Bluwood, while insect and mold resistant is a better choice for above-ground use. Thanks for your help Mike. And then another layer of 23/3 plywood down on top perpendicular. Does Simple Green Kill Mold: Facts and Myths. Taking precautionary measures will provide a long-term solution to the problem. Below grade, it is that big porous sponge called concrete that is sucking up water from the wet ground. Many homeowners experience mold and mildew on their lumber as houses are built or room additions are constructed. In a basement, underground steel all the way. SPUF might be the best solution but I seem to have run out of gold bars :). These reported cases are rare, but if you are at all concerned, there are alternatives to spray foam for insulating basements listed below  that work well in the battle against moldy basements. Even with the stud wall already you can still do it in a way where you are better off than most basements. It is much more affordable to deal with most humidity issues inside the building. It also allows for the addition of a radon evacuation stack, which is the perforated tube and T-junction in this image. Metal studs provide disaster-resistance and are not prone to termite or mold damage, like wood studs. We do have efflorescence on the cement. And unfortunately for many homeowners,  the way basements were finished for the last few decades is about as logical as jogging in a raincoat. Bleach and mold exposure are harsh on the skin and overall health. The only thing that concerns me is the barricade floor. Pioneer Materials West offers the largest inventory of construction supplies in the western United States for both residential and commercial jobs, including drywall, insulation, steel, acoustical tile and a broad range of construction accessories and tools. The bottom 4' of the insulation doesn't seem to sweat. Get free shipping on qualified Mold Resistant, 2x4 Wall Foam Board Insulation or Buy Online Pick Up in Store today in the Building Materials Department. Listed in Green Spec Directory. I think you have some of your wall components mixed up here, vapour barriers ARE  intended to stop vapour, I've never heard that contested before. Metal studs offer several advantages over wood studs. I then drywalled over that and primed and painted with latex paint. FrameGuard ® is a blend of anti-mold and preservative compounds that protects wood used as framing, millwork and trim. 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. The walls were completely dry when we removed the foam. 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. Sorry for the painfully late reply Jason, but at this point I'm trying to do some catch up in case others have similar issues. Again, I'm not suggesting you lift your existing floor, but this would be a little upgrade that may extend the life, and it means you aren't switching building materials and causing a change in floor level. Also, you can easily remove it yourself without having to call the professionals. Just the part of the foundation close to and above grade. If you are looking for pre-coated lumber products, PinkShield is used to coat the following products. It really depends on her level of sensitivity. If exposed, is it possible that is your moisture source? I have a Toronto 107 year old semi detached home. 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. The mold damage you see is from longterm moisture exposure, not the one-time flooding event. Does anyone have any information that would help? Basement insulation diagram for mold growth prevention © Ecohome, How to Find Qualified Green Building Professionals, Compare budget options and special offers for manual humidity meters here, See here to compare humidity meters online including smart trackers and alarms and find special offers and reviews, good quality discounted HRV or ERV system, get a humidity monitor and track humidity levels, see here, How to choose between an ERV & HRV system for basement ventilation & Mold prevention, 'How to build basements that don't stink', Joe Lstiburek, the most recognized name in building science, 'best practices for basement construction', MDF is a heavily processed wood product very susceptible to moisture damage, Preventing moisture when you insulate your basement, Building better basements: how to insulate your basement properly, Why are Basements Moldy? Mold Protection for Builders & Building Materials . If possible it is best to insulate a block wall from the exterior, but we realize that isn't always affordable or even possible. Another downside to the original SPUF is that some blowing agents have a high global warming potential (GWP). Fresh air circulation is essential to prevent mold & mildew in today's modern energy-efficient homes so Heat Recovery …. Because mold eats or digests what it is growing on, it can damage a building and its furnishings. Hence, we have decided to transfer useful knowledge on how to treat mold on wood studs through this article. Dry it out as soon as you detect the moisture. 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. Another considerable improvement in keeping basements mold-free is to ensure adequate ventilation. This was a typical basement wall assembly, with a stud wall directly against the foundation followed by fiberglass insulation and a vapour barrier. Maintain the right level of humidity by installing a good quality dehumidifier. The stud wall is not yet insulated or drywalled (it was this way when we purchased the home). Are you saying that I do not need a vapor barrier on top of the insulation? However, I was wondering if this technique can still be used if a waterproof membrane was installed on the exterior of the foundation wall. Similarly, mold on wood studs can also occur due to molds on nearby surfaces. If I use mineral wool rigid board insulation (e.g. Is it overkill? Western Wood Products Association 1500 SW First Ave., STE 870 Portland, OR 97201 Phone: 503-224-3930 Fax: 503-224-3935 Email: info@wwpa.org My next step is to rip out everything and start over. My wife is reacting to whatever is on the walls. I'll recap that to be sure I have the assembly correct -. And, good on ya for catching and questioning that ‘double vapor barrier’! Without a poly barrier the moisture shoud be able to dry to the interior, unless there is something else really wrong going on here. An error occurred. But why not polyethylene on the inside against the concrete? If you take the steps to protect it from flooding in the first place, I might also consider the idea of laying down a water proof dimple membrane with a bit of space for any incidental water to move, then some 2x3s with insulation boards between them, then your plywood subfloor. Or would I be far better off just to get a spray foam guy in to spray directly on the concrete? Check for leakages and pipe bursts near the wood studs. 