How to Properly Insulate a Basement Wall: NO MOISTURE!



all right so in today's video I'm going to show you a technique for insulating an exterior wall that's in a basement and this technique is gonna keep an airspace behind your insulation so everything will stay dry and never get that musty smell to insulate the next earier wall basically you need it just a couple of things we need a barrier now this is what we're gonna use here it's just type are it's an exterior barrier it's designed to divert water okay and so what we're gonna do is we're gonna measure it off and then stretch it in behind the wall and then staple it tight so it's right on the backside of the two-by-four and that guarantees our air space between that in the concrete this way over time your installations guaranteed to never fall against the concrete so you don't lose your air space and you're not gonna get moisture building up due to condensation all right so really simple if you're working by yourself I would recommend oh calling a neighbor it's really tricky to work with this stuff you wanna have somebody holding you the other end whoa and you're just visibly measuring okay right to the corner all right that's the actual measurement and to make life simple always cut a little bit extra now once you got your mountain you want to just roll it up again real quick you just let it to the ground that's actually easier because you're feeding in behind all your studs you want to get your assistant just come along and grab that and feed it behind all your studs unrolling years ago now the simpler way to do this of course would be to put your paper up before you build your wall here we're doing things a little bit backwards okay you got it so lean behind all your wiring now you want to pull it over through the last piece of the wood and around the front side so that you can actually staple it to the 2×4 [Applause] very good now we have our type RF which of course is just gonna guarantee that if our insulation does fall out of the framework it's not in direct contact with the concrete I know it doesn't it's not much but it's gonna keep things from going ugly right we're not going to get moisture barrier buildup in that wall now in this vent you want to get it in the wall will you do that because I'm just cutting the backside of this insulation a little bit so it fits around it okay we don't have it strapped into the ceiling yet which is gonna make this a little bit messy for now but really just want to get that wrapped in there like a glove when you're insulating a wall very important you're cutting around the obstructions you're not just tucking things out of the way if I was just to force that in and leave this gap I've got these cold air holes so you really want to just measure things off right mark out for your box are and then cut where the actual box is going to come through okay this is a compression fit because we're using a 16 inch frame on Center now if you see any gaps after you're done take something to fill it back up with for God's sake don't leave a gap around your boxes now we're using a traditional fiberglass pink product here this is fine this is an art 12 it made for 2 by 4 walls in our district if you have a 2×4 wall upstairs you have a 2×4 wall downstairs if it's 2 by 6 upstairs you've gotta make a 2×6 wall on your basement and you have to insulate r20 just like upstairs it's a lot of framing and insulation for a basement but the idea is you want to make sure that every aspect of the house is insulated to the same degree ok so like you leave for us the walls upstairs are 2 by 4 and so we're gonna just use the r12 now you'll see if you have an empty cavity this is a great place to get some practice just press it in it's a compression fit perfect every time and if it's falling through the back just push it flush with the front okay that's all you have to do so here's my check for cutting in the bottom of the installation I actually will put it in and roll it forward okay and then I I measure it off that way all right no if you're not comfortable using this freehand like this you can pull it out with your mark lay it up against a stud keep your hands all the way and cut all the way through on the wood that works – very important though to insulate all the way to the bottom plate I know that in the basement down here it's always 10 degrees year-round and so the question is what am i insulating against because that's ten degrees on both sides of that wall but since we're creating an air space if you do have air as getting in from outside due to rodents and that sort of thing and you don't insulate all the way the bottom all the cold air will run down the wall and right through that part of your floor and you'll create a nasty draught so if you're going to have damage from rodents it's best to leave that all trapped in behind the wall then run it across your floor there are to the best of my knowledge at least five different kinds of insulation on the market and I think what it is is the marketplace has got a different color for every company I know that there's a white there's a yellow there's a pink there's a raxil which is like a grey green this is what we call thermal insulation okay all of these products are designed for exterior walls and they keep heat trapped from passing through the other kind of insulation is sound and fire you don't want to mix the two up okay they have different properties and they work differently so where you need thermal insulation use a thermal insulation if you're doing an interior wall or a ceiling for sound transmission or for fire resistance then buy the proper thing for that in the same regard this is useless for sound barrier true this isn't stopping nothing the last thing you need to remember when you're doing your installation is that the cavity above the rim joist cavity that RIM plate out there it extends further than the top of the concrete wall so your concrete comes up and then there's a plate and then there's a rim joist on the outside of it so when we're insulating that top space we're not just putting one piece of insulation