Basement Drying >> I Got Water On The Carpet In My Basement

Recent instances of whole house deep energy retrofits for private clients could eventually yield case studies that will help researchers identify consumer preferences and cost-effective methods for exterior basement insulation. So far, however, I Got Water On The Carpet In My Basement the anecdotal  evidence gleaned from isolated presentations of deep energy retrofits that included an exterior basement insulation approach.

Using methods similar to those illustrated in Figure 3 indicates that it remains expensive and disruptive, and thus still  unsuitable for wide scale application. I Got Water On The Carpet In My Basement One deep energy retrofit project in Ely, Minnesota, designed by Wagner Zaun Architecture and completed in 2010, included excavation and a full-depth exterior retrofit approach to the existing basement. 

Quad-Lock R-ETRO (an EPS retrofit system  produced by the Quad-Lock ICF) was used in this project (Figure 5). I Got Water On The Carpet In My Basement Because the retrofit  project was for an entire house, and included some exterior modifications (two decks and a screened porch), accurate cost information about the basement insulation  system hasn’t been defined. 

The cost of the excavation, insulation, waterproofing, and drain tile is roughly estimated to be $16–18 per square foot of basement wall. I Got Water On The Carpet In My Basement It is notable that this client and others across the country are undertaking extensive  retrofit work at their own cost in order to improve the comfort, durability, and energy efficiency of their homes. 

Two more such projects are discussed in the next section of this report. I Got Water On The Carpet In My Basement Instances do occur where  homeowners are willing to spend the money and endure disruptions in order to have the "best” approach to basement insulation. 

Even when physical barriers such as decks, sidewalks, and vegetation are present, some homeowners will not be deterred from an exterior approach. I Got Water On The Carpet In My Basement Further, when interior barriers  are more daunting than exterior barriers and an exterior approach is more effective both in energy and water management, a conventional exterior  excavation and insulation approach can and will be used. 

Two recent projects in northern Minnesota are examples of the conventional approach to an exterior foundation insulation retrofit, with current cost information. I Got Water On The Carpet In My Basement Both homes had uninsulated  basements, with foundation walls of concrete block. Both basements contained mechanical equipment, plumbing, laundry areas, and a lot of storage. 

Neither basement was finished on the interior. I Got Water On The Carpet In My Basement Both homes also had numerous physical obstructions that, if left in place, would have made this excavation and insulation strategy impossible on 30%–50% of the house  perimeter.
 
Although energy calculations were not undertaken as part of the work, I Got Water On The Carpet In My Basement the agreed-upon goals for both projects included the desire to treat "most” of the foundation walls, and "most” was loosely defined as 75% of the perimeter. 

These two projects were  not part of the formal research, but continued research into the application of retrofit approaches where barriers are present suggests the need for an evaluation of the effectiveness of the exterior application when not all of the foundation is treated. I Got Water On The Carpet In My Basement A similar overall insulation strategy was employed on the two  foundations. 

Excavation beside the wall went to the depth of the bottom of the footing. I Got Water On The Carpet In My Basement In each case, extruded polystyrene (XPS) rigid foam insulation was mechanically fastened to the existing foundation wall, from top of foundation wall to top of footing. 

XPS was chosen in large part because the contractors were familiar with the product and because it was  affordable and readily available. I Got Water On The Carpet In My Basement Three inches (R-15) was used on the  smaller home in Duluth and 4 inches (R-20) was used on the larger home in Two Harbors. 

The insulation thickness was selected by considering the overall desire for improved energy efficiency and simultaneously crafting a flashing detail at the top of each wall where it would join the existing siding. I Got Water On The Carpet In My Basement In each case, the homeowners wanted "as much R-value” as could be installed without cumbersome or clumsy detailing. 

The retrofit measures included both insulation and waterproofing. I Got Water On The Carpet In My Basement Neither basement had moisture issues, but with plans for full-depth excavation, installing waterproofing seemed like cheap insurance. A heavy peel and stick bituthene sheet membrane was used for waterproofing.

Installed over the XPS from grade level to the bottom of insulation and lapped over the top of footing and down the side of footing to the bottom. I Got Water On The Carpet In My Basement Seams were  overlapped per manufacturer’s specifications. The contractors debated about whether the waterproof membrane should be applied to the face of the foundation wall before the XPS foam was installed rather than over the XPS. 

It was agreed that either approach would work and that each had its own merits. I Got Water On The Carpet In My Basement Placing the waterproofing directly over the foundation wall  seemed like it might offer better protection to the wall. Several issues, however, led to using the other approach. 

First, both contractors worried about the ability of the membrane to "stick” to the wall, given the age of the wall and likely buildup of dirt, salts, and more. I Got Water On The Carpet In My Basement If the membrane wasn’t perfectly sealed, it would not offer the best protection. It was agreed a more perfect seal would happen over the face of the newly installed XPS. 

Further, all parties considered the  possibility that with XPS over the membrane and in direct contact with the ground, I Got Water On The Carpet In My Basement water could seep through joints that opened up in the XPS (XPS is known to shrink some) whether it was taped or not, and that in the winter, water trapped in those joints  could possibly freeze.
 
Both foundations were  constructed of concrete block with no interior finishes, I Got Water On The Carpet In My Basement and the homeowners were instructed about maintaining an interior environment where the wall would continue to be able to dry to the inside. Foundation drainage was also considered. 

In the Two Harbors project, drain tile and geotextile fabric were installed, and a trench dug to allow connection and sloping of the drain tile to exit at daylight. I Got Water On The Carpet In My Basement In the Duluth project, drain tile was already present at the bottom of the footing, and although it was  clay and not in great shape, the decision was made to leave things as they were.

Given the sandy soils and ease of maintaining good drainage away from the building at the surface. I Got Water On The Carpet In My Basement Specific details for each project follow. A one and three-quarter story house in Duluth, built in 1902, has been  undergoing a phased deep energy retrofit.
 
The house is on Park Point, a location with very sandy soil, and its concrete block foundation (with the basement slab floor above the water table) had no evidence of moisture intrusion from groundwater. I Got Water On The Carpet In My Basement Physical obstructions to excavation included a sidewalk along the entire south side of the house (42 feet long) and a concrete front stoop, bay window, and mature cedar bushes on the west (front) of the house. 

The homeowner decided to have the concrete sidewalk removed in order to access the south side, and chose to leave the west side untouched for this project; as a result, I Got Water On The Carpet In My Basement 85% of theme  foundation was insulated. 

Regarding the rim assembly, 3 in. of closed cell spray foam insulation (R-18) had already been installed to the interior of the rim area, I Got Water On The Carpet In My Basement and an additional 2 in. of polyisocyanurate rigid insulation (R-12) was added to the exterior of the rim assembly during the basement upgrade.

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