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. Read more here – Why basements are moldy and how to fix them. 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. The other coated lumber Mike uses on his shows is Bluwood (an American product) which is coated with a distinctive blue coating that is mold, moisture, and insect resistant. 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. 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. What would you suggest to do? What I learned: - If I understood them correctly, the chems were applied at the lumber yard. Is it ok? Despite the fact that interior vapour barriers in below grade wall assemblies are commonplace, frustrated building scientists insist that installing them is the worst thing you could possibly do down there. Wouldn't adding another vapor barrier above the floor be a problem in that scenario? Yes, something along those lines would work. Without the vapour barrier, wouldn't the drywall get moist and have mold grow on it? Mold Resistant Coatings. Should I paint the block wall with latex paint before insulating? As it is only held together by mortar at the joints, it is nowhere near as strong as a concrete wall. 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. As it is, the blocks are likely just continually absorbing moisture and depositing it into your walls. Because remember that the problem can be treated and prevented by following just a few steps. Rinse the surface with clean water and the process will be done. If it's just surface mold or mildew, it will clean off. Fire Proof, rot, mold mildew resistant and strength. 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? I am already planning to install an insulated sub-floor. Or possibly from other parts of the basement if your wall wasn't fully sealed up yet? Only treat wood that has not been previously treated by any other chemicals, for the best results. If you aren’t sure if there is a vapor barrier then you really should have one, and most recently built basements would have at least 1.25 inches of EPS insulation then a vapour barrier, so really all that would be sandwiched between vapor control layers would be concrete. My question is should I leave a 1"air space between walls and Insulation or can the ruxol be against the wall. Whether you need drywall, insulation, acoustical tile or construction accessories, we've got your jobsite needs covered. I can't imagine how you are going to apply that comfortbatt without a stud. Note: the above diagram shows an ideal and complete basement renovation beginning with breaking and removing the existing concrete floor. that way all the moisture stays on the exterior. to 97 mils (12 gauge.). This is certainly dangerous especially when it comes to mold on wood studs because they are majorly used in the structure of the walls. The Best Removal... Can Mold Grow on Metal? Whether you need drywall, insulation, acoustical tile or construction accessories, we've got your jobsite needs covered. 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). Like Bluwood it is also mold resistant. But regarding that you don't want to finish your basement, what do you mean? 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. I plan an putting up drywall in the basement and would like to know if 2x2 strips would be fine instead of 2x4 studs. As the EPA say, somewhere in the range of 35 to 50% relative humidity is generally assumed to be the best for avoiding most health risks and irritants. 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? Excellent wood conditioner. If you have  very high relative humidity you will be at risk of mold developing on anything and everything down there, drywall included. Great article - it is very helpful and providing much needed guidance. And on a slightly different topic, I would be cautious about how much insulation you add to the interior of a cinder block foundation. I don't want to use treated wood as batten due to I know how it curls when drying. Since it's produced with a proprietary blend of plastics, the material is waterproof and suitable for any application where water resistance is critical. In winter the room is a bit cool, but I attribute that to the carpet on slab with no other insulation. We would recommend you lay a sheet of poly down first then the EPS, that way you would be sure to stop the upward migration of moisture. 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. 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. Treat Mold on Wood Studs. Little do they know that their limited knowledge and neglect can take a massive toll on their property and eventually their health. Thanks, I am having a new home built with 9' poured walls. It caused the damage by prevented the wall from drying to the interior and instead sealed the moisture in. It's easy to build a basement better, or to finish an existing basement correctly, we just need to realize that they behave differently than above grade walls and to build accordingly to effectively deal with the humidity found underground - and by doing so, stop the conditions that promote mold growth. The materials and design you choose are very important to prevent mold and should be appropriate for the environment they are destined to inhabit. Poor quality studs are more prone to developing molds because they are not resilient enough to fight moisture and humidity levels in the air. P.S. Coughing, headaches, itchy skin, irritation in eyes and nose, shortness of breath, and flu-like symptoms are few of the common things that people experience if there is mold around. Finally someone with common sense. If so then I would say they are an expert in making mold grow perhaps. 