Insulate a Basement Floor
LESLIE: Pam in Missouri has a question about basement moisture. Tell us what’s going on?
PAM: Yes, I just bought a home and I need to insulate but first I need to put a vapor barrier down and I’m not sure how thick it needs to be and how to anchor it.
TOM: The vapor barrier is going to go where in the house?
PAM: I’ve got a dug-out basement; part paved and part with dirt behind a concrete wall.
TOM: Alright. So you can use any of the thick, viscuine-type plastic vapor barriers. A trick of the trade on that, Pam – and by the way, we’re talking only about covering the dirt surface now; you would not cover the concrete; the dirt surface – is to put in as few seams as possible. I know it’s hard to work down there. It’s difficult to move around. You’ve got to get down on your hands and knees and sometimes crawl through it with your belly. But you want to use as large a sheet of plastic as possible …
TOM: … laying right on top of that soil. And that’s …
LESLIE: And when Tom says seams you really mean overlapping.
TOM: Yeah, but I mean try to have as few of those as possible. So if you have the choice of buying it 20 feet wide or 30 feet wide, I’d buy 30 feet wide so you end up with fewer overlapping seams.
PAM: OK. Thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome, Pam. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.