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Basement insulation zone 6a/b

 
Posts: 7
Location: Cape Breton, NS
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Hi All,
The fibreglass insulation from the basement ceiling has been removed - high humidity had led to some mold issues, plus there had been significant rodent activity in it before I moved in. The so-called "full" basement is maybe 5' high in between the beams, has poured concrete walls and a dirt/rock floor. I'm in Cape Breton, where humidity is always high, temperatures are generally moderate, but we've been seeing significant swings and dips above and below the purview of our zone. Even with the previous insulation, the ground level floors where extremely cold in winter.
I've done some checking around locally and it seems the recommended "eco" solution is a spray-on poly-something-or-other which supposedly cures to a no off-gas state in 24hrs, but one is encouraged to leave the house during that period. Even if I didn't have fairly acute environmental sensitivities, I'd be wary of this. Seems a shame to be spraying plastic all over a house that's largely made of wood and glass.
I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for alternatives in this situation. And yes, I realize that the old insulation would've been better than none, but it's out now and that's a whole other story. Soon the snow come...
AtDhVaAnNkCsE for any help!
Laura
 
Posts: 403
Location: Abkhazia · humid subtropical
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Is and was the basement ventilated?
A perlite-clay mix could work. Or perlite panels. Or charcoal. Or no insulation (which is what we have here… and I prefer it over mold).
 
Posts: 823
Location: Bendigo , Australia
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dog homestead
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Ventilation is very important in this circumstance as mentioned above.
Mould is best controlled by ventilation, either active or passive, depending on how bad it becomes.
If both are possible maybe try passive initially and have an active system for use as backup if he humidity suddenly causes issues.
Although it may be best to find out why the humidity increases if that happens.
Is the ground moist?
Would the humidity and thus mould be coming from the exposed sol, venting should fix that.
Sealing the floor would not help since any ground moisture would just come through he walls if the floor was sealed.
This may help;

moisture in basements
 
Laura Rutherford
Posts: 7
Location: Cape Breton, NS
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The house was built with 10" panels that could be opened the length of the south wall of the basement, just above grade. When the builder left, his ex-wife had them all screwed shut, but there's still a fair bit of ventilation, especially in winter, which the spray-on insulation would seal up. Then I could decide the optimal places/sizes for effective ventilation in the summer, when it's needed. The idea of a drafty basement with no insulation in the ceiling in the winter when winds often hit 100km/hour and the temperature dips to -20 or more... makes me cold just thinking about it.
 
John C Daley
Posts: 823
Location: Bendigo , Australia
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You will not have to have a draughty basement and no floor insulation.
The floor can be insulated and venting sorted to suit the problem.
If the source of he moisture can be found, then the problem my be solved for goo.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2415
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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I have a possible solution, Radiant heating, 1000ft+ flexible pipes filled with warm water in between the basement ceiling 'beams'. It will lower the humidity levels of the basement. And provide a much better heating system for the 1st floor. You can insulate the walls of the basement with rigid insulation (think foam plywood).
 
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