All About Basements

published on July 17, 2020

Fix the wild eyebrows hey welcome it's Jeff from home renovation DIY we are here again tonight live at 6 o'clock Eastern Standard Time my son Matt is with me tonight as well he's gonna help us with answering all the questions a little later first of

All let's just say this show is all about basements let's just be realistic we have a few videos on basements in our catalog on our page there and they've been going crazy the last few weeks and I'm starting to think I think there's a

Lot of people out there who are researching most likely a basement renovation project that's coming up this winter it's a popular thing so even if you're in the northern states like we are it's popular to renovate in the

Basement in the winter because you can't go out anyway so you do your inside work in the wintertime and your outside work in the summer and if you're in the south well renovating in the wintertime makes a lot of sense because it's not so

Unbearably hot that you can actually get work done around your home so I makes sense why renovation is such a big subject matter this time of year and what we're gonna do tonight is we're gonna talk a lot about and that's going

To help me is going to be throwing up some pictures okay so we're going to talk a lot about basement technology now this is one of these things where there is no right and wrong answer to any particular question I get questions all

The time people say to any vapor barrier joining this system do I need that system should I should I use this kind of insulation system and the answer is that there are so many different types of basement foundation construction

Technologies out there over the last hundred and fifty years that every single one of them as a group needs to be addressed specifically based on your geography and the age of your house and the kind of improvements that you've

Done to it and the type of heat and air conditioning systems that you have in place so it's a little complex which is why when you ask a question there's always more than one answer because it all depends who you're talking to how

Much information they're working with what assumptions they're making about your particular situation so tonight we're going to do our best to try to answer as many questions as possible after we've

Presented the information and hopefully that will be of help so you want to go there do we have the first picture of an old where you start chronologically with an older basement that's not the older one yeah here we go okay so let me

Shrink this up a little bit now we just pulled this off the internet real quick and what we're looking at here is a cinder block foundation wall and this is represents the footing so they dig a hole they pour the footing they get that

Level okay and then they build a wall on top of that and then what they do is they backfill the dirt after they run their plumbing systems and then they pour a concrete on top of the dirt and on the outside of the building you've

Got what's called a weeping tile and it's just a pipe that runs around the house below the edge of that footing okay and it collects any groundwater that's rising up so it doesn't put pressure on your slab all right it's

Usually buried in gravel and in the old days they just back though with dirt call it good they'd have a downspout and all the water that went from the roofing system was diverted right here what ends up happening is all that water soaks up

Into the ground and if you have clay especially you're gonna find that that water is running lateral because clay kind of settles in layers and it all comes to the wall and wants to penetrate all of these different joints whoo

So that's basically how the technology works flip that over the other screen now all right and we'll get to this concept in a minute this is a more modern look but first of all let's deal with this if you have a block ball

Foundation wall you have what I'm gonna say is an older technology that has the high risk of failure okay you really really really have to pay attention to the drainage on your property especially if you have clay

Flat ground around your house is your enemy you want it sloping you want to have your east troughs coming down with the downspouts and even put extensions on them get that water 1012 feet away from

The building if at all possible make sure that you've got gullies or some sort of system for really diverting the water especially during the freeze cycles okay because if you have a basement you have colder climate in most

Cases which means in the springtime you can get a nice sunny day that melts a lot of water but it has nowhere to go because it's trapped by the ice in the snow and so then it falls into the foundation now the good news is is if

That's your house you know exactly what you need to do to renovate you need to have an airspace on the inside of your wall okay so I know a lot of guys are like we can drylock we can roll a water seal on that on the stone reality is is

The pressure that comes from that water from the outside of that block whatever you paint on there is not gonna last it'll give up the ghost and if you're gonna renovate and finish the space you want something that's gonna last so have

An air seal because what you're dealing with there is the migration of moisture not so much a water event right you're not getting rain you're not getting a river through your wall it's just such a high level of moisture that when it

Reaches the air in your basement the humidity that's the relative humidity it really transfers all that moisture into the house and so the basements so wet feeling all the time it doesn't seem like a livable space but if you build it

In here we're gonna get bills busy on the old whiteboard there max if you build it and this is your wall okay and we're going that and this is the outside and that's the dirt outside all right this is fine and you have your grass

Right no this is a little clearer you have your footing like in that picture you have your concrete floor if it's a block wall underneath here it's all dirt as well in most cases they didn't even pour gravel they just back filled with