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. You would be better off using a "mold-resistant" drywall however. It is important to know that there are numerous microscopic mold spores in the air when any surface is affected by the fungus. Framing is necessary to provide a stable base for both interior and exterior wall coverings. If left unchecked, mold eventually can cause structural damage to building materials and can cause health problems - that's why we don't want mold in our basements! 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. We are looking to finish the basement this year. only install studs & leave it like that? Now moisture can develop due to any reason, however, it is generally the result of leakages around the affected surface and heavy rainfall. Old-Growth Cypress – The old-growth version of this resistant wood has so much more heartwood than its new or second-growth cousins that it is harder and has much greater resistance to rot and insects. 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. 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. 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. Ventilate the room by opening doors and windows. That said - we had a woman who is extremely sensitive to chemicals come and visit our Edelweiss House and she was fine with it. I have an older(1944) built home that we just bought about a year ago. Since Roxul is hydrophobic it won't absorb any moisture, so according to our engineer its fine up against the wall, the studs can hold it in place. But do check the condition of the wall, if there is any cracking already you may be best to consult an engineer before creating a new condition for the wall like letting it freeze. 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. Install the Studs. Metal studs are also healthier than wood studs because metal does not emit VOCs. Common building practices trap moisture in wall assemblies preventing them from dryi…, Basements in Canada & USA face serious challenges: fluctuating water tables, surface floods, thermal shock, radon gas infiltration, condensation, mold, mildew,…, Crawlspaces are becoming rare for new home construction in USA & Canada. Would like to confirm the information I've seen. As one of the foremost authorities on healthy basement construction, Professor John Straube of the University of Waterloo dubbed this typical type of wall assembly a "mold incubation chamber". I have this in my house and was looking at how to frame and insulate with this system in place. In addition to this, there are also those households who are not aware of mold growing on the surface. I have coated the walls with afm mexeseal but the off gasses are still bothering her. Item #5053. SPF Square Edge Lumber. But I'm no expert, it is just what a contractor told me. 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. If you have an issue, and the humidity levels are off the scale, then chances are you've got a moldy basement even if you can't see it yet... Vapou barrier is not for moisture but to keep the temperature from outside and inside balance or you will get condensation and mold. Basement mold and mildew can easily be avoided with better designed walls. 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. Frame a 2x4 stud wall at 24" centres leaving a gap of at least one inch between studs and concrete. In addition to this, you will also get to know about effective methods and preventive measures to deal with the dilemma. Product Used: 3.5" Flanged Furring Channel, 2" Z Furring, and 1.5" Z Furring Details: Installation includes, flanged furring channel and closed cell spray foam on the poured foundation, along with z furring and foam board in the stair wells to conserve space Put 23/32 plywood down. The blu lumber is treated with some kind of chemical that is supposed to make it termite and mold proof. Good luck! Whether you need one piece or one truck load we can accommodate your building materials needs. These studs and track are manufactured from mill certified galvanized steel, and are designed for use in curtain-wall and load bearing applications. 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). To sum up, mold on wood studs is dangerous and should be removed before it turns disastrous for you and your property. Experts stress the immediate removal mold because it looks bad but due to the fact that it is made up of countless toxic chemicals and gases. I am not sure how to insulate over it because I don't want to leave an air gap against the wall above the membrane (it will end about 5' from floor). 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. What do you recommend to use below flooring to provide a vapor and insulation layer? See here to choose the best rigid foam insulation. Make sure to let the previous coat dry before you move on to the next one. The difference between air barriers and vapour barriers is often confused. It would take a lot of screws to keep flat. Non polluting, non hazardous and no off gassing. Another option as well is a breathable 'vapour barrier' called Membrain from Certainteed, the pores open up and let moisture pass when it gets too humid. Cherokee Building Materials serves both commercial and residential customers and offers the largest inventory of construction supplies in Arkansas and Oklahoma. It is necessary to take precautionary measures to avoid regrowth after the removal process. Above is a photo of a basement being repaired after flooding. We know it's this room that is effecting her breathing because when I seal it off from the house her breathing improves. My concern is insulating the floor. Nice article. Also, you can easily remove it yourself without having to call the professionals. The stud wall allows for the installation of wiring, additional insulation and drywall. 