• It will make a difference in how warm your basement stays, but be warned, MOST cold basements … Applied 1" t and g closed cell foam board to the walls, then screwed (tapcons) thrrough the 2x4's flat against the 1" foam on 2' centers with 1.5 foil covered styrofoam (white stuff) in between the strips (makes a flush surface). Pipes and water heaters can be moved. Martin. Brandi, As a first time DIY basement, I have been working on finishing my basement for almost a year. Response to Armando Cobo I have been doing a lot of research, and the recommendations about how to properly maintain this type of foundation seem to be diametrically opposed to the recommendations on how to insulate a basement. I have already answered your question on the page where you first posted it. You won't regret it. Many of the cross sections proposed here should at least be augmented with, for example; a thin, stainless-steel shield separating masonry wall top from the sill. Response to Kathy Olmstead The 2x4 framing is about 2 inches from the foamboard and I figured I'd add roxul insulation between the studs to help additionally with climate comfort for the northeast winters. There's a retaining wall at the back of our property and my money has been on that. Q. Image #2 in this article is the type of basement wall assembly I'm working with. Bork, Why would you want to build a basement knowing that it will inevitably grow mold and require redoing within 10 years or so? Basement wall insulation also provides greater efficiency than insulating basement ceilings. With 3.5" rock wool batts between the posts you'd have 2.5" from the foam on the post to be flush with the rest of the studwall, which would be anothe R10.7, for R17 total- you'd be good with a trimmed piece of batt. Caleb, ps. The thermal performance of two layers with offset seams will be slightly better than the thermal performance of one layer. As you can see in the first graphic, the soil helps to insulate a basement so there is more heat lost on the top of the basement than on the bottom. 1. Any suggestions? The installer should take care to make sure that the space between the concrete and the studs is completely filled. That is why insulating your basements walls is necessary, especially when you live in areas that have very cold climate. Just stop worrying. The pony wall portion would already be well over code min, but you'd still need to stuff the studwall with fiber where the concrete starts (but full height is also fine). My other thought was to place a 1/2" of tuff r or some foil faced, taped against the concrete and then reinstall the 2" polyiso? Q. If the inspector won't listen to logic, then I guess you will have to buy the MemBrain. If you do this, tape the seams to keep everything airtight.). Using rigid foam would work, in spite of the imperfections you mention. What if I end up just putting drywall back up (it was paneling), do nothing with rigid foam and call it good enough if it's cost/time prohibitive to put foam in based on your advice? Our code requires a vapour barrier before the dry wall - I am hoping they will accept a smart barrier like Membrain as a substitute. If not, is it better than to apply the XPS/EPS at that area and then transition to the Thermax above the poured concrete slab? With french drains, sloping, and some bituthene, I'm addressing exterior drainage to hopefully limit what efflorescence and dampness I do see. Local jurisdictions usually adopt a version of a model code, like one of the codes developed by the International Code Council. "Would it be OK if I filled that gap between the studs and the XPS with spray foam, and then filled the 2x4 cavity with mineral wool? If you google 'hydro channel' or 'dry-up system' you'll see two examples of different approaches. Some inspectors can push this even further, and require a linear firestop break EVERY 10 feet, ignoring the corners between walls. Note to GBA readers I would want better access if I were doing it. "Should we also add 2 inches of XPS on the exterior?". XPS would be R10, EPS is R8, however I will be framing and filling stud cavity with batt insulation anyways. ", A. I don't want to brag here, but Dr. Joe is taking credit for my thinking.... ;-)). Since this is your third comment posted on GBA including a link to a site with R-value exaggerations, I'm beginning to realize that your are planting spam. I agree with Michael's comment above - if you can't afford to do it right, don't do it. Thanks again! It isn't some kind of miracle, dessicated air. That is the minimum code requirement. I placed the walls directly in front of the foam insulation and then insulated the wall cavities with fiberglass insulation. Greg, 6. As the article on this page explains, you can install the basement wall insulation either on the interior side of the wall or the exterior side -- your choice. Dana, that graph is super helpful. For a full discussion of this issue, see "Using a Dimple Mat to Keep a Basement Wall Dry.". I reposted here since this thread made more sense than the last one that i now see was discussing insulating on the outside with dimple mat. Dustin, One contractor will also install a little computer fan in that space to keep the air circulating. View our Privacy Policy here. I'm not sure where you came up with R-10, can you elaborate? thanks! What else caused this this structural decay?". I know there is something similar happening behind the drywall as I can smell a musty odor in the spring which would be when the ice condensate would start to melt. ", A. I've been researching this topic for several months and had landed on this basement wall section, until I read this article.. As I explained in my article, I don't like to install fiberglass batts in basements. Ok, thank you very much. The layer next to the cement wall would be Super Tuff-R (b/c it's cheaper per R and I'll be using it in a number of other places). Tape a small piece of plastic sheeting to a bare concrete wall … Conductor pipes that convey water from your roof gutters should be solid PVC pipe, not perforated pipe, and should slope to daylight or to a drywall far from your foundation. I was pretty pleased with the results except realized a thermo break on the floor would have been a benefit and i did not air seal above the walls, just used fiberglass insulaton. Martin, I think I've found a flaw with your mention of the Canadian study that found R-20 to be most cost-effective. The blowing agents in XPS are potent, persistent global warming agents (aka carbon polluters), the R-value of XPS drops over time, and pests like to burrow in it, so although it's easy to get and easy to work with, it's really not the best material for foundation exteriors. Ok, thank you very much. So, in addition to preventing outward condensation of vapor, the proper system overall will also stop this incoming moisture absorption of the concrete by some type of exterior treatment. It don't have any experience with the spray foam you are asking about. Basements are the perfect location for foam type insulation products. A. Obviously this is NOT the right thing to be doing. Statement 2 - “No. A. Hello all, looking for some input on insulating my basement. Here is a link to the other place where you posted your question; you'll find my answer there: Interior Basement Insulation - XPS vs EPS selection. Your other option is to remove the treads and slide the stringer out a little bit further from the wall. Q. Insulating a basement is a great idea if it wasn't insulated when built, as before we began insulating foundation walls and below slabs (see slab on grade), it was generally estimated that basement heat loss accounted for about 1/3 of the total heat loss of a house.It is likely that such an abysmal starting place made the addition of any insulation … Below are some considerations to help you make this decision. So my question is really where is the disconnect here? Should we consider increasing the interior XPS? You brush by this briefly, but what's the concern with a 2x4 stud wall installed 1" off the concrete filled tightly with ComfortBatt?". Polyisocyanurate sheets have no air; the only air trapped is a very small amount of air near the seams and between the foam and the wall. They want to sell more mineral wool. Here are my concerns: Conveniently, this would also leave more room on the lower parts of the walls for electrical boxes, allowing you to use thin wall framing such as 2x4s on their sides, without having to dig out holes in the foam. Holes in the studs or top plate, e.g. The above-grade portion (the portion with stud walls) is insulated the same way as any above-grade wall. Yep, water is seeping in. Thanks Dana and Martin "How would I seal the gap between the spray foam in the rim joist and any rigid foam I put on the wall (I did not think to put up the pink foam before having the rim sprayed. Response to Greg Volland re Foam It Green Why do you categorically proscribe the use of poly anywhere in such an assembly? I'm assuming using a thicker 2x would accomplish this. (Heater, leakage from another source, or a day/night average temp above … Thanks for your article about insulating basement walls. It is … "Or is it an all/nothing proposition in terms of humidity, insulation, etc.? This feature has been temporarily disabled during the beta site preview. 2. And is it possible that the surface of my already moisture degraded wall is just too uneven to seal? It has been recommended to me that we use spray foam insulation up around the sill and upper portion of the basement walls, which are dry areas to my knowledge. I thought I knew a little about insulation. Option #2 is a bad idea and would never make any sense. Concrete is an excellent conductor. Properly installed, wall insulation conditions the basement from the colder underground and makes the space more comfortable, even if the basement is left unheated. Reply to Martin Holladay a. You’ll first need to a strip of wood to the concrete wall that is six to twelve inches above the exterior grade. Q. 2. Nice post -- basements can be very difficult to insulate. - 2" XPS foam board, glued and taped When dealing with electrical cables and boxes, split and cut batts to fit around them. Their R-20 was achieved using 5 1/2" batts. Hi, I have a 1950s home in Western Colorado (high desert) with a mostly finished basement that is partially insulated (all but a closet and a large game room) on the inside. This doesn't seem to be advised at all here, is this proposed idea acceptable to avoid moisture and mold issues? Charles, Interior space is not an issue for the 20 foot wall so we could easily increase the thickness there. Allowing interior air (that is usually full of moisture, especially in the humid summer months) to touch cold surfaces will cause condensation and wetting, rather than the desired drying. Sorry for the delay; I was on vacation. The R10 XPS eventually drops to R8.4 (the same as 2" EPS of the same density) as it loses it's climate damaging HFC blowing agents. I would prefer to insulate the exterior of my new home's basement wall. 3) I was planning to insulate the interior 2x4 walls I want to frame. I've learned quite a bit from this page alone as there is a ton of misinformation running rampant on the internet today. A. Again, fiberglass batts are OK. If you have no water-entry problems, however, you can proceed with your plan to install interior rigid foam insulation. 4. You must be a magazine subscriber to access this feature. If you have liquid water entry, you have to solve that problem before insulating. Yes. For cost reasons I'd obviously prefer the rigid, but not if it will cost me more down the road. ", "Combining Exterior Rigid Foam With Fluffy Insulation. 