Dirt so what you have is your your stone your block and your concrete is they're both in contact with with dirt and that moves a lot of water and so that moisture passes through that because these surfaces are permeable and you

Have a high relative humidity percentage inside the room okay so what you want to do is put a you're in here that pushes all of that relative humidity back to this point now this is what I call air space what you

Want is an air space so when the water comes through that air space has somewhere to migrate migrate to sorry it'll follow that air space stuck to the block wall at the top which is exposed to outside air which has a very low

Relative humidity okay and then it'll leave the building so the moisture will come in through the building follow the airspace and leave through the building and that's how you manage that situation and on the ground you also need to have

Something that pushes the relative humidity down okay right at the ground level this is the video we did with the DMX six and a half foot wide dimple membrane we covered it in the 5/8 plywood what that does is that pushes it

Down now you've got a vapor barrier at ground level ideally you want to build all your walls on top of that system so that the air space underneath it connects to this airspace and now all this moisture this penetrating the

Building has a way to get out all right so what you're doing is you're not you're not sealing up your house you're not waterproofing your house you're just managing a high level of relative humidity in this situation you go with

Air and then you frame your walls and you add your installation and then you put your vapor barrier okay and that'll give you a good air seal and that will work really well for you now if you have poor concrete foundation and your house

Is let's say older than 1980 it's a generalization because there's no real rule things started to change in construction but it's his own specific code was all over the place so you really have a little bit of homework it

Fits support foundation well and makes no difference okay it's the same effect if you have the dirt right up against it all right so it doesn't matter if it's a stone block or poured foundation they never

Really got into adding a vapor barrier underneath the floor until more recent maybe late 90s was popular maybe early 2000s where you lived they went from using dirt to putting in aggregate okay they back filled with

Gravel all right summer in the eighties so you didn't have direct contact with the dirt in the concrete and that helps a lot of basements stay a lot drier but it is it's still transference mooster just not

As fast in the late 90s we started putting vapor barrier on top of the aggregate underneath that concrete so now you had a vapor barrier underneath your floor and now what we do now is we realize that that vapor barrier needs to

Be continuous all the way up to the side of the house all right so now what we're doing is we're putting on this DMX memory you can see in the picture so now on the outside of the foundation you see this is like a picture of somebody

Making the conversion and this is an approach you can take when you're renovating your house from the exterior you can get rid of the dirt that's sitting against your poor concrete foundation you can put in the membrane

That goes right down and the idea here is it goes right down and goes over top of this footing mat when you were doing that where they going right over top of the weeping tile or they tucking in behind actually goes under the weep

Until under the weepin Center okay drains into it right and so then the weeping tile is left exposed sitting in its aggregate as well okay so now all the water that comes from rain and every other situation runs down the outside of

The house has diverted the weeping tile travels back to the street so now you don't have to have this moisture issue you know there's no need for air there is one of the most common questions is can I just put the rigid foam on the

Outside wall the answer is if you've got this then the answer is yes if you don't then what you have is no air space and you're going to create a water situation in your house because it's going to condensate right there on the wall the

Installation point and that's all going to travel it down your wall and you're actually going to start developing high levels of water sitting around the foundation plate on the interior walls then you run the risk if you don't have

The right kind of wit of advanced rot and mold so there's the basic rule with basements is they were never designed to be a living space so if you want to make it into one keep the car keep the construction as

Minimalistic as possible as far as the investment because you're gonna have a water problem and you're gonna need to replace it and if you want to avoid that and have a more long sustainable kind of situation you've got to get into doing

Foundation from the outside like this you can use the same technology on the inside of the house so where you would open the floor right and you could put a drain system on the inside underneath the concrete as well and you could have

This black membrane running down the wall on the inside okay open the concrete and it actually goes over top of that drain on the inside so any of the water that migrates through well we collected by the interior drain system

Of EPs it'll go to a sump pump and remove it that's another option but the point is basements are not designed to be drive unless they're waterproof from the outside so if you buy a new house nowadays most situations that we're

Dealing with they're doing this it's become a real standard okay standard practice I don't think there's one builder out there Matt that can probably even sell a house if they didn't have the waterproofing on no it's gonna have

It they're competing with everybody now mm-hmm when it comes to finishing you do need insulation okay your insulation needs to be the same thickness in the bottom as it is upstairs so if you have a two by

