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Finishing a damp basement

user-976551 | Posted in General Questions on

I have a client that lives in an early 1900’s home here in Minneapolis. Her current foundation is stone not block and is quite rough on both sides. She wants to finish the inside of the basement and add framed walls and drywall. She gets a minor amount of dampness on the wall and it is virtually impossible to waterproof this wall since it is such a rough stone. She does not get standing water but just dampness on the wall a times.

My question is: How can I frame this and insulate this wall without trapping moisture behind the wall and risking mold issues down the road? I was thinking of adding ventilation grills on top and bottom to allow for air flow between the framed/insulated wall and the stone wall so it was allowed to breath.

Do you have any other suggestions on how to do this? She does not want to pay the high cost of waterproofing the foundation from the exterior. I also looked into parging the wall but my plaster sub said this is not a waterproofing solution either.

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  1. JC72 | | #1
  2. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #2

    With a damp basement, there are no shortcuts. This article explains everything you need to know: Fixing a Wet Basement.

    The only type of insulation suitable for a fieldstone foundation wall is closed-cell spray foam. As with any below-grade wall, you shouldn't install any type of interior insulation until you've done everything you can to address the moisture problems.

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