in because the truth is with one piece of insulation it's so far recessed back that the rest of the concrete of the wall is still in part of the building so you're not insulating anything so you got two choices you can either insulate up that room joists and across the concrete or you can just cut like I do I cut three pieces and I put all three pieces in I know I get our 36 in that part but the reality is I want to bring the insulation in this cavity right up to where this one is up to the floor that way I get a nice seal bring that installation right flush with the one on the done underneath and cut that tuck that corner in behind that 2×4 there we go that's what I'm talking about so there we go you can see there that that installation now is right out to the level of our wall and that's insulated you'll also notice that counters not using gloves please don't send me a comment saying use gloves this is a new product from fiberglass Bank and it does not have the itchy fiberglass feeling so I mean we work with that respirators but this stuff because it is just that clean we love it no more itchy arms so after we're done insulating everything we're gonna cover it with our super six Polly had someone recently comment on one of my videos about us crazy Canucks in our plastic but the reality is we have such varied temperature changes we need to control the passage of moisture through the wall so it's very important that in our climate for sure and anywhere you're gonna get temperatures below minus five you've got out of moisture barrier if you're not sure if anyone check your local building code officer I'll be more than happy to help you out this is one of these situations we're just unrolling this that's about the size of the wall that we were going to cover and again make your life simple cut it long and then it's always the last engine so here's the trick if you're doing this on your own take your garbage box peel off a piece of the cardboard and your staple hammer yeah there's always a joint that's a seam what I do is I like to take this and I will put it up over my head and what we do check out the bottom I want to have my plastic about two inches longer than I need it what I'm gonna do can we use the cardboard and I'm gonna staple right through that cardboard and it might sound silly if you only staple the plastic you go to the other side you can't pull the plastic tight you'll pull it off the staples but this way really you're ain't goin this sucker and that makes it really perfect so now I just go the other side and I make sure I got about the same two inches of plastic down there and then I can pull it nice and tight okay and then now that it's hung now I'm just cutting around this here I'm gonna slide that over top of it okay yeah our bulkhead is gonna come right to here right but what I want to do is I want to cut this plastic so that I can wrap it around the pipe and go right up to the top of the ceiling so for now I just want to go to the top of the plate and staple it in now I've seen guys they'll staple every six inches it's not necessary folks once the plastic is installed you don't have to staple it tight there's no benefit all right all you want to do is put a couple in there for good measure just so that you can see any air gaps and that's about it we're not ballina hang the drywall and I'm going to compress that drywall to the wood with the screws so I don't need staples to hold the plastic in place young lad corner there just has to really good question he wanted to know about why these boxes didn't have a vapor barrier in behind them and I think it's because the electrician forgot so if you have a box and it doesn't have a barrier behind it then you're only gonna be able to do such an efficient job right the electricians installed steel boxes on the frame instead of plastic ones so I can't just install the vapor barrier and tape it to the box they didn't put a barrier on their box which is wrong bad on them for whatever reason our electrical code these guys don't get inspected on every job just once in a while the way that we extend this is I'm lifting up my plastic till I hit the joist are you careful not to cut any other wires all right laying my plastic and then once we get it all up well tape all of our seams together where we had to cut to get around the wire when taping around an electrical box it's really not that tricky joining the plastic keep stretching you to just cut and tear so you never lose that good front lead edge on the tape it makes it quite difficult once it's gone to find it again anywhere where you've got something coming through the plastic you have to tape that something through the plastic all right keep it nice and tight so when you put your drywall on it's not gonna cause a bubble and if you ever uh oh accidentally cut the plastic this is why we stretched the plastic tight when we're installing it okay so next time we'll cut just tape it up more tight so that's just about it for insulating now there's one other thing you could do it's not necessary on this project but a lot of people use the acoustic seal it's the black tar-like substance that comes out of a cocking gun use that a bottle you're on your bottom and top plates structural if you have more than one piece of lumber together that cuts down on air drafts and that sort of thing sure you can make it ninety nine to ninety nine and a half percent quality that's great but we don't have that in our code because none of this other house is insulated so it's not necessary if you have any questions please ask in the comments below I know this kind of information will change and district the district around the world and so we're happy to help discuss and have that conversation if you haven't subscribed to the channel by all means hit the subscribe button we got a ton of amazing videos and to cover everything from inside and outside in top of the house to the bottom of the house if it can be done by yourself we're going to cover it and if you like this information and you want to see more of these videos press the blue button thanks a lot for watching

