Does anyone have any experience and/or comments on a product called "InSoFast Insulation?"
It appears to have some qualities that make it easier for a DIYer like me to install - space behind for electrical wiring, doesn't need to be installed on studs, etc.
I was thinking of using it for my basement, but it almost sounds too good to be true. One of the aspects that appealed to me is the space behind the panels to allow for moisture escape (if I understand the product correctly).
My basement has high humidity (a neighbor who was living across the street when the subdivision was built said that my house and others on this side of the street were built over a swamp filled in with sand). So this allowance for moisture escape seems desirable.
I know that there are more permanent and effective solutions to a moisture problem, but this is a changing neighborhood and I don't plan to stay here and not only don't want to but don't have the funds to install an expensive moisture mitigation system.
Any comments, advice and/or criticisms of this product would be appreciated.
If you can't afford to address the moisture getting into your basement concrete walls now, then my recommendation would be not to do anything to cover up the walls. If you cover the walls, the mold will continue to flourish behind that wall covering, and you're just gonna make it impossible for you to kill that mold.
Neither moisture alone nor cold temperatures alone will harm concrete. Where concrete is damaged is when you combine both a high water saturation in the concrete with freezing temperatures. When H2O freezes it expands and continues expanding down to -4 degree Celsius, after which it contracts with further cooling as you'd expect. So, the damage caused by water freezing inside concrete occurs at MILD temperatures of between O and -4 degrees, not at bitterly cold temperatures where the ice is shrinking.
When water freezes inside concrete, it causes something called "spalling damage", which is the surface of the concrete breaking off in "chips" or flakes. If you see thin flat chips of concrete on the ground right beside your house, that's caused by spalling, and it's important to prevent it from happening.
If you can't prevent the moisture from getting into your concrete walls, you can at least prevent that moisture from freezing by applying insulation to the EXTERIOR of your basement walls. What people do is fasten styrofoam to the exterior of the foundation walls down to a depth of 2 or 3 feet, and then bury a 4 inch thick slab of styrofoam at that depth. The vertical styrofoam keeps the concrete warm by preventing heat loss from it, and the horizontal slab under the ground actually helps insulate the ground below it from the cold above in winter. By containing the heat loss through the basement walls, they prevent any water in the ground around the basement walls from freezing. And, by preventing the water in that ground from freezing, they prevent any harm coming to the foundation from frost heave. And, more to the point from your perspective, if the water in the ground around the concrete basement wall doesn't freeze in winter, then the water inside the concrete basement wall won't freeze in winter either. So, if you're interested in protecting your house, that Insofast insulation would do you more good on the outside of your basement walls than on the inside.
(If you don't believe what I'm saying, Google "frost protected shallow foundations" and you should find lots of information on it.)
Besides, you're a lot better off to leave the insides of your basement walls exposed so that you can kill any mold growing on the surface of the concrete than you are to cover up the walls and have no way of killing he mold growing behind the wall covering. Just use a garden sprayer to spray a solution of 1 part bleach in 10 parts water on your basement walls to kill the mold periodically.
And, contrary to what you may have heard, most molds and fungii aren't toxic. That is, they don't produce mycotoxins. The fungi that do produce them present a health threat by producing spores with mycotoxins on the surface of those spores, and we ingest those mycotoxins by inhaling the spores. The tiny amount of mycotoxins ingested by inhaling spores CAN be enough in CERTAIN people to cause headaches, nausea, irritability, and other medical effects, but the medical effects vary widely from person to person as some of us are more sensitive to mycotoxins than others. Lots of people live in houses or work in buildings that have toxic molds growing in them and are hardly affected at all. Also, the medical effects disappear once the person is no longer exposed to the mycotoxins, so it's not like any of the health effects are permanent.
This business about contractors crying "God No! Toxic mold! It'll kill you!!!" is really more about generating business than it is about protecting the public health. You CAN have have internal organs fail and even die from ingesting A LOT of mycotoxin, but those cases occur when a person eats the wrong kind of mushroom, NOT from just inhaling the spores of that mushroom.
So, if I were you, I'd just leave your basement unfinished so that you can kill any mold that grows on your basement walls. If you're thinking that the Insofast insulation may increase the selling price of your house by covering the basement walls, that might backfire on you. A potential buyer will always be suspicious that the purpose of the insulation is to hide what's behind it, and may presume the problems with your basement walls are much worse than they really are. And, that idea in his/her head will definitely lower the offer.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Nestor,
Consentrate your time and money on the outside fixing the outside preventing water from getting in.
Add a french drain system and seal the foundation walls outside.
Regrade around the foundation so water runs away not towards it.
Never have mulch flower beds up againt the foundation, there just going to hold in water.
Working gutters with long lines at the bottom of the down spouts to get it away from the foundation.
Add a sump pump in the basement if there is none.
Run a dehumidfier in the basement once all this is done.
http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldresources.htmlThis message has been edited. Last edited by: joecaption,
that is going to be a premium priced material that is all plastic (spit). freight shipping costs. and it won't fix a thing.
when the basement has been dry a year, consider finishing it. until then, joecaption has the worklist. I would personally do the gutter/downspout work first, then dig in drain tile with a leader to an inside sump, waterproofing the foundation while the outside walls are dug out.
you may have to get the sump working first, then waterproof, if you are hitting water on the way down. exhaust the water well downhill, as near to the curb as your city fathers will permit, from the sump. if you can't dump it into the street and thence a stormwater drain, put a French drain pit as low as you can at the edge of the property line, assuming you find sand/loam and not clay there.
these days, with stricter codes that recognize the radon issue, plan for a sealed sump cover with an air outlet to outside. may be overkill, but it's the way to go if you have to set new pump wells in.
Nestor's mold discussion omits one issue... allergies to common molds like aspergillus and penicillum are quite common. I am allergic to both, but thank the Lord, not to Penicillin antibiotic and related (mutated) newer antibiotics. we had a very minor issue in our basement with black mold, which was not tested, but the white/grey "nontoxics" were driving me batty. clear it all out, kill it, mixing bleach 4 to 5x the label recommendations for "disinfectant" will do a job -- once the material is dry and will stay so.
there are mold spores everyplace. they only need food (paper, scuzwood, unprotected wet white wood, drywall) and moisture to go to town. control the water, get rid of food, you have no issues.This message has been edited. Last edited by: swschrad,
sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
Brad, regarding InSoFast - it really gets glued to the concrete, and then you can screw drywall to a glued foamboard? I am surprised that works, or meets code. I'm not saying it doesnt, it just doesnt sound like something I would ever trust to stay up long term, especially on a wall that could see a lot of moisture.
Acoustic curtains UK
Acoustic Foam Paneling
Acoustic Insulation supplies
I'll put in a BRIEF note, I had a recurring mold problem in my shower and used houshold bleach to kill it, but it always returned. I then got a bright idea to use straight liquid pool chlorine, so far so good, but if it returns, and I'm sure it will, I'll do the same
For general message board help, click the tab labeled "Tools," and choose "Help" from the dropdown menu.