We're removing wallpaper from our basement walls, and underneath is something I've never seen before. It's a white layer of pretty thick "something" that looks like plastic until you tear it, then you see all these fibers that look like fiberglass. It was applied in horizontal strips about 18" wide. It was applied on top of 1/4" thick wood paneling (real wood), which was put on top of furring strips attached to the concrete block walls with styrofoam between the furring strips.
I assume this is a moisture barrier, but I'd like to know what it's made of, and what it was probably applied with, because the first time we pulled a little of it off the wall we got a little lightheaded. (That was a few months ago, and we haven't had any problems being in the basement since then.) Also, it wasn't applied to the entire wall, only the part where the wallpaper was. (That is, below the suspended ceiling. Above the ceiling the paneling was exposed.)
The house was built in 1977. We assume they waited at least a few years before covering the paneling, but other than that we have no idea when the wallpaper went up.
FYI, there is no sign of moisture problems in the basement at all. The flooring is carpet, it's never felt damp. There doesn't seem to be any mold anywhere on the wallpaper or backing, just gunk. I've also done the trick of taping a large square of plastic to the wall and never had any condensation behind it. I did that on the paneling and also on two spots on the bare concrete wall. (There was a would-be bathroom that never got finished on the same exterior wall.)
Whew! Information overload! So, does anyone have any idea what this stuff is?
Thanks very much.