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Basements By Dricore

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Steve Andrews

on 17 March 2016

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Transcript of Basements By Dricore

Research has shown that, when done correctly, finishing your basement will protect your home, health and family
Understanding the basement environment is a crucial step to take before choosing a finishing method. This process will not only insure you're making the best investment, you will have the peace of mind knowing that you've made the right decision for your family.
Whether its building a family room, creating a playroom or designing a media room for a movie night, you'll be making the most of your basement and enjoying it more too.
Moisture Transfer
Moisture is transferred through the foundation wall when cool air and warm air meet this results in the point of nucleation. When trapped this can result in condensation.
Thinking Renovation?
Concrete Walls are Porous
Vapor Barriers and the Basement
A vapor barrier is a thin sheet of plastic which is installed before the drywall.

Vapor Barriers were designed to meet the needs of above ground construction, and were once thought to control moisture in the basement.
According to The Building Science Corportation
Vapor barriers have been proven to actually create problems in the basement environment.

How wide spread is the problem according to the experts?
"Continued use of these approaches
by the home building industry will likely
lead to a disaster of unprecedented
proportions and may result in the construction of energy efficient homes being set back a generation."

Foundation walls need to dry to the inside. When a vapor barrier is installed they remain wet.

What happens to all the moisture coming through the concrete when it meets the warm basement air?
Traditional Finishing and Mold
The vapor barrier has effectively trapped the airflow. Moisture now condensates and runs down the vapor barrier to the base of the wall.

What occurs next?

Mold Finds a New Home
While Fibreglass batt insulation works effectively above ground it does not belong in the basement.

According to the CMHC (Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation - "Wetting of absorbent materials such as glass fiber insulation batts will reduce their inherent insulating properties and can accelerate mold growth and other damage to the envelope."
Even mineral wool insulation, although less absorbent, can trap the moisture behind the vapor barrier.

The Mold spores now look for their major food source which is cellulose.

Cellulose is like Candy to mold, and can be found in anything wood derivative.

The wood studs and Drywall become a feasting ground for the mold
According to Building Science...
The Dark Age of Basement Finishing is over.....
The past 50 years have given us all the insight in the world as to how we shouldn't finish our basement. It's now our responsibility as educated consumers to learn from the past, embrace innovation and create healthy living spaces for our families.

Creating a Safe and Healthy Basement
The SmartWall Solution
SmartWall is backed by Science and designed to keep your family safe and protect your investment .

SmartWall was designed and tested by the basement experts at DRIcore, then given to scientists and engineers at the Quality Auditing Institute (QAI Laboratories) to conduct independent third party testing.

SmartWall was then tested and approved by the Government at the Canadian Construction Materials Centre (CCMC). Their evaluations are supported by the latest technical research and expertise, and required by the National Building Code of Canada.
The Basement Finishing Checklist
In order to prevent moisture build up and mold, a wall system must be able to Breath. An air gap between the finished wall and the foundation wall is essential. It is vital not to put anything up against the foundation wall. When you have an air gap all moisture stays in Vapor form.
No Batt Insulation. DRIcore partnered with BASF the creators of Neopor to incorporate the best Rigid Thermal Insulation on the market.

What is Neopor?

Neopor is a high purity graphite integrated polymer matrix. What does that mean? Graphite reflects and absorbs radiant energy, increasing its R Value for the long term.

When its cold outside Neopor actually powers up!
The R-value of Neopor actually increases as temperature decreases, whereas batt insulation always decreases.

Neopor is also GreenGuard certified for indoor Air Quality and does not use flourocarbons or any harmful CFC's, HFC's or HCFC's unlike many spray foams, which can release harmful gasses for several years.

Traditional finishing can be messy and time consuming. With SmartWall your basement can be finished up to 5X faster and 10X cleaner. Because SmartWall is panelized, various time consuming steps are eliminated.

What does this mean for you? The contractor is out of your house faster, allowing you to start enjoying your new basement sooner than ever.
Understanding what we don't see..
What is Thermal Bridging, and how does if affect your basement?

When its cold outside, the heat inside your basement will pass through wood studs more than 3 times easier than insulation.
The following picture shows a traditionally constructed wall with wood studs and fibreglass insulation. The image was captured using a thermal image camera. The camera allows us to see thermal bridges or cold spots in a wall assembly.
"Thermal bridges waste energy, create cold spots on walls and ceilings, and can encourage interior condensation that contributes to moisture and mold problems."
Understanding R-Values and Insulation
An R-value is a measurement of how well your insulation resists heat flow. In an energy efficient basement, we want to use insulation that is truly effective in resisting the outward flow of valuable heat.
Whenever it is installed next to material that conducts the cold like steel or wood studs, or when it becomes wet.

Insulation is marketed and sold based on its results in a controlled environment. For instance, a 6" fiberglass batt is advertized as R-19, however when that same batt is installed in your basement wall assembly of wood studs, its actual effective value is

When that same R-19 insulation is placed in Steel Studs it performs at only an R-7. Thats 63% less than its labelled R-Value!
An engine's ESTIMATED fuel economy is based on the engine out of the car whereas the ACTUAL fuel economy would be tested in each vehicle it's to be used in, such as an SUV, Midsize, or compact car.