46 Comments

  • Ebrahim Jahan

    April 15, 2019

    thanks for such a nice video. I kindly ask for your advice about mold in my basement which in about two meter of the wall has more than mold that means almost dropping water in basement.

    Sorry about my weak English.

    Best regards

    Reply
  • James Reeves

    April 15, 2019

    My name is Jim, i have learned so much correct renovations from your video's. My basement in our home finished rooms had to be distroyed due mold in 2002 so in the early 90's l did it wrong. Now my woodworking shop in my basement is 11 1/2' wide x 40' long ceiling just under 7' in height.
    Basement is block wall in 2002 contractor put think dryloc water proofkng white pain inside should it be repainted?

    I have to make new 2" x 4" walls up want to finish with drywall been a taper since 1978. Can l put 6 mil vapour barrier drapping over block walls from sil plate down. Then leave say a gap of 1" from block wall with 6 mil vapor barrier then build my 2" x 4" outside walls.

    Then l can run my wire for switches and plugs, then is pink insulation ok to put in my 2" x 4" outside walls which will have a 1" gap between block wall and new 2" x 4" walls. Then do l need another 6 mil vapour barrier over insulation before putting drywall board on meant gor basements?
    Please reply if above is ok is a workshop now but next home owner may use for finished space so want to do right on a limited budget.

    The floor is concrete foes it need to be finished before building oitside walls and should l use the blue 2" x 4"'s i will use treated lumber for floor with foam under it used on sil plates. Thanks James from Ontario, Canada

    Reply
  • Darth Crypto

    April 15, 2019

    What are you thoughts about vapor barriers in Michigan?

    Reply
  • Ian Benson

    April 15, 2019

    Hi Jeff, great video(s)!!
    I'm leaving my basement ceiling exposed and just attaching my top plates to the floor joists above. Is it still worth putting the 6mil poly on?

    Reply
  • Sio

    April 15, 2019

    I already have a styrofoam on my wall, should I just leave it there and use your technique?

    Reply
  • James Reeves

    April 15, 2019

    What did you put against concrete wall behind insulation?

    Reply
  • Mas Fajitas Por Favor

    April 15, 2019

    This cannot possibly be the correct way to install a vapor barrier. Your insulation is now on the wet side of the wall and will probably mold.

    Reply
  • manny Pep

    April 15, 2019

    You can handle fiberglass insulation with bare hands ?? I thought that was a no no ?

    Reply
  • Ramon Garcia

    April 15, 2019

    Ey so why do you dont use protection ???? So people say fiber glass is really dangerous

    Reply
  • Humblehombre

    April 15, 2019

    MAKE the electrician come back to add the plastic! Teach him not to be a lazy ass!

    Reply
  • Humblehombre

    April 15, 2019

    No plastic sheet around the octagon box. The vent (plumbing) needs a support half way down wall or more!

    Reply
  • Todd Roy

    April 15, 2019

    I live in east Tennessee. In my basement, is a black wall with dirt on the other side. If I want to put a 2×4 wall in front of it, hoe do I insulate it to keep it from sweating and the water running down and damaging my wood floor?

    Reply
  • Eric Ellis

    April 15, 2019

    In the USA your basement is framed illegally. No float walls, no fire barrier at top plate to floor joist, no air stop on 10 ft horizontal plane. If people in the US are watching you they better check their local codes as what you are doing is not correct here. FYI.