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. If you're in an older home sat above a basement, don’t panic. Shim up bottom plates to allow for water to pass under in cases of mild flooding. 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? Application to open studs and framing is less efficient than application in a controlled OEM environment. 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. You may hear that EPS is somewhat moisture permeable; this is true, but only slightly so and not enough to be a problem. Does the plywood need to be moisure resistant? 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. Along with removing contaminants from the air, there are health consequences from having either too much or too little moisture in our homes. I would recommend starting with Joe Lstiburek, the most recognized name in building science. 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. FrameGuard wood is available in framing and truss lumber, plywood, OSB, and SIPs, as well as other engineered wood products. We obviously wouldn't be able to add 2" rigid insulation directly against the concrete now. mike@ecohome.net. Moisture can build up inside the wall assembly and cause mold behind the drywall if you have an impermeable vapour barrier there. How to insulate over such a varied surface? Thanks for your help. It is lighter, but residential grade steel studs are very flimsy and can have that office tinny feel. I'm thinking this is due to the warm batt touching the cool styrofoam and creating condensation. Poly vapor barriers on the interior surface of a basement wall are not at all a good idea, it will trap the moisture. So don't take it from me, keep on digging on the net until you are satisfied. Sponsored Links #2 11-21-11, 01:14 PM ... Cover this with mold resistant drywall and you have probably done the best possible job. Putting EPS foam against concrete is usually a good idea as it prevents moisture from coming through. Thanks. Although mold on wooden studs is quite a nuisance, it is treatable which is a relief for all of us. We don’t know if you are aware or not but molds are more than just colored and unsightly spots on the surface. 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. Thicknesses range from 33 mils (20 gauge.) Cedar (Eastern White or Western Red) – Cedar is a great wood for exterior work. Have long wanted to at least finish the walls to make it a bit more livable (maybe leave the ceiling joists as is) but have always been worried about mold. According to the EPA, indoor relative humidity (RH) in homes should be kept below 60 percent - ideally between 30 percent and 50 percent, In addition to preventing mold forming, maintaining the correct humidity levels may also have a bonus effect - discouraging pests such as cockroaches, silverfish (bristletails) and dust mites from populating the man-cave! Personally, I wouldn't let someone spray foam in my house without some pretty good references that I followed up. But the biggest problem you have, and that all basements have, is a vapour barrier sealing organic materials in with wet concrete. Is the concrete floor in the wall and 1 inch gap area insulated or exposed to the gap? Flange or leg sizes for both studs and track range from 1 inch all the way up to 3 inch. 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. I noticed moisture was forming where batts were contacting the foam. 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. Am I correct to think that the EPS, 2 x 4, mineral wool batts, latex paint combination would be acceptable for my situation? We must be misunderstanding something. The basement insulation solutions proposed here are for those that have no exterior protection. It would be much appreciated. Can you tell me how you did it and how it turned out? Hi Adrian I was recently speaking with a doctor that specializes in environmental health issues, and she says that a lot of people are negatively affected by foam insulation. She did a smell test with individual materials, perhaps that could be a valuable technique for your wife before installing. As for how to fix your basement, you really would need to remove everything and start fresh. Screw both sheets together and have carpet installed on top? 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. I am refinishing my basement and put in 2x4 studs and 5/8" mold resistant drywall for the walls. There is 'idea' construction and then there is what makes sense in an given situation. Tip. SPUF has a high R value per inch, acts as an air barrier and a vapour barrier. I've have a dehumidifier running and it's at about 38%. Cherokee Building Materials serves both commercial and residential customers and offers the largest inventory of construction supplies in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Depending on the age of your home, you may have some interior basement insulation or maybe none. Bluwood resists rot and termite damage, so in a damp climate or a basement, Bluwood is the way to go. Hi Mike, can you elaborate on the floor insulation approaches? Never miss a deal. Lay a plastic vapor barrier down. 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. Yeah, go for it. 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. Allow the solution to settle and let it dry completely and then repeat the steps if necessary. Better is if moisture in a wall can dry to the interior (since it can't dry to the exterior), and then it can be handled by ventilation equipment or dehumidifiers. The obvious difference is it needs to weight bear. If you have a layer of poly and then 2 inches of EPS foam, I wouldn't be too concerned about the plywood as I think you have separated it well from any chance of moisture assuming the following : If it's a new basement you are building, then presumably you have the opportunity to take some additional steps towards protecting it, meaning - proper exterior water protection, drainage, a weeping tile that can drain bulk water away from the foundation, and a sump pump.
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