Six insulation cavity up here that gives you our 20 when you're down here you need our 20 that's basic building code I think that's gonna stand in for just about everywhere so you can't cheat and go really thin and go two by four

Because there's not enough room between the wall and your stud to get our 20 and you'll see this builders will actually cheat here they'll actually build the 2×4 wall far off the wall okay and then stuff the r20 insulation in and that

Kind of works it's a bit of a cheat it's not very efficient I hate seeing it but it happens because two by fours are a lot cheaper than two sixes and it'll hold the bat in place but the idea here the main goal is to

Identify first how old is the house if you have a moisture problem then you've got to provide air to help get rid of that moisture or dig up around the outside of your house which can cost fifteen twenty thousand dollars like

It's huge mm-hmm and put in a waterproof memory system okay how once you've got your insulation you're gonna want to add your vapor barrier all right so now you've got everything controlled your your hot air from inside the house

That's trying to travel outside your wall is not going to take vapor with it so you aren't gonna get water inside your wall cavity well that's a real lesson hey you've got some questions I'm sure yeah now that the video has been

The subject matter has been said pretty much established the idea if it's a wall you need a lot more control of the water and the relative humidity in the air passing if it's newer you got a lot more flexibility and the more investment

You're putting your basement the more control you want to have in place so let's deal with some specific questions here and hopefully that'll help lend to the conversation cool what do you recommend the gap between the concrete

And the inside the interior framing B doesn't need to be much because remember we're not dealing with water management we're dealing with vapor management so if you have a one inch gap between your your concrete wall and your your stud

Wall that's all that it takes because as the water comes in in the form of vapor it's gonna have anywhere relative humidity forty to sixty percent you're okay you're in a safe zone there so if you have a heating system in your home

The air in your home is gonna be relatively dry right when the moisture comes in you're gonna go from a forty percent relative humidity and the water becoming in from ground it'll push it to 42 44 or 45 but then it goes up and it

Dries out right away because the Arab side sucks the moisture out of it out of the stone so you're okay there and as soon as you put up a wall with a vapor barrier now you're restricting the ability all right getting that dry air

Mixed in with it so this air in here is more likely going to go up to the fifty fifty-five percent range so giving yourself a full inch so that that relative humidity has no obstacles is key the other thing is you don't want

Your insulation back to fall out of the stud bait and make contact with the stone okay that's the danger here we did a video and I showed how to use the Tyvek or type r paper to hold the insulation in

Place because we were trying to maintain that air gap if the bats fall out because the would twist okay now your stopping your airflow but you're also making direct contact which is gonna cause condensation next question just

Really briefly that's time except laying the exterior and interior water drainage system and how it all leads to the sump pump and how it gets to the system itself really quick real quick okay the exterior drain

Is connected to the city water collection system alright so the same as when it rains you have man you know a little movie from the clown the point is is the water gets all caught in there so any ground water runs down the side of

The foundation and gets collected in these pipes and it's all gravity fit all right they're all sloped to the street inside the house this is what we call a French drain oddly enough and almost seems like it should be offensive to

Call it that nowadays but we still call it that it's an interior drain system and what it is is the waterproofing membrane system that we'd be applying to that is over top on the inside of the foundation open up the concrete it goes

Over the pipe so now any water that enter enters the house whether it's relative humidity or cracking the foundation because this will actually protect your basement from any future water invasion or event ever okay it all

Gets collected here again it runs lateral around the foundation and will come to a place where there's gonna be a big pit with a pump in the bottom and that'll run it up some and then no 20 feet from the house so that

Was an amazing way to manage your water as well yeah our buddy Damian has a 98 house and his basement floors always he's always getting heavy rain right yeah he's wondering if the sump pump is his only option because just to keep the

Water out see now we've run into another another question it's called water table right rain is not an issue if your ground is sloped away from your house because then the water comes down and it's all following the easiest path

Right basically water is always going to go wherever it's most convenient so if you have a slope the water will follow the slope we won't even saturate the ground that that's not going to be an issue and so your situation won't be

That bad but if your ground is flat or like you see in a lot of houses its sloped towards the house okay especially if you have a new house it's not as much of an issue now because most of these houses are waterproof but if your ground

Is if you're just in the old neighborhood and it hasn't been maintained you'll just find that the the property level around the house the years and years of the grass growing and cutting and collecting leaves and

Rotting the areas around the outside of the house actually start to grow up just an inch or two over 20 30 years but next to the house because the Sun beats down off the concrete it's always burned off you're not getting that same collection

