Basements are Changing. Basements Part of the Enclosure. Basements. Energy Efficient, Durable, Healthy. Below grade enclosure

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1 Basements are Changing John Straube, Ph.D., P.Eng Basements: New & Retrofit Energy Efficient, Durable, Healthy Increasingly used as living space Not a root /coal cellar anymore! High quality space expected - new and retrofit Owner can finish herself Low cost for high density sites (cities) Can now locate laundry, heating, hotwater elsewhere Modern basements are different they need different approaches! Commercial basements are similar Building Science Corporation presented by Basements No. 2/73 Basements Part of the Enclosure Basements Below grade enclosure Includes floor slabs, practically need to include transition Separates exterior (soil/air) and interior Functions of all parts of the enclosure Support heavy lateral loads Control less temperature, more water Finish (usually) Basements No. 3/73 Basements No. 4/73 Straube buildingscience.com 1 of 21

2 Moisture: Old ideas CBD# Drainage layer Exterior moisture barrier Exterior insulation Air barrier Exterior insulation Drainage layer Capillary break Air tightness Control: Moisture Moisture causes most failures Mold (musty basement smell) Decay (especially rim joist) Staining /Paint peeling Floods and leaks, eventually causing the above Salt damage to masonry old basements Where does moisture come from? 1. Exterior 2. Built in 3. Interior Basements No. 5/73 Basements No. 6/73 1. Exterior Environment Moisture Sources 1. Precipitation 2. Rainwater shedding 3. Surface water Run-off 5. Sub-surface Moisture - Groundwater - Vapor 4. Water vapor Solutions: Minimize Rain loads Provide Good Shedding Provide Good Drainage Provide Capillary Breaks 1. Controlling Exterior Moisture Sources Same approach as above-grade rain control Deflection Overhangs, slopes, gutters Drainage/Exclusion/Storage Three strategies for the enclosure Drying Remove built-in incidental moisture 5. Sub-surface Moisture 5. Basements No. 7/73 Basements No. 8/73 Straube buildingscience.com 2 of 21

3 Control Exterior surface water Surface Drainage First step Common problem Overhang Gutters Downspouts Sloped grade Perimeter drain Basements No. 9/73 Basements No. 10/73 Solution Problem Basements No. 11/73 Basements No. 12/73 Straube buildingscience.com 3 of 21

4 Basement Enclosure Strategies Exterior surface water Drainage wont help here Damage recovery Basements No. 13/73 Classification of Groundwater control 1. Drained Needs capillary break and gap/drain space 2. Perfect Barrier ( waterproofing ) One layer of perfect water resistance Beware hydrostatic forces 3. Storage (mass) Safe storage capacity and drying Don t use vapor barriers, do insulate (carefully) Basements No. 14/73 Screened(1) Below-Grade Enclosure Wall System C. Drainage plane and Capillary break E. Concrete or concrete masonry F. Insulation (int. option) G. Interior finish Drained type: drainage system with drainage plane, and capillary break Above Grade Level A. Screen (similar to cladding---shed and screen surface moisture-rain) B. Drainage crushed stone Below Grade Level B. Drainage draining backfill Drainage by specific backfill soil properties Interface with undisturbed below grade environment Screened(2) Below-Grade Enclosure Wall System C. Drainage plane and Capillary break E. Concrete or concrete masonry F. Insulation (int. option) G. Interior finish Drained type: drainage system with drainage layer& plane, capillary break Above Grade Level A. Screen -optional (similar to cladding---shed and screen surface moisture-rain) Below Grade Level Backfill not necessarily free draining Non-soil drainage layer B. Drainage crushed stone Interface with undisturbed below-grade environment Collection and Exit Drain Basements No. 15/73 Collection and Removal Drain Basements No. 16/73 Straube buildingscience.com 4 of 21

5 Screened(3) Below-Grade Enclosure Wall System Interior Drainage (often retrofit) C. Drainage plane and Capillary break E. Concrete or concrete masonry F. Insulation (int. option) G. Interior finish Drain can be gutter or new draintile Drained type: drainage system with drainage plane, and capillary break Above Grade Level Below Grade Level B. Backfill not necessarily free draining B. Drainage crushed stone A. Screen optional (similar to cladding---shed and screen liquid moisture-rain and groundwater) Collector and Removal Drain Interface with undisturbed below grade environment Basements No. 17/73 Barrier (1) Below-Grade Enclosure Wall System No Drainage hydrostatic pressure developed A. Positive side Waterproofing B. Concrete or masonry C. Insulation heat flow control (int. option) D. Interior finish Perfect barrier: drainage system can be used to reduce hydrostatic pressure waterproofing layer resists significant head of water Above Grade Level Below Grade Level Backfill not necessarily free draining B. Drainage (opt) crushed stone Collector and Removal Drain A. Screen optional (similar to cladding---shed and screen surface moisture-rain) Interface with undisturbed below grade environment Must use waterproofing below water table! Slab? Connection? Lowers water table, reduces hydrostatic pressure Basements No. 18/73 Barrier (2) Below-Grade Enclosure Wall System No Drainage hydrostatic pressure developed A. Negative side Waterproofing B. Concrete or concrete masonry C. Insulation heat flow retarder (int. option) D. Interior finish Perfect barrier : drainage system to reduce hydrostatic pressure waterproofing Above Grade Level Below Grade Level Backfill not necessarily free draining A. Screen optional (similar to cladding---shed and screen surface moisture-rain) Interface with undisturbed below grade environment Storage (1) Below-Grade Enclosure Wall System Limited ability to resist moisture loads A. Rubble or concrete masonry (storage) B. Usually no insulation to allow drying C. Usually no interior finish (limewash) Storage (mass) system: usually no intentional drainage often no capillary break Above Grade Level Below Grade Level Backfill not necessarily free draining A. Screen optional (similar to cladding---shed and screen surface moisture-rain) Interface with undisturbed below grade environment B. Drainage (opt) crushed stone B. Drainage (opt) crushed stone Collector and Exit Drain Basements No. 19/73 Collector and Removal Drain Basements No. 20/73 Straube buildingscience.com 5 of 21

