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This application claims the benefit of U.S. provisional App. No. 60/775,282, filed Feb. 21, 2006, the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference herein.
The present invention is directed to a system and method for finishing interior basement walls.
Concrete basement walls tend to allow moisture into a basement leading to problems with high humidity and mold growth. The present invention addresses this problem by providing a system and method for finishing interior basement walls so as to be both water resistant and to function to dehumidify the basement.
In the system of the present invention, waterproof insulating panels are attached to waterproof furring strips installed on an interior surface of a concrete basement wall to create air cavities enclosed therebetween which are in communication with the upper story of a house. A heating cable along the base of the air cavities warms the air therein, allowing the air to rise to the upper story of the house and away from the basement bringing moisture with it, keeping the humidity level of the basement air lower. The heat source at the bottom of the wall induces a convection current, helping moisture transfer from the basement wall into the upper story. Finish panels are connected to the insulating panels.
The FIGURE is a cutaway isometric view of a portion of the basement wall system of the present invention.
Referring now specifically to the FIGURE, a detailed description of the present invention is given. However, the present invention can assume numerous other embodiments, as will become apparent to those skilled in the art.
In the FIGURE, a cutaway view of one version of the finishing system 100 of the present invention is depicted. The finishing system 100 of the present invention generally comprises a first panel 110, a second panel 120, base trim 130, and a heating means 140.
The first panel 110 is attached to furring strips 112 installed on an interior surface 113 of a concrete or masonry basement wall 800 so as to create air cavities 150 enclosed therebetween. The air cavities 150 remain in communication with the upper story of a house.
The first panel 110 is made of a waterproof and insulating material such as polystyrene board, such as THERMAX® one inch thick panel. The furring strips 112 are likewise made of a waterproof material (e.g., HDPE recycled plastic) and are attached to the basement wall 800 by means of screws or the like.
The air cavities 150 are enclosed between the basement wall 800, the first panel 110 and the furring strips 112. The air cavities 150 will generally be about 1.5 inches deep (i.e., the depth of the furring strips 112). Many air cavities 150 are formed when furring strips 112 are mounted vertically to the basement wall 800 at regularly spaced intervals (e.g., every 16 inches). The furring strips 112 further provide a mounting surface for the first panels 110.
A heating means 140 is installed along the base of the air cavities 150. The heating means 140 may consist of a ¼ inch heating cable in the air cavity or in a bed of mortar 142 as shown, or other similar devices. The heating means 140 may be thermostatically controlled and generate, for example, about 15 watts of heat per square foot.
When activated, the heating means 140 functions to warm the air in the air cavities 150, so warm air rises up through the air cavities 150 to the upper story of the house, taking any moisture along with it. In this way the system 100 of the present invention serves to dehumidify a basement, prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
The second panel 120 is attached to the first pane 110 and base trim 130 is installed along its lower edge along the basement floor 810. The second panel 120 thus forms the finished basement wall and serves to further insulate the basement. The second panel 120 consists of a corrugated tongue and groove panel, approximately ⅜ inch thick and 16 inches wide by 96 inches tall, one section fitting into another when installed. Other dimensions may be used and panels 120 may be cut to fit the particular installation. The corrugation (or, ribbing) may serve to increase the strength of the second panels 120. The second panel may be a DUMAPLAST® panel. Ceiling tile 152 may be attached to the second panel 120.
The second panel 120 is attached to the first panel 110 by an attachment means 122 enabling easy removal and re-installation of the second panels 120. The attachment means 122 may consist of simple screws, special interlocking mechanisms to enable panels 120 to be snapped in and out of place easily, or the like. Likewise the base trim 130 is designed to be easily snapped on and off and may further provide a chase (not shown) for media wiring and the like.
As can be seen by the above discussion, the system 100 of the present invention not only removes moisture from the exterior basement wall 800, but prevents buildup of moisture between the panels 110, 120 and the wall 800, thus minimizing the possibility for growth of mold or mildew. The heating means promotes air circulation allowing the basement wall 800 to “breath”. The air circulation dissipates moisture that would otherwise build up in the air cavities 150, thus keeping the basement dry. Furthermore, because the components of the system 100 are waterproof, there is no need to replace them should flooding occur-a significant advantage over drywall or other materials often utilized in basements.