Of organics and so you end up having this area around the house that collects water so if you have a lot of heavy rain your two options one backfill and get the slope okay or there is a third option for drainage system out there you

Can take this same concept you can dig a trench around your house just a foot down and you can put in a weeping tile here and cover it over with gravel and you can have a collection system for a heavy rain or if you're on

A hill and your neighbor's yard is draining into yours and you can actually collect all that water into this pipe and run that over and away from your property and that can be really effective as well remember the rule here

Is if you can get rid of 90% of the water and rain events like major storms the other 10% is not going to cause you a major damage your house can handle that you know Redguard is yes yeah can you

Use that for foundation cracks no what about Flexsteel no no okay you know and this is a great question because we had people ask some questions all the time and I love the creativity don't get me wrong you know the Western

Society is built on creative thinkers but when it comes to your house you don't want to be creative you want to follow proven systems because everything we're talking about is a system there's no one element here

That's going to be the right answer or their solution to any problem it's all about the system and as soon as you introduce something into a system that hasn't been tested and proven you're experimenting with your own property and

It might seem like a really good idea at the time but that doesn't make it a good idea trust me all through the 50s and 60s there is enough experimenting going on with building construction and a whole

Lot of things went wrong okay even today when they introduce new products certain things will go wrong and the installation and the delivery of that product on a mass scale like with spray foam insulation sounds like a great idea

Of the time but all has somebody has to do is get the valves turn to the wrong pressure and what you end up with is that dead fish smell in your house unbelievable right so don't experiment with your homes okay I know I'm a safety

Second guy but I am a follow proven system first kind of guy it doesn't mean it has to be the most expensive option in the world but at least don't experiment on your home what would happen to a house an old house then has

A lot of a high water table and no sump pump well what's an old house I don't hold our than you older than me yeah but my age maybe no a lot of menu well first of all you'll find that most really old houses weren't building areas that had a

High water table right right they did that on purpose mmm-hmm because they didn't have technology working in their favor so they build on hills or high up off the riverbank okay but if you and technology

Has made us really kind of lazy and stupid because we can fix problems we can build wherever we want to we backfill swamps and just make it a neighborhood now and you know you run into major problems but let's say the

Water table and this crazy drawing man we need something cleaner that saves here all right that's not bothering you right you get a water event and then the water rises up and it gets this high it's not bothering you because the

Weeping tile is there to take the extra water away okay let's say the water gets up to really high okay we'll drive right up the concrete no let's say your weakling tile is old maybe it's old clay tile which is

Sections of a pipe that are that are tapered so you can stack them together kind of like a big big pile of plastic cups with a waiter or answer restaurant right same concept only there's no bottom in there in glasses and they just

Run it all that's what that's what weeping tile is back in the old day made out of clay and if it's broken and falling in and the dirts filled up then the water table can get really high and when now you have pressure and so if you

Have a high water table the first thing you're gonna see is your concrete floor is going to start getting wet lines or cracks and the water's gonna start seeping through if you've got that going on trust me you want to bust a hole in

Your floor they go to pit put in a well and sump it up it is your only option what would you do if you had a chalky basement floor like why does that happen chalky chalky you're just dealing with salts right and it's it's natural sweep

It up it's not toxic it's not dangerous it's not going to bother you it doesn't really mean anything's breaking down it's really have no effect especially when you consider that the concrete floor is not a structural element all

Right it's more cosmetic it's there so that you have something to stand on and that's about all it does so not a big concern what's the best way to insulate the basement concrete floor for a living space ok so here's another question yeah

You know I'm gonna do a new new picture maybe we refer to this later insulating a floor ok excuse me in two seconds while I draw my little picture all over again let's start again right this is our grass line and this is our water

Line okay real quick if you have a basement then you live in an area where you get winter and the bottom line is the temperature of the earth out here is 10 degrees my skill I'm in Canada Matt maybe you can convert that mm-hmm

Celsius and Fahrenheit okay 10 to American 1010 degrees one to the next rather point is this I'll answer the question this is the temperature here this is the temperature here and that's percent

That's not degrees it's just one circle folks I have to apologize I am extremely tired I am busting my butt trying to finish the renovation my daughter's house before Christmas I'm not getting enough sleep

Sorry and I do lay awake at night going did I turn the water off am i flooding or new home I'm having panic attacks it's just crazy all right for another question no we have a number 10 40 degrees 40 degrees okay so 10 or 40 okay

