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Basement Finishing and Renovations Has it been 2 years already? Time to work on finishing the basement into some extra living space.


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Old 2011-08-16, 10:02 AM
koolk23 koolk23 is offline
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Question Basement Vapour Barrier

Hello,

I am planning to finish my basement. During my research I came across construction guidelines on the City of Ottawa website for finished basements (required to get permits):

"Exisitng Foundation Wall, moisture barrier, 2" x 4" studs @ 16" oc, R12 insulation, 6 mil polyethylene vapour barrier, 1/2" drywall"

As you can see the construction guidelines suggest a moisture barrier on the concrete+insulation+vapour barrier. This is confusing me. From what I have read in other forrms that double barriers are big no-no since it traps moisture. Can someone please clarify what is the difference between the two?

Also I have builder provided insulation upto the floor in the basement. There is no moisture barrier on the walls. There was a discussion on the page of my community where some people got the city to inspect and the builder came back and put in the moisture barrier and reinsulated afterwards. For those in Ottawa, are there any builders that actually put in moisture barriers on the concrete wall before insulation.

Thanks.
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Old 2011-08-16, 10:47 AM
Yume Yume is offline
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I believe we have a black moisture barrier on the concrete, and then the vapour barrier on top of the insulation.

This is a photo from our frame walk of one of our exterior walls in the basement:



I don't have any pictures of the unfinished area of the basement, but we do have the vapour barrier on top of the insulation.

We're with Tamarack (in Half Moon Bay also)
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Old 2011-08-16, 04:23 PM
koolk23 koolk23 is offline
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Is the moisture barrier applied outside or inside? From the way I read the guidelines it seems it is applied inside.
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Old 2011-08-16, 04:56 PM
Yume Yume is offline
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The moisture barrier is applied on top of the insulation (so inside), and then you'd apply the drywall on top of that.
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Old 2011-09-12, 01:55 PM
R.F.D. R.F.D. is offline
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moisture barrier and vapour barrier are two very different things to my understanding and I believe I saw the same thing on the website.

The black paper stuff that you see is to prevent direct contact of the wood and concrete. When erecting the walls you will likely notice that you cannot actually put them up against the wall anyways because you walls will not be straight vertically.

You might want to check by actually contacting the city directly, there are variances to the rules and if you are not building right up against the wall you may be able to get canned spray foam to fill the voids in the behind the studs, put your insulation in and then continue with the vp and drywall.
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