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Vapor Barrier for Basement Studio
Old 3 weeks ago
Vapor Barrier for Basement Studio

Framing has begun on my decoupled room within a room basement studio. One corner, two of my walls (my inner leafs), are one-inch away from the concrete foundation walls.
The basement has been dry, but is it worth it for the room and my peace of mind to put some kind of vapor barrier on the backs of my studs facing the concrete walls?
Its a newly remodeled home that I just moved in to, so I'd like to think the basement is safe from drips and moisture....
Old 3 weeks ago
Lives for gear

Vapour barrrier or not and its placement can depend on where you live, if the concrete wall is well insulated from the outside or not, if it is above or below ground. In Nordic countries a plastic vapour barrier is often placed between drywall and wooden studs, then towards outside comes the insulation and a wind barrier (thick paper often) before paneling on the outside. Reason for the vapour barrier placement; you wish to keep "high humidity" inside the heated room and be ventilated away, -instead of passing through the insulation and condensing somewhere along because it is cold outside in the winter.

It boils down to if you have to worry about humidity from outside or inside your room and its possible condensation in insulation / on wooden cold studs. The climate you live in plays a role, is winter cold or warm?

(My basement is partly below ground level, humidity in summer can be above 90, in winter outside below 25 and temperature down to about -15 degree C. I taped large plastic sheets on the bare concrete walls and let the plastic stay on from late summer until late spring. As no condensation could be seen under the plastic during that half year and measurement of humidity in the concrete also showed low values, it felt quite safe to skip vapour barrier closest to the room.)
Old 3 weeks ago
My basement is fully underground, and we get cold winters between 10 and 45 degrees F, and warm summers. There is a decent amount of humidity here, but its not sweltering and dripping.
The basement seems to be pretty dry, save for condensation on my water pipe which I fixed with insulation.
The concrete walls are painted, but I'm not sure if it was the vapor-sealing paint. But like I said, it seems to be dry.
Should I wrap the room and focus on my HVAC to remove humidity? Is there a potential for mold to grow on the concrete walls if I block them off?
Sorry if these are dumb questions; Im a first-time home owner...
Old 3 weeks ago
Lives for gear

Check up on code and building regulations in your area, what is recommended and not for a healthy building. Warm air contains a lot more humidity than cold which is why you saw condensation on your un-insulated waterpipe. If humidity in your warm room passes through the insulation and reaches a cold concrete wall you can get condensation there, result can be a wet soggy insulation, wood in close contact getting wet may turn moldy and start to rot. (Thick plastic insulation with good draining properties on the outside of the concrete wall may keep it warm enough to avoid the condensation.)

Vapour barriers can be a trap for humidity and mold too. -After all, there are buildings hundreds of years old with no problems whatsoever as humidity is free to pass back and forth through the wall materials. Uneconomical to heat up? Yes, but they stay healthy. There can be more problems with modern buildings where lowest heating costs has priority, but "small details" and common sense has been messed up.
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