Putting Paneling Over Stone Basement Walls a Good Idea?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by happychick, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. happychick

    happychick Well-Known Member

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    I need to make my basement a functional space for a office for my at-home businesses. It has a concrete floor, but has stone walls that shed grit. I'm thinking of putting those thin sheets of look-a-like panel board over them - is this a good idea? I know it gets humid down there in the summer and I don't want a mold problem...Any suggestions from all those of you who have stone walled basements from the mid 1800s?! :)
     
  2. Old Vet

    Old Vet Well-Known Member

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    I used to be a maintenance supervisor for the Arkansas Forestry Commission and had a basement that was paneled with real wood. To combat the humility their we had to put in a dehumidifier and it ran almost all the time. Got about 1 quart of water each day but we did not have any mold problems. Ruining a dehumidifier is cheap when compared to mold problems. Once you heat or air condition the basement the problem is lessened but will not go away altogether. When you do it place a board to nail to and to keep the paneling away from the stone at least 3/4 inch and up to 1 and 3/4 inches.
     

  3. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'd think doing it right would mean an air gap, vapor barrior, bit of insulation (some ridgid foams are both vapor and insulation) using treated anti-mold firring strips if they are on the damp side. Then the paneling.

    There are even all-in-one panels made already sandwitched together for this.

    Not doing so invites the mold and sweat to form.

    --->Paul
     
  4. Old Vet

    Old Vet Well-Known Member

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    I forgot about this but it was the way I did the job.
     
  5. geo in mi

    geo in mi Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Have been doing that for the past five years, during the winter months. Michigan basement, high and dry, sandy soil, so no drainage or gutter entry from the outside. I painted the rock walls with two thick coats of latex basement moisture proofing paint, then built a regular stud wall with air gap(due to uneven rock surface). Then R-13 paper backed insulation, then 6 mil poly, then wainscoting and pegboard. No problems. Run a dehumidifier during the summer months and it weeps out moisture to a floor drain. It does get a bit humid in summertime-a little uncomfortable, but guns and tools haven't rusted, and no mold.

    geo
     
  6. "SPIKE"

    "SPIKE" Well-Known Member

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    If it is an attractive wall, I would first try some type clear penetrating sealer. That should bond the outer grit so it did not shed. And that would seal the wall and help with the moisture. No matter what you do, it would not hurt to seal the stone any way. That would be cheaper, easier, and you could still build the wall later if you needed to.
    Just a thought.

    SPIKE
     
  7. Jalopy

    Jalopy Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Spike. Put on a couple coats of sealer and then assess the dampness and humdity levels to see if you can really use the space before investing in all the extra expense. JMO. Good Luck JLP
     
  8. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The people who used to own this house thought it would be a great idea to put T1-11 siding inside on the basement walls. They never addressed the water issue. We spent a lot of time removing moldy siding.
     
  9. happychick

    happychick Well-Known Member

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    I'm thinking putting up drywall instead of panneling would be a better idea now...The drywall wouldn't touch the stone as there would be 2 x 4's inbetween. And we do keep de-humidifiers running down there. Would that work?

    Thanks for all your help guys - I really appreciate it!
     
  10. "SPIKE"

    "SPIKE" Well-Known Member

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    If you decide to use sheet rock, you still need to seal the wall and install a moisture barrier!
    And if you use sheetrock, I would use the type made for potentially moist areas. Green board is used in baths. There is also sheetrock made with a fiberglass outer sheeting for use in outer wall that will have a masonry covering.

    SPIKE
     
  11. clovis

    clovis Well-Known Member

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    I'd be very worried about the drywall walls trapping moisture between the two walls.

    I am of the thought that the stone wall needs to breathe...and weep moisture at the same time.

    We live in an old house, and someone painted the brick exterior walls. That paint has trapped the moisture in, and has created more problems with water wanting to wick out of the bricks and mortar...

    I know this sounds like a crazy idea: What about hanging drapes or material from the ceiling, that reach to the floor? It would keep your area defined, clean, and cozy. You could hang this material from closet rod, which is the same wood large dowel material used to hang your clothes from in a closet. I've seen this done before, and it is pretty neat.
     
  12. ronbre

    ronbre Brenda Groth Supporter

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    myself I would use firring strips attached to the concrete with concrete fasteners and then attach good quality thin dry wall to the firring strips, leaving the gap between and a tiny gap at the floor..then possibly use a floating floor down over the floor if it never gets wet, and the dehumidifier might be a good deal if you are in a moist area..

    if you use woodish paneling be careful if you are sensitive to chemicals, as they are all full of chemicals..can make you sick for years..if you DO use it anyway..once you get it up before you move into it..heat it with a heater super super super hot for a week or so and then vent it out really good to help burn off the chemicals..(you can do that with a modular home or even new home as well before you move in, doean't take away all the chemicals but does reduce them a lot)
     
  13. happychick

    happychick Well-Known Member

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    Actually it's not crazy - and I hadn't thought of that before...

    I think I'm going to talk to some general contractors I know and some friends & neighbors before putting up any green board. I want to make sure I don't have any problems down the road. Thanks for all your ideas and suggestions everyone, it is really helping me think through this!
     
  14. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What about vinyl wallboard? As long as you leave space between it and the wall for ventilation and moisture escape you shouldn't have a big moisture problem. The vinyl wallboard shouldn't mold or rot.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  15. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you go with a sheet rock product, pick one without paper on it. The paper loves to mold in a damp environment, go for the green or cement board not a papered sheetrock board.

    --->Paul
     
  16. blooba

    blooba Well-Known Member

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    I actually once watched a "This Old House" or whatever type show about this and they dug a "ditch" on the floor in the concrete next to the wall installed a corragated pipe to the sump pump filled with crush and run (in case the wall leaked) added air vents to vent behind the wall and built the wall 6" or so away from the stone.

    That would be alot of work and some wasted floor space but seems failproof.
     
  17. sheepish

    sheepish Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Stone foundations need to be kept warm if you are in an area (such as Illinois) that freezes in the winter. If you insulate the warmth away from the wall, the freeze/thaw cycle will begin to deteriorate and weaken the wall.

    That is what destroys the foundations of old barns that have no animals in them.
     
  18. happychick

    happychick Well-Known Member

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    I found a local contractor man who makes his living finishing basements...I'm going to see what he says, and maybe get him to do the job. I really want it to be done right, just the thought of mold problems gives me the creeps!

    Thank you all SO much for your ideas, I am going to mention some of them and see what he thinks! :)
     
  19. CesumPec

    CesumPec Well-Known Member

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    I used to run a hotel in Ft Lauderdale. It was built in the mid 80's and by the early 90's the walls were turning bright shades of red, green, blue, and yellow. It was mold growing on the back side of the wallpaper and combined with the glue, it created a bold and colorful problem for the hotel owners. The exterior walls were made of some sort of wooden panel and covered by an elastameric paint that was guaranteed to make it all waterproof.

    The guarantee was no good. Water seeped through something terrible. So we put dehumidifiers in all the rooms to suck up the moisture. After a few years of this and the problem getting worse, some bright engineer told us get rid of the dehumidifiers. when you remove water from the inside you make it drier, water moves from wetter to drier, so we were making the problem worse with ever more wet air trying to move from the exterior through the walls. Until we rebuilt and sealed the exterior walls, drying the inside made it worse.

    Moral of the story, seal those exterior surfaces 110% completely before you add any drywall or paneling.
     
  20. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    How about just stuccoing it? Or using surface bonding cement? I personally wouldnt put any material up that could support mold below grade unless it was below grade in a desert type climate.