Unknown Basement History

Old 11-21-19, 10:39 AM
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Unknown Basement History

We bought a house a while ago. When we bought it the basement was partially finished. By that I mean, there was a big pile of framing wood that was obviously taken down of the wall but about 20% of the framing wood was still up.

My question is can I still use that wood? I don’t know why the wood was taken down. My concern is there was a mold issue, but there doesn’t seem to be any on it. Or should I just start fresh with all new lumber?

Old 11-21-19, 11:11 AM
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If it's straight and mold free, I see no reason it cannot be used.
Old 11-21-19, 12:25 PM
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As noted above you should be able to reuse the lumber. Does it have nails in it? having to remove nails might make reusing it less attractive.
Old 11-21-19, 01:59 PM
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Most lumber used in framing have 2 nails each end and some on 2 sides from the wall sheathing. The nails on the end can be removed with cats paw and/or hammer. The nails on the 2 sides can be removed with a hammer. Nail holes hardly change the structural quality of the lumber. My option would be pull the nails, reuse and save a tree.
Old 11-22-19, 02:23 PM
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I would be more concerned as to why it was taken down, I doubt it was just for fun. Since most basements have moisture or water problems I suspect that was behind the demolition.

Water and moisture vapor can come and go and all can look fine at times. But don't be fooled, there was a reason and doubtful it can be easily corrected. I'll add a link on basements and it will help explain why most were never built to be finished, at any reasonable price.

Old 11-22-19, 03:33 PM
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"Since most basements have moisture or water problems"

Where did you get that? I have a wet basement as do many of the homes in my clay soil area. My daughter lives but 20 miles away in an area of sandy soil and none of the homes in her area have a wet basement problem and most (including hers) if not all are finished.
I grew up in northern VT. Nobody that I knew growing up had a wet basement. I have lived all over the country and only in SC and the Florida Keys did we not have a basement. We never had a wet basement before living in CT.
Old 11-22-19, 03:51 PM
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Hi cw, note I said "Water and moisture vapor". A wet basement is associated with the liquid water, however moisture vapor can pass right through a foundation. That black coating we often see on the outside does not stop moisture vapor.

When a basement is allowed to dry to the inside it may function as a dry basement. Add a vapor barrier, intentionally or just another vapor impermeable material and whatever moisture level is outside will eventually accumulate behind that barrier.

My objective in cautioning people is to let them know most basements need to deal with that inflow of moisture vapor. If not handled properly it can become a serious problem.

Achieving a dry basement is best accomplished right from the start of construction. Doing so after a home has been built can (as that link I posted explains) be very difficult and from the pile of lumber the op described, his basement has some serious questions.

marksr voted this post useful.

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