    Reply
  • QUiKSR20

    April 15, 2019

    Im in the middle of re-doing my basement and the 2×4 walls are bout 10 inches from the cement walls to clear the cement supports ( not sure the proper word ) and have a straight wall. My question is since the basement is gutted would you recommend a vapor barrier like this with pink insulation leaving the gap like you have or no vapor barrier and gluing rigid foam to the cement walls and still having an air gap between the foam and 2×4? I see it done both ways and just want to make sure I do it correctly since im starting over 🙂 Your videos are awesome and I appreciate any advice you may have, Heres a pic of my basement to give you an idea https://bit.ly/2OhRQBU ( its being gutted and french drains are being installed ).

    Reply
  • Pradeep Gangadharan

    April 15, 2019

    Is it necessary to tape all the holes on the insulation that are made by kids before hanging a drywall

    Reply
  • OG NA$A

    April 15, 2019

    U a g dawg

    Reply
  • Corn Dog

    April 15, 2019

    Are u in Canada by any chance?

    Reply
  • Maria Conchita

    April 15, 2019

    If it’s a basement, should we use the hard one or that soft stuff?

    Reply
  • fschmidkonz

    April 15, 2019

    Hi Jeff, your videos are great! I watched several others but they are mainly applicable to the US where code and weather are different. My house is 6 yr old built in Ontario. In my basement, the builder put a basic pink insulation in the basement walls from top to 6 inches short of the floor, then a plastic (vapor barrier). I am finishing my basement, but I am not sure what to do with that. Some told me to rip it off and do what this video recommends (except the PAR layer attached to the foundation wall). Some others have told me to build my frame in front of the existing insulation and then drywall it (contractors did this to a neighbor). Another told me to put the frames in front of current insulation and then also add the 16 inch insulation (shown in your video).
    I am leaning towards this last option but I am confused by you're saying that insulation should not touch the cement walls and that there should be an air flow?
    Thanks in advance for your kind answer.

    Reply
  • David Johnson

    April 15, 2019

    Great video as always! Couple questions.. (1).why not just use insulation with vapor barrier built in (2) why both typar on the back and plastic on the front… aren't you creating a pocket for moisture to collect?

    Reply
  • Matt Cairns

    April 15, 2019

    I will never use the pink stuff in a basement after what I found in my basemnt walls. Use 2 1/4" silverboard graphite against the concrete then a stud wall with Roxul comfort batt (which doesn't burn or hold water) in the cavities and NO vapor barrier. The concrete must breath and dry to the inside because it's under grade and the Foam replaces the vapor barrier. It you keep looking you will find this method in practice and promoted by modern building science

    Reply
  • Cecy Loaiza

    April 15, 2019

    In the basement of my house the walls are 7 feet high the bottom two thirds are concrete and the top third is made of brick and mortar. There is a section of the brick in the corner of the wall that it is popping out and breaking apart. In this damaged area I find a white material in the form of powder or crystals. This damaged section of the wall there is no visible water, moisture or humidity on the wall, it looks totally dry. Also on the outside of the wall is the porch so the is no source of water and humidity coming from the outside. Could someone tell me why the bricks are popping out and the what the white powder and crystals are. Also how to fix it, please.

    Reply
  • Guy Julian

    April 15, 2019

    By putting the wrap on the outside and inside the 2×4's, aren't you creating a double barrier and actually trapping moisture in? Wouldn't it be easier to just use a faced insulation product?

    Reply
  • Tommy Marshall

    April 15, 2019

    Awesome video, thanks for sharing. I've used your videos to entirely renovate our family's first home.
    I'm about to tackle the basement. We had an interior drain put in (I know outside is better, but the cost more than double) with 6mm liner against the foundation wall. Should I still do what you did here? Was thinking of grabbing rigid XPS and glueing that to the framing (no need for tyvek behind to hold it up). Thoughts?

    Reply
  • Jaigobin Bhi

    April 15, 2019

    No offense.. i hate handling insulation…

    Reply
  • Chuck Norris

    April 15, 2019

    I still don't agree with insulation. Heat loos is due to draughts, cold air getting in. In that, you introduce dampness. You can't win #facepalm1.png

    Reply
  • mongomatic1

    April 15, 2019

    Minnesota energy code does not allow fiberglass below grade

    Reply
  • lgman83

    April 15, 2019

    12:40 why'd it get all Miami Vice officer down kinda vibe all of a sudden?

    Reply
  • Luis Monterrosa

    April 15, 2019

    I need to create a room in my basement. I had drainage system installed around the perimeter of basement. I was told I can't drill into the concrete they poured or it will void warranty. How would I adhere a wall to the concrete without drilling?

