Im putting up drywall in my basement. Two of my walls are exterior
walls and my studs are about 6 inches from the wall. Should I put up
plastic as a moisture barrier before putting up the drywall. Im not
installing any type of insulation.
I would not go that route as you can get condensation between the
below-grade wall and plastic sheet that will get moldy. If you want
to seal up the walls properly, clean them up real good and give them 2
heavy coats of DryLoc brand waterproof paint (the latex version is
fine) (have cans well shaken as this stuff has a solid component that
settles). Then do your framing.
I don't know where you live, but why not put in some insulation while you're
at it? You have plenty of space, now's the time. I put up a similar wall
in one corner basement room I have, partly to be able to put insulation in
the walls, and it made quite a difference.
If you are going to install a plastic moisture barrier, you would want it
against the concrete wall, not behind the drywall. The idea is to keep
moisture out of the wall, not trap moisture in the wall.
I'm assuming, of course, your basement walls do not leak any. If that's the
case, you'll probably need some kind of perimeter drain and a sump pump.
As another poster mentioned, a paintable membrane like Drylok might be a
better option for a foundation wall than the plastic sheet.
Even a plastic sheet directly over the concrete wall will form
condensation between sheet and wall and eventually smell moldy.
Whereas the DryLoc soaks in about an 1/8 inch or so and prevents any
moisture in the interior without condensation gap issues. Gives
basements a nice clean smell as long as you have HVAC return and
supply ducts to the space to reduce the air density and humidity
levels typical for basements. The best place for any membrane though
is outside the wall underground befor backfilling.
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