Good morning pros!

I am bidding on a basement renovation of a two story brick home in Arlington, VA. The first story is partially below grade. The foundation walls are CMU construction.

Here are some pictures of the foundation walls with the wood paneling removed:

As you can see, there are existing moisture issues that have to be addressed. There is improper grading at the perimeter of the house (not awful but improper nonetheless), the gutters are under-sized and may have leaks at some of the seams, and there is no interior or exterior drainage system.

The game plan for finishing out the basement is to install 1" XPS against the foundation walls, frame the walls with 2X4s, fill the stud cavities with 3.5" un-faced batt insulation, and finish the walls with moisture-resistant gyp board (National Gypsum Gold Bond XP).

New electrical outlets will be installed, a bunch of recessed lighting installed, new flooring, etc.

I am thinking of addressing the drainage issue with an exterior drainage tile system, and covering the below-grade portions of the foundation walls with Grace's Bituthene system.

Any overall suggestions or points that I should consider?



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Sounds like you have it under control. May I recommend adding drainage inside the basements perimeter to make up for the hydrostatic issues hidden beneath the floor and direct them to a sump. Also adding waterproofing sheet membranes on the walls interior prior to insulating. Don't forget the radon fan and ERV while your into it this deep.

Here's a couple helpful links;


A dry ventilated basement before covering it up with finished building products should make for a healthy basement when your finished.

Best of luck!


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