 1 - Choosing a Vapor Barrier

Choose vapor barrier that can be installed on your wall. Although there are some weatherproofing materials that can be applied with a paint brush, a vapor barrier is a rubber-based material that is fixed onto the wall. These vapor barriers are normally delivered in roll form. They can be unrolled and positioned onto the...

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Create A Cleaner, Drier Basement Environment With Our Vapor Barrier

What It Does:

CleanSpace® Wall is a durable, pliable material that is made out of 20-mil poly-reinforced material. It's bright white in color, and includes a 25-year warranty for wear and tear.

When installed on basement walls and floors, it creates a powerful vapor barrier. Any moisture or leaking water can easily be directed from the material into a perimeter drain system.

If you have stone basement walls, dirt floors, or unusual obstacles such as boulders in your basement, this is the ideal (and budget-friendly) solution for you!

Advantages To Our System:

Ideal For Uneven Or Stone Walls Creates A Vapor Barrier On Walls Includes An Antimicrobial Additive Directs Leaking Water To Basement Drain Can Be Used On Walls & Dirt Floors Usually Installs In Less Than One Day Includes A Written Warranty

At Basement Systems, we offer a selection of nine different basement...

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What It Does:

CleanSpace Wall is a 100% waterproof plastic vapor barrier that’s perfect for unfinished basement walls. With a 25-year warranty [PDF] for wear and tear, it’s durable, washable, and has anti-microbial protection called UltraFresh, built right in!

CleanSpace is pliable enough to cover uneven surfaces and irregular walls, including areas with large rocks or similar obstacles. Additionally, it’s a great way to prevent humidity from making its way through your concrete walls and into your basement.

CleanSpace installs quickly, with most installations taking a day or less. Once the installation is complete, your basement will be ready to use immediately.

Advantages to a CleanSpace Wall Installation

Unlike paint and materials that adhere to the walls, CleanSpace Wall is mechanically attached to your basement walls with plastic drilled-in fasteners so it will never fall off the wall.

CleanSpace Wall will never chip, peel, or...

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A basement vapor barrier is an essential part of basement building projects. Basements are places that attract moisture from many sources because the naturally cool air will attract moisture from the rest of your home. The air and walls in your basement act just like a glass of ice water on a hot summer day and the moisture in the air will condense on the cool surface of your basement walls. This is why it is important to properly insulate and install an effective basement moisture barrier.

Basement Floor Vapor Barrier: Starting From The Ground Up.

Waterproofing concrete basement projects begin with preventing moisture migration from the soil beneath the floor. A high quality basement moisture barrier such as EcoFoil’s Under Concrete Insulation will prevent moisture and harmful gases such as radon from entering your home. Not only is EcoFoil a true basement vapor barrier (ASTM 96), it also increased the efficiency and comfort of your home by adding an additional...
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InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

This article discusses the proper type, location and placement of moisture barriers or vapor barriers in basements to control air and moisture.

Can I use a spray-on basement ceiling barrier?

Does the vapor barrier go "up" towards the warm side or underside of the floor above, or does the vapor barrier go "down" facing basement interior?

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Choice & Installation of Basement Ceiling Barriers to Control Air Leaks & Moisture

Our horrible crawlspace (above) shows foil-faced fiberglass insulation installed with the vapor barrier facing "down" towards the wet crawlspace floor - this is an example of backwards, incorrect, "cold-side" vapor barrier installation that invites moisture condensation and even mold contamination...

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Installing a vapor barrier in your basement can help protect your home from moisture, mold or damp conditions. If you are finishing basement walls, or adding a false wall to an existing basement, installing a vapor barrier before finishing the walls can be a wise move.

How to Install a Vapor Barrier in a Basement

While vapor barriers come in multiple types, most install the same way. Be sure to install the vapor barrier that is recommended for your climate, and to install it prior to any finishing work done in the room.


Silicone caulk Vapor barrier roll Nails or staples Seam tape


Inspect the walls to be protected. Make sure they are clean, dry and have no cracks or visible damage. Run a bead of silicone caulk around any window or door frames and into any gaps in the walls. Spread out the vapor barrier onto the walls. Staple or nail the top of each sheet every 2-feet to ensure proper placement and...
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Shield Your Basement From Moisture

Our selections of low permeability vapor barriers, in conjunction with the sealed GrateDrain system will protect the basement against moisture. Moisture can cause poor air quality, mold, mildew, fungus, odors, and damage to moisture sensitive equipment.

Performance & Protection

FinishShield – FinishShield is a 16mm cross-laminated vapor barrier that is Fire Retardant. It is the most economical vapor barrier and perfect if customers are going to install finished basement walls. Protects against moisture, mold, mildew, humidity, and potential wall leaks.

