January 15, 2020
A four-dimensional detail drawing of an insulated and damp-resistant basement slab
An energy-efficient slab is isolated from the ground with insulation. This keeps the slab warm, but it’s also important to keep a slab dry.
That begins with gravel. Air spaces between stones break the wicking of capillary action. Another key spot is at the footing and the foundation where damp proofing or another capillary break stops the flow of moisture.
Steps to warm and dry basement slab success:
- Install a layer of insulation suitable for underground use and wrap it up the walls at least as high as the slab thickness.
- A layer of plastic slows the curing process, making the slab less prone to cracking.
- And wire mesh strengthens the slab more. As you pour the concrete, make sure the wire mesh ends up in the middle of the slab, not at the bottom.
Capillary breaks, continuous insulation, and plastic will make a warm, dry floor for the basement living space.