The engine's efficiency is clearly affected by its application .
The experts at DRIcore recognized that any finished basement must start from the floor up.

A subfloor is often overlooked in basement finishing. However a subfloor is essential to stabilizing your basement environment by keeping it warm and dry, while promoting excellent overall air quality.

Using Air Gap Technology DRIcore subfloors allow the concrete to breathe, reducing the potential for mould and mildew.

It's a little known fact........
According to Gord Cook at the Building Science Corporation adding an R3 Subfloor to you basement floor is the equivalent of adding an an additional R40 to your attic.

In fact your basement accounts for 20-25% of your homes overall heat loss!

1. Air Leakage 30-40%
2. Foundation 20-25%
3. Walls 15-20%
4. Windows and Doors 10-20%
5. Ceilings 5-15%

Make the right choice for your home, health and family. Give yourself the peace of mind knowing that you made an educated investment, and begin creating the best memories in your finished basement.
"This wall construction technique is not recommended, because of the obvious moisture related durability issues
observed in the field, and shown by
simulations. The wood framing in this
wall is at risk of mold and rot after
prolonged exposure to the conditions
predicted in the wall system."
90% of the moisture in your basement is in vapor form from condensation and transfer moisture. ALL basements have vapor

Air Migrates in and out throughout the year and brings in moisture in vapor form.
Maximize Your Space = Increase your Value.
According to Ecohome.net one of the foremost authorities on basement construction, Professor John Straube of the University of Waterloo dubbed this type of wall assembly...
Until recently, the heat loss from the basement floor has been overlooked in the building industry.
According to Building Scientists Corporation, adding an R3 Subfloor to you basement floor is the equivalent of adding an additional R40 to your attic.
The R-Value that's labeled on the insulation is essentially the estimated fuel economy. The actual effective R-Value is the performance when the batt is installed in a framed wall and put to the test in cold weather.
Similarly with insulation we want to know how it effectively performs in the real world, or a cold Canadian winter, that's its true effective R-value.
A dehumidifier can pull up to 20-40 Litres of water out of the air each day
Wood framing will actually reduce the in cavity R-value by 10% and steel Studs by as much as 50%!

In affect any break in your wall assembly creates a bridge or pathway for valuable heat to escape.
Would we ever think of allowing asbestos in our homes, installing aluminum wiring, or painting our walls with lead paint? It would be unthinkable. However, all of these were once common practice and allowed in the building code. In today's ever advancing world of building innovation, we have become wiser to the inadequacies of past and current codes.
What can negatively effect the performance of insulation?
By Comparison
Real World Performance
Building Science Corporation is a building science consulting and full service architecture firm that specializes in building technology consulting for all types of buildings including including commercial, institutional and residential.
It is imperative that any products we install in our basements are specifically designed for the demands of this environment.

It is equally important to address all of the failures of traditional finishing when choosing a system for your basement, and ensure that system addresses each and every one of them.
According to Buildingscince.com "A basement wall will remain dry only if it is built to handle all the different ways in which water can move into and through basement walls".

Does traditional finishing meet these requirements?

What do other experts say?
What is the Building Science Corporation?
Why finish Your Basement......

The basement is a smarter way to expand your living space than any other renovation. Turning your basement into a comfortable living space is a smart move, especially in a hot housing market. As opposed to doing an addition where you'll pay a hefty amount in add-ons, you can finish a basement for a fraction of the cost.

How Are Basements Traditionally Finished?
1. Wood Studs
2. Insulation
3. Plastic Vapor Barrier
4. Drywall
Soil on the outside is about 10 degrees Celsius, and is cold damp and wet. This is why our basements typically feel a lot cooler than upstairs
What happens when that cold air meets the warm air in our basement? Condensation occurs
This is a result of the warmer air shrinking as it becomes cooler and pulls moisture out of the air
"a mold incubation chamber"
According to Greenbuildingadvisor.com...
According to Greenbuildingadvisor.com...
Insulation is tested in a laboratory and assigned an R-value based on its performance in a controlled environment. The ACTUAL effectiveness of the insulation and its R-value is determined when the insulation is installed in a wall.
Much like Gore Tex, a finished basement wall needs to breathe. Whereas Traditional Vapor Barriers trap moisture. SmartWall gets even Smarter with a high tech moisture barrier that safely allows the flow of excess moisture, by keeping it in vapor form, while keeping your basement dry.
The Basement Finishing Checklist
Any organic or cellulose derived materials must be encapsulated and protected from exposure to the foundation wall

With the SmartWall Air Gap system, the panels sit safely 1.5" from the foundation wall, and stimulates convection currents. The continuous non cellulose EPS insulation forms a protective and responsive surface.

The Basement Finishing Checklist
Unlike batt insulation, water and Neopor are good friends. Not all closed cell foams are created equally, Neopor has a class III Vapor permeability rating which means Smartwall can easily transport water vapor, drastically reducing the likelihood of mold, mildew and structural damage.

This also means that Neopor has VERY low water absorption in the event of a flood.
The Basement Finishing Checklist
The Basement Environment
Causes Condensation
Dehumidifier Solves the Moisture Problem right?
Well... Not Quite...
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