    Reply
  • spartan657

    April 15, 2019

    Would u still add typar(home wrap) to the inside of a garage wall. Just basement?

    Reply
  • Viran Panchal

    April 15, 2019

    Great video, I live in ontario is there a need for xbs foam board stuck to the concrete walls in the basement?

    Reply
  • stephen powell

    April 15, 2019

    i felt itchy watching

    Reply
  • EARTH IS HOME

    April 15, 2019

    Would you use rigid foam in basement, then frame in front, then drywall?

    Reply
  • Chris Gatti

    April 15, 2019

    what is the use of the house wrap since you didn't seal it against anything?

    Reply
  • Robin Hood

    April 15, 2019

    Great video, this one has helped me in the planning stages of my DIY basement build project. Great tips! Thank you! Much appreciated!

    Reply
  • Simon LANGLER

    April 15, 2019

    Is the Typar essential? I am insulating a basement just outside of Toronto, Have taken all of the pink insulation down, framed, and was going to put in Roxul insulation, vapour barrier and then dry wall.

    Reply
  • Accurate Locksmiths & Security

    April 15, 2019

    "Canucks and plastic …" – I think the viewer is probably struck by your ignoring of some more, perhaps, environmentally good building practices. I understand the need for a barrier. But comments regarding cheap insulation versus wool insulation in your acoustic video, completely ignored the fact that the wool is probably biodegradable. Sure, wool is more expensive. But it does biodegrade. perhaps the other insulation you are using is more environmentally friendly than I realize. Kind regards,

    Reply
  • Accurate Locksmiths & Security

    April 15, 2019

    There are thermal properties to acoustic insulation.
    Your video implies that there are no thermal benefits to acoustic insulation. Acoustic insulation, the wool stuff here in New Zealand, has thermal benefits.

    Reply
  • battmannt

    April 15, 2019

    seems pretty knowledgeable, and a decent guy definitely not an insulation professional,

    Reply
  • Wayne Ta

    April 15, 2019

    hello Jeff.
    thank you for share you installation tips.
    I own a 1960 duplex with not a whole lot of insulation. bricks building. the front and back are cold in the winter. what you recommend. to insulate. should I use injection insulation..
    thanks
    Wayne

    Reply
  • John Novak

    April 15, 2019

    Best Practice Guide for Full Height Basement insulation from Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing says: "Ensure insulation is installed without gaps or air space between it and the foundation wall " Please advise…

    http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/AssetFactory.aspx?did=8405
    Chapter 3 page 27

    Reply
  • bfjb70

    April 15, 2019

    Hope you hadn't paid those sparkies yet. Well spotted Connor !!

    Reply
  • Chuck Budzina

    April 15, 2019

    Hi Jeff, I'm still confused. I was going to put 2 inch foam and glue it to my cement block walls, but your saying to do a vapor barrier flat against the walls. And then do batt insultation, then dry wall? My my basement is only 3 ft underground, the rest is above ground. The previous owner just put up wood paneling and nailed it to studs, no insulation. So, I want to add insulation and new drywall.

    Reply
  • Michael

    April 15, 2019

    I had a 4 inch gap in my in basement similar to this video and it didn't work. The gap was there because the basement was underpinned. I had moisture on the foundation wall behind the insulation. I know because I cut out a section to take a look when the basement started smelling mouldy. Location: Canada
    Now I have spray foam insulation on the basement walls and there is no problem. You can probably use rigid foam insulation behind the wood frame, but you better seal every connection and have some channel on the bottom to catch any water and diver it to a drain so it doesn't get under your floor.

    Reply
  • vyger63

    April 15, 2019

    Does the amount of space between the framing and the outside wall matter. If you built the stud wall a foot from the foundation would that be ok. I want to build my wall and nail to a joist that's perpendicular to the wall but it is about a foot from the inside of the basement wall.

    Reply
  • JOE FUGALLO HealingIsEasy

    April 15, 2019

    I put 3inch foam boards with foil on one side foil facing inwards nailed to the basement concrete walls & taping the seams….. should I put more for insulation or barrier before putting sheetrock?

    Reply

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