I recently purchased a home which was new construction. The home is a
two level split. The bottom level is a lookout basement. The basement
is currently unfinished. The basement walls consist of 12 inch block
(coming up about 36 inches) with a 2x4 wall framed and insulated inside
of the block. A standard 2x6 insulated wall sits on top of the block
and continues to the ceiling. All insulation is fiberglass and
everything is covered with a heavy poly.
My question: About a week after I purchased the home, I noticed that
there is a considerable amout of moisture behind the poly in several
areas of the basement. The majority of this moisture is in the 6
inches of insulation sitting parallel to the floor, on top of the block
between the exterior wall and the wall framed inside of the block. In
some locations, it appears that the moisture has migrated down the
wall, into the insulation in the interior 2x4 wall. I am assuming that
the block wall is "cold" and that there is condensation forming and
soaking into the insulation. Is condensation enough to completely
saturate the insulation, or does this sound more like water soaking
through the block from the outside? Is this common in an unfinished
basement with no heat/air conditioning, or is this something that I
should call my builder about right away? Are there any things that I
should look for to see if the builder skipped or missed something to
lead to this?
Pull a few batts out where it seems the worst. Go outside and hose down the
side of the house.
I'm betting that you have water coming in between the top of the block wall
and the 2x6 wall sitting on top of the blocks.
this is a serious warrantee issue and needs to be addressed by your
builder. i would not touch it as a home owner at this point. if your
house is new it is the builder's problem. i would take some pictures of
the problem and keep records of when you noticed what. don't delay
taking action as in some states the statute of limitations can start to
run when you first notice a problem...and if legal action is required
you will be SOL!
Your builder is a Hack, putting poly sheet outside traps moisture to
create a mold pit, he should of put the poly sheet On the foundation
wall keeping moisture from seeping through the wall, even the moisture
from the mortar curing over months will fill the void. Get a moisture
meter , maybe HD has one, remove all the poly after you photograph it,
remove all the insulation in a bad area and measure moisture content of
the block every 2" or so to the top, and write it down. Was your
exterior foundation waterproofed, do you have drain tile. Poly sheet as
a moisture barrier is ok on air exposed exterior construction, but where
does the moisture go on the basement wall, nowhere, or inside where he
trapped it, to mold and ruin your fiberglass. What did your building
inspector say, call him first, he signed off on it
i basically agree with you here, but i disagree about opening it up.
for the same reason you don't take the back off a broken TV if it's
still on warrantee. the op shouldn't give the builder the chance to
say that he screwed up the system by tearing it apart.
I spoke with my builder on the phone regarding this issue. I was told
that this is condensation and that it is common in any homes with
unfinished lookout or walkout basements. He said that a lot of
builders in the area have seen this and are going in and removing all
of the poly, preventing the condensation from getting trapped in the
wall. I was told to either remove the poly, or make slices in the poly
which will allow the insulation to dry out. I asked what prevents this
problem once the basement is finished and was told that the addition of
sheetrock to the walls and heating/cooling systems etc. prevents the
problem when the walls are finished.
Does this seem reasonable at all, or is this just an easy way out for
them? If I go and remove or slice the poly myself, does that give them
grounds to say that I did something on my own and refuse servicing the
problem later? If so, is it reasonable for me to request their
instruction in writing before I do any of it? Has anybody else had
this same problem?
Let him do the work, you already paid, but I think the plastic should be
removed completely. But if it is moisture from leaks or water, sealing
it with drywall is going to hold water and mold and rot the studs. Since
he screwed up only what you see you dont know the whole story yet. It
all has to dry out first.
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