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Old 02-19-2012, 09:12 AM  
Shawner
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Default Cold room under stairs (dirt floor) questions with pics

I have a small room under the stairs that we use for storage. It's also the entrance to the crawl space. The wall straight in is concrete and the PO glued white foam on for insulation. The floor is a vapor barrier, about 4-6" sand, then a wood deck on top. The room smells very musty and if we were to store fabric/sleeping bags, etc, they pick up the smell.



This second picture shows where I cut out some drywall. There is no concrete below that wall, they framed down, drywalled and backfilled sand against the drywall, causing some mold.




So, was hoping to use our tax return to try to fix this room but not totally sure what to do... here's what I'm thinking (with questions in different color)..

- remove sand and pour a concrete floor. Form a new base for the wall that is currently missing it.
How much sand to remove, right down to vapor barrier? Do I leave the vapor barrier there? How thick do I need to pour the floor?

- remove foam insulation, replace with 2" polystrene

- remove old drywall, replace any moldy insulation. Replace, tape and paint.


Can anyone add anything I might be missing or don't really need to do?

Thanks for any replies, much appreciated!



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Old 02-19-2012, 11:14 PM  
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You didnt say how deep that wall is. How far it extends down into the sand. Your concrete want to be 3 1/2 to 4" thick. You do want vapour bearier under the concrete. We put it on top of the sand but in some places they put it under the sand. I would pore the floor wide enough to build the wall on top of the floor.



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Old 02-20-2012, 12:17 PM  
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I'm not entirely sure how deep the footing goes. In the first picture, outside grade level is probably about level with the first joint between the white foam and the sheetrock on the opposite wall.

Thanks for the reply

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Old 02-20-2012, 04:54 PM  
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Do floor joist land on that wall? If it is a bearing wall with a footing it should be replaced with concrete or block at least to the height of the future concrete floor. I would like to see a photo of the floor joists and that wall from the crawl space.

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Old 02-20-2012, 07:07 PM  
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The floor joists run parallel to the moldy wall (or parallel to the deck boards on the dirt floor).

This pic is taken back towards where I was standing when I took the first picture in the thread. That's the concrete footing under the plastic bump there.



This picture is taken on the backside of the moldy wall

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Old 02-20-2012, 07:24 PM  
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So it is non bearing and you will be able to just remove that wall and pore the new floor to include the wall and bolt down a treated 2x4 to attach drywall to.

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Old 02-20-2012, 08:04 PM  
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Thanks for the help

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Old 02-21-2012, 05:13 AM  
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Looks like a fun hunched over project...I feel your pain

Everything sounds good, only I would stay away from any sheetrock below the existing floor joist area. Seeing as how you already had a mold issue, it will just come back again on ANY type of sheetrock. I would suggest using a cement board and just skim coat it with a thinset product. It will look like finished plaster, and mold will not grow since the is no paper or cellulose product.
Just a thought to save you work down the road.
Have fun!!

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Old 02-21-2012, 06:56 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inspectorD View Post
Looks like a fun hunched over project...I feel your pain

Everything sounds good, only I would stay away from any sheetrock below the existing floor joist area. Seeing as how you already had a mold issue, it will just come back again on ANY type of sheetrock. I would suggest using a cement board and just skim coat it with a thinset product. It will look like finished plaster, and mold will not grow since the is no paper or cellulose product.
Just a thought to save you work down the road.
Have fun!!
Thanks for the

Will I need to attach something over top of the polystyrene as a fire break? There is a light in the room, but no other source of ignition. If so, how? Would I glue the foam to the conc. wall then build a wall outside of it?
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:43 AM  
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For basements we build a 2x4 wall 1" away from the concrete and insulate that.



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