HD FinishShield – HD FinishShield is a 14mm, Fire Retardant wall vapor barrier. Recommended as a durable wall covering. It is perfect for basement walls where a customer may not finish right away, but would like the protection against moisture, mold, mildew, humidity, and potential wall leaks.

ThermalShield – Thermal Shield is a foil faced wall vapor...

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Quick Column Summary:

Tar paper or 6 mil plastic vapor barrier Leave an air gap to avoid mold Video link

Charles Gregoire is perplexed up in Ottawa, the capital of Canada.

"Confusion on whether to use tar paper or 6 mil plastic. In repairing a 64" section of an existing basement interior wood framed dry walled wall I discovered tar paper was glued onto the concrete wall, followed by a 1/2" gap, 2x3 wood framing followed by clear plastic vapor barrier and drywall.

Here's Charles' wall.

After ripping everything out I needed to restore the section of wall. Note that there was concern over damage/mould from a plumbing leak that occurred 3 years prior. After ripping the section out I concluded there really wasn't any issue.

The fiberglass insulation was a slightly damp to the touch. I ran into some confusion when try to decide how to restore the wall section. After watching many videos and talking to people at Home Depot and Lowe's I never gain an...

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Vapor barrier basement wall

A layer of protection is necessary to protect newly installed basement wall materials from moisture that collects in below-ground areas. If you are finishing basement walls, or adding a false. There are different opinions and facts from construction experts on. Vapor Barriers: Basement Ceiling/Wall Moisture Barrier Material Choices & Placement Guide, What is the proper type, material, and placement of vapor barriers on. A Basement Vapor Barrier is difficult to understand and even more difficult to install properly. A vapor barrier (or vapour barrier) is often used to refer to any material for damp proofing, typically a plastic or foil sheet, that resists diffusion of moisture. Do it yourself project - how to install a vapor barrier in your basement and is it really needed.

Installing a vapor barrier in your basement can help protect your home from moisture, mold or damp conditions. Hi, I'm installing batt insulation and then vapor...

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Our waterproof basement wall products create a brighter, more beautiful space

Are you tired of looking at those ugly, damp, cold concrete basement walls? If so, it's time for an upgrade! All of our basement wall panel systems stop water vapor from coming through the walls and resist mold and mildew. The experts at Midwest Basement Systems can help you select the solution that's right for your needs.

Even if you're not planning on finishing your basement at this time, our wall panels can create a cleaner, brighter appearance while insulating and waterproofing your basement walls.

To request a free in-home consultation and estimate in Waterloo, Ames, Des Moines or nearby, give us a call or click below.

Get clean, dry basement walls in your home today

Whether you're thinking about finishing your basement or not, we offer versatile basement wall solutions that can give you a drier, brighter, more comfortable basement. We offer free estimates on...

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Upgrade Your Basement Walls With Our Mold-Resistant, Attractive Vapor Barrier

What It Does:

CleanSpace® Wall is a 100% waterproof plastic vapor barrier that's perfect for unfinished basement walls. With a 25-year warranty [PDF] for wear and tear, it's durable, washable, and has anti-microbial protection called UltraFresh built right in!

CleanSpace® is pliable enough to cover uneven surfaces and irregular walls, including areas with large rocks or similar obstacles. Additionally, it's a great way to prevent humidity from making its way through your concrete walls and into your basement.

Installation Time:

CleanSpace® installs quickly, with most installations taking a day or less. Once the installation is complete, your basement will be ready to use immediately.

Advantages to a CleanSpace® Wall Installation

Unlike paint and materials that adhere to the walls, CleanSpace® Wall is mechanically attached to your basement walls...

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Though currently cold concrete, most probably wet and crammed with old utilities, your basement is a hub of potential in your home. It is only fair that we give our basements as much attention as we give other rooms in our house. If you feel your home is squeezed out, the solution to increasing the size of your home may lay, right underneath your feet. Rather than external home expansions which are by far expensive and likely to be met by zoning restrictions, remodeling the basement is a good way to expand your living area. It may save you up to 10% of construction costs per square foot. Here are tips on how to turn this underutilized space into a beautiful living space and some photos on the subject of Basement wall vapor barrier materials galleries. First, start with the basic structure; The walls, Floors and Roof.

Moisture is the biggest concern to all these in the basement. Any leaks, condensation or flooding must first be tackled before any installations can be made on...

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Upgrade Your Basement Walls For A Brighter, More Beautiful Space

Are you tired of looking at those ugly concrete basement walls? It may be time to upgrade!

Even if you're not interested in finishing your basement, you can still opt for a fast, cost-effective wall product that will drastically improve overall appeal.

Each of our basement wall finishing products are designed specifically for the basement environment and can stand up to the humidity and moisture that passes through basement walls.

We offer free basement wall quotes to homeowners in our Colorado service area. Contact us today to schedule your inspection!