6 Air gap membranes aka Dimple Sheets provide drainage gap act as vapor barrier Damproofing Capillary break = drainage plane, but needs gap vapour barrier? NOT waterproofing Waterproofing resists standing head of water Basements No. 21/73 Basements No. 22/73 Glassfiber Drainage Gap Rockwool Drainage Gap Basements No. 23/73 Rockwool Drainage Layer Can be insulation if thicker Basements No. 24/73 Straube buildingscience.com 6 of 21

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10 No drying to the interior possible Typical basement ( normal practice ) 1. Start dry 2. No leaks 3. No poly 4. Be lucky Basement in a Bag The Diaper Tolerable north of Arctic Circle Basements No. 37/73 Basements No. 38/73 How to insulate/finish basement wall? We need to: Control exterior ground water Insulate (energy, comfort and moisture) Control air leakage and diffusion condensation Provide (a little) inward drying Accommodate different conditions over height How to do we all this? Insulation Location Choices Builders like to insulate the interior Basements No. 39/73 Basements No. 40/73 Straube buildingscience.com 10 of 21

11 Basements No. 41/73 Basements No. 42/73 Hybrid Add layer of: foam or spray foam To allow inward drying about 1 perm Basements No. 43/73 Basements No. 44/73 Straube buildingscience.com 11 of 21

12 Basements No. 45/73 Basements No. 46/73 Basements No. 47/73 Basements No. 48/73 Straube buildingscience.com 12 of 21

13 Retrofit Building Science 49 Basements No. 50/73 Retrofit Drainage of peel and stick or dimple sheet provide superior drainage and leak resistance Retrofit Slab, drainage and sump before wall insulated Repair Wall leaks groundwater Retrofit/Reno Risk reduction Min 1 XPS Energy: 3 +EPS Dimple sheet Basements No. 51/73 Basements No. 52/73 Straube buildingscience.com 13 of 21

14 Basement Wall Air Movement Air leakage Water vapor moves along with airflow If moist air touches a cold surface, condensation occurs Summer and winter problem Control? Include an air barrier Avoid air loops Manage pressures Basements No. 53/73 Basements No. 54/73 Internal Stack Effect & Insulation Gaps in batt insulation on both sides Wrinkles inevitable Cold air = heavy Inside Hot air = light Batt Outside Common basement problem Air gaps Basements No. 55/73 Internal Stack Effect Gaps in batt insulation on both sides closed circuit energy cost condensation cold cool Cold Weather Hot air = light Cold air = heavy Result: Air Flow Basements No. 56/73 Straube buildingscience.com 14 of 21

15 Problems w/ air permeable insulation Solution w/ Insulated Sheathing Cold Weather Cold Condensation Air permeable insulation Warmer Air permeable insulation Air leakage Air leakage Crack Crack Basements No. 57/73 Basements No. 58/73 Foam only Vertical or horizontal furring Basements No. 59/73 Basements No. 60/73 Straube buildingscience.com 15 of 21

16 Basements No. 61/73 Basements No. 62/73 Basement Heat Loss Slab heat loss Basements No. 63/73 Basements No. 64/73 Straube buildingscience.com 16 of 21

17 Spray foam basement insulation Open cell Climate specific Closed cell Basements No. 65/73 Building Science 66 Building Science.com 67 Building Science.com 68 Straube buildingscience.com 17 of 21

18 Materials to use? Foam Board: EPS, XPS, PIC water tolerant vapour barriers to vapour retarders spray foam Semi-rigid (Icynene) and rigid (Spray polyurethane) airtight May allow some drainage R values of 4 to 6/inch vapour semi-permeable (Icynene much more) Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) If you afford it, use them cap break, insulation, vapor retarder, above grade Basements No. 69/73 Basements No. 70/73 Thermomass Basements No. 71/73 Basements No. 72/73 Straube buildingscience.com 18 of 21

19 Rim joists Scenario Wood generally on exterior 1.5 wood is a vapor barrier Practically difficult to stop air leakage Result Condensation on rim joist in cold weather Decay if it can t dry in or out Solutions Insulate on exterior Slabs Slabs can loose significant energy Currently the only uninsulated part of many buildings Keep warm (comfort & condensation) Control wicking and diffusion Make softer Consider floods Basements No. 73/73 Basements No. 74/73 OSB over heavy poly dimple sheet vapor barrier and some insulation Air seal joints/edge Slabs Beware Joints Basements No. 75/73 Basements No. 76/73 Straube buildingscience.com 19 of 21

20 Summary Control surface water by drainage Drainage layer on exterior of walls No vapor barriers on inside Painted drywall, stud, batt with foam OK Care needed at rim joist What happens if there is a flood, leak, etc. Basements No. 77/73 Basements No. 78/73 Conclusions Building in a hole in the ground is hard Drainage is better than waterproofing Don t forget about built-in moisture and remember summer Insulation and drainage are the best tools, not vapor barriers and waterproofing Basements No. 79/73 Basements No. 80/73 Straube buildingscience.com 20 of 21

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