Should a quick answer underneath the house it's 10 or 40 all right here's your ceiling here's your heat take a guess what the temperature your floor is before you renovate your house you got it's 10 or

40 depending where you live all right you put in a sofa and you're sitting there and you're watching TV okay your heart is in ten degrees this is why everybody who sits in a basement is freezing remember back in the 70s well

That paneling right or one in the Lynch of styrofoam and we all thought we were insulating the basement because we were all just delirious you're sitting in ten degrees that's hypothermia condition you'll die you you can't hang out in

Your basement in that temperature the heat blows down and then it rises I don't care if you put our 3000 down here here in 10 degrees because there's no source of heat at the floor in a basement okay that's the challenge the

Biggest goal that you have to deal with when you're trying to insulate your floor because you're not insulating the floor from the intrusion of cold okay you're trying to fix the lack of heat supply so what you do is you build an

Interior wall you tap into your heat duct and you bring a heat run down by the floor that blows hot air across the floor now you're changing this to 70 somewhere livable okay changing this up to 18 degrees and you

Can live there even if you don't insulate the floor putting that heat register ventra solves the entire problem all right insulating your basement floor honestly if it does anything it's gonna go from

10 and 40 to 10 and a half and 41 it's no value to you I don't care they're selling there are a lot of people a lot of bull one that comes to this insulating your basement floor no one's laying on their floor for a nap

All right it's of no value to you the only thing you need to do is protect the moisture transfer installation and your floor does nothing in the grand scheme if you bring down a heat vent it'll cost you 20 bucks in about 30

Minutes and you can solve the problem so just real quick just got passionate about that didn't ya how many millions of dollars are spent in North America every year from people buying that live from television shows right they're

Promoting products that they're saying hey you need to buy this and their garbage they don't even work mm-hmm we like it be like insulating underneath your car on the outside what good is that gonna do you anyway go ahead just

Clarify for people just to tell them when the members are asking like when they're all gonna be answered the member lives yeah yeah yeah good point we didn't do any channel business anyway all right membership we're doing a video

From 7-8 okay it's gonna be Members Only Club this time it's very exclusive club so we're gonna answer questions for that so if you're interested or considering that you can quick check out our video on members just do a little search in

The search tool on the home page or you can just click the button and hit join and be part of that live stream and we're gonna answer all of your specific renovation questions alright so you know how much better would insulate on the

Floor work with the insulated air vents oh okay well here's the here's the answer to that without the insulation on that floor and you have heat you're blowing the air across you're you're bringing the heat

Up to normal okay this this this cold that's underneath the slab it's very passive there's no airflow and with without an airflow to bring that temperature into this room it's very very passive and you're gonna

Find that it's gonna maintain it almost perfectly now if you've got little critters running around right yeah you're using the family room in the basement as a family living space and you've got newborns and they're crawling

Around on the floor and you're concerned about it and you've got a budget and you don't mind investing to make that seventy seventy five then go ahead and insulate the floor I didn't say it doesn't work at all I just said there's

No real return on their investment and it is useless unless you have a heat supply at the floor okay so yeah it's it's another step in the evolution but the lion's share the solution is the heat supply adding insulation it'll have

A little bit of value and if you want to have that I did everything I could to help provide the perfect environment for my child experience then go ahead and insulate it if it's not gonna be an issue you wear the company named card

Dean flooring company no no this is a vinyl company they were wondering if you can apply it over self leveling compound on your concrete basement floor yeah you can put vinyl on anything in the

Discussion you can you can pour driveway asphalt in your basement for all I care and put vinyl flooring on it it doesn't matter Nancy can be over you know the road of bones in Russia

You could vinyl that floor it would it be just fine 19:53 bathroom remodel slab on grade how do I do the vapor barrier where it runs down the wall to the concrete okay so that's not a basement question we're gonna try to stay on

Topic but real quick when I do my videos I'm coming from a perspective of a northern climate in a lot of cases so be careful you don't apply northern climate technology to southern climate construction if your slab on grade the

Majority of the time you're in the Senate you're in a zone where you don't put a vapor barrier on the inside of your house we can deal with that on the next live stream that might not be a bad idea but please if you're in the south

And you're watching my insulation technology videos and how I'm renovating it may not apply to you so be careful with that you could be actually causing more harm than helping so always consult with your own building office

Before you do a major renovation to confirm the information you're getting is relative to your zone

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