Installing Basement Wall Products

Conventional basement finishing products are often inappropriate for the basement environment. Materials such as drywall, latex paint, wallpaper, wood, and fiberglass resins all contain organic materials that can grow mold and be damaged by moisture.

Basements are unique spaces with...

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A lot of people have heard advice about vapor barriers and vapor retarders. Many of them have walked away confused. A big part of the problem, I think, is that they've been told what to do—"Put it on the warm-in-winter side," or "Never use one"—but they haven't had the physics of what happens explained to them.

In this article, I'm not going to get into the details of vapor barriers or all the possible scenarios of different wall assemblies and moisture loads. I'm simply going to explain what happens in a wall cavity with and without a plastic vapor barrier installed.

Plastic on the inside

1. Hot Humid Weather

I'm writing this article because one of our HERS raters came across a house in Charleston, SC that had poly under the drywall, on the interior side of the wall assembly. If you're at all familiar with the climate in Charleston and understand moisture, you know that can't be a good thing.

I was there one day in June a few years ago...

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Vapor barriers can be misguided when used as dictated by building codes in cement basement walls.

Building vapor barriers are generally considered beneficial, necessary and required for building code compliance, so I realize that taking a poke at the status quo will lead to some hostility. The conventional wisdom goes along these lines:

1) Moist air is generated by building occupants and human activities like cooking and showering.

2) If the moisture passes through the drywall and fiberglass insulation and contacts the cold exterior walls (in winter), it will condense and promote the growth of mold. This must be prevented.

While true for the above ground exterior walls, basement walls are a different matter. Cement is extremely porous and allows moisture to enter the basement in vast quantities unless treated with a sodium silicate based penetrating sealer (or other high quality sealer -- paint is not a permanent sealer and tends to delaminate). The...

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Last Updated: Thursday, December 23rd, 2010, Created: Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Do I need to place a vapour barrier against the brick wall, then insulation and then another vapour barrier over that? The wall does not leak and is fully underground. Barbara

Hello Barbara,

The vapour barrier -- more properly called a vapour retarder -- is designed to stop moisture in the form of vapour that is inside the house from moving into the walls and forming condensation or ice. Hence it must always be located on the warm-in-winter side of any insulation. Usually that is right behind the drywall. Moisture in the room will migrate through the drywall, reach the vapour barrier, which is almost at room temperature, and will not collect because it is not cold. So it will go into and out of the drywall as the humidity levels change in the house, but never affect anything deeper in the wall and will never reach the structure of the house. No mold, no rot, no...

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Think of a glass of ice water. Water vapor in the warmer air of your home begins to condense on the colder surface of the glass of water. Condensation occurs whenever warm air meets cold air. This same process occurs inside the walls of your home. Without a vapor barrier in place, condensation inside the walls could ruin the insulation and promote the growth of harmful mold and bacteria. Plastic, specifically 6-mil polyethylene plastic, is the most commonly used vapor barrier. Plastic has a very low permeability rating, which means water, in its gaseous or liquid state, does not travel through it.


The standard installation of a plastic vapor barrier is between the studs and the drywall, but there are some exceptions to this. In exterior walls that are below-grade, like basement walls, plastic should not be used at all. Some applications require a different use of plastic vapor barriers. Above-grade exterior walls with semipermeable exterior finishes,...

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Finishing basements for comfortable living is the most popular winter home improvement project with us Canadians, and that’s why I hope you read this column before it’s too late. So many widely accepted building practices are far from ideal when applied to basements, and so few people understand the value of innovative basement finishing strategies that have come along in the last 15 years. So let me warn you about three common basement finishing errors and how to avoid them.

Studs and Batts for Basement Walls

While hollow walls work okay in above-ground applications, they’re not good for basements. Moisture is the reason why. Unlike above-ground walls, basement walls are threatened by moisture from two sources — condensed moisture from indoor air leaking in to wall cavities during cold weather, plus moisture and liquid water leaking in through the basement wall itself. This is why I regularly hear from homeowners who wonder why they’re seeing condensation on...

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Cut Your Energy Bills Down By Properly Insulating Your Home Is your home always too hot or too cold? Before you think about replacing your central air, or heating/cooling system, consider replacing your insulation. A properly insulated home can make you far less dependent on heating and cooling systems, by reducing unwanted heat loss or gain. In addition to a more comfortable climate, you may also benefit from reduced noise from outside by upgrading your insulation.
Replacing your insulation is fairly easy, but does require a bit of detective work before you get started. If your home is newly built, you should be able to get the insulation info from the builder. If your home is older, an energy auditor can determine what changes should be made, or you can do it yourself. If you prefer the DIY route, you'll first want to find places in your home where the insulation is exposed. The best places to look would be basements or attics. You'll want to understand both the...
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