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Community and Q&A

Can I use Grace Ice and Water Shield on my basement floor for as a moisture barrier?

Willy1 | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

I live in northern VT and we’re re-finishing our basement. Our basement is cool and damp but no water or excess moisture. We will be spray foaming the walls and I also want to put down a moisture barrier on the floor which will be carpeted. I can’t put down anything too thick due to the stairs but I want something durable and also not slippery due to the carpet. I’m wondering if I can you GRACE Ice and Water Shield (or similar roofing underlayment) as a moisture barrier. I also like the fact that it has an adhesive so it will stay in place.

Thanks!

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Replies

  1. Steve Knapp CZ 3A Georgia | | #1

    Willy,

    See this statement from the Grace website: Due to its slight asphaltic odor, do not apply where the membrane is exposed to interior living space. Refer to product literature for more complete information.

  2. User avater GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #2

    Willy,
    I can think of a few reasons why you might want to think twice about your plan.

    The first concerns possible odor issues. It's possible that Ice & Water Shield might have a funny smell that isn't desirable indoors. (The manufacturer doesn't intend the product to be used indoors.)

    While it's true that Ice & Water Shield will prevent upward evaporation from a damp slab, it won't do anything to limit summer condensation. During the summer, indoor air is often warm and humid, while slabs are cold. You might end up with summertime condensation on the interior side of the Ice & Water Shield.

    In short, polyethylene and a continuous layer of horizontal rigid foam make more sense.

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