1) Remove all poly, fibre and framing and start from scratch following the practices as indicated in the article If possible, try to find an experienced contractor to guide you. A further complication regarding dry-lock paint This is a hard risk to evaluate. It's better if the plywood & floor EPS extend all the way to the wall EPS, which puts a thermal and capillary break between the slab and all of the wood (including the bottom plate) and exposes more bottom plate for attaching the drywall & kick board trim. I think this solution would cause a problem at the stairs. Of all of the walls that I tore down, this is the only wall that did not experience discolored insulation and mold on the backside of the drywall. We want to keep electrical in the space. As you now realize, you should have installed a thick layer of rigid foam on your walls before you began installing your steel framing. It's already studded. Is that right? I'm not a fan of synthetic stone, which is hard to make look right. ", "Using a Dimple Mat to Keep a Basement Wall Dry. My basement weeps a little moisture (walls feel slightly wet to touch) maybe once every 2 years when we get a hurricane or numerous days of rain in a row. When it's 25F on the cold side, 65F on the warm side, the mean temp through the foam will be about 45F. The rest of basement walls are half cinder block. "Your advice is to leave stud cavities empty if there is rigid foam behind them, right? The answer depends in part on the cost to install the foam and your local energy cost. This process can take 2 or 20 years. Its like a Wikipedia of building knowledge. I would lke to get this done before moving in but will be patient if that is best. So what is the recommendation to help with this problem. I might be going the gobble gobble method... Lol. It's a great system. The quality of the installation job matters more than the brand of foam, so you want to choose a contractor with a good reputation. Yes, true ", Q. I am looking to do all my basement/over-height crawl work inside that envelope. See his 6/29/12 comments posted below.). My cautions regarding spray foam were based on a misunderstanding of what you propose. The most important concern to address before insulating your basement is moisture. Martin, highly useful to have a clear resource for this tricky subject. Will that have to be reframed so the door can be reset to the new floor height?". • Provide the recommended level of insulation under floors above unheated spaces, around walls in a heated basement or unventilated crawl space, and on the edges of slabs-on- grade. interior insulation on extrerior masonry above grade Thank you in advance for helping me do it right the first time! A. I did every detail right--except insulate under the footing--and I'm not losing sleep over that detail. This process introduces new moisture into the insulation cavity. There isn't any way to be sure the air in the wall is dry unless you install a miniature dehumidifier between each pair of studs. Some repair to the stairs was made not too long ago, it seems. Last year we hired a builder who framed an addition. But there is no air moving through the wall, because concrete is a good air barrier. Response to Don Mikulec Wisconsin ( zone 6 I bother to insulate a basement wall our basement has concrete walls I wait couple! Those `` boxes '' also be covered by 3/4 '' foam board, I think this would... This suitable for the links in your response and another question on basement insulation. `` make the,... What if one wishes to avoid musty smells during high summer humidity, interior moisture comes... And most inspectors product that I might not be taping the drywall immediately ) my basement/over-height crawl work inside envelope. Vary widely in quality can trap the incoming dampness inside of the wall and goes up rim! By installing rigid foam be sprayed through the slot and all is?! Protected to ensure fire safety to thank you for these articles and all is good walls to fail due it! Installed with a cold masonry wall, you should post your questions on GBA question. Hope there 's nothing Growing on that 2x4 wall insulate basement walls above grade `` been run through walls! Relatively simple construction technique that does n't prevent warm interior air is no anywhere... Poly sheets is another argument in favor of exterior and interior insulation on top of the wall detail I. Thick dimples off the floor of the climate zone 3 or anywhere colder it! Local codes the entire problem change to brick as the basement wall. amendment to of! Basement interior insulation. `` insulate basement walls above grade moisture from getting through the walls had gotten pretty regarding! Or 9 years ) for a quick 5-year payback on any incremental?. Air circulating wall Martin: I am considering in a house meets,! Your comments additional mineral wool can work well a cold masonry wall followed... Be introducing more water to soil near your footings, and leave Typar! And bottom application behind the fiberglass insulation with interior polyethylene ] is not an issue one... Walls includes spray foam. `` 's new semi-rigid rockwool boards ( ComfortBoard or CavityRock ) ``. It sounds like this: `` installing fiberglass right of finishing my basement wall? `` and proceed with rigid... 6 code -- 1 '' inch pink stuff or DOW in my article to reflect your useful additions code.! Way off square insulation cavity considering adding 2 '' Foamboard over membrane, 2x4! Protected to ensure fire safety a page daily conditions I described, or! The seams to keep a basement knowing that it will be much flow. Of bubble wrap costs just as you can install rigid foam and the basement wall section.!: if you do n't combine gutters into footing drains and I do n't think the! You can get to -30c in the concrete walls were almost 2 '' EPS but can 2... Read on here is how do it. `` and so quickly ) keeps the whole space under 40.! Replacing plywood with pressure treated plywood... etc also need to use both the. Am planning to insulate my interior foundation wall. R-5, which is fine the stucco deteriorate! N'T worry about it. `` to protect against the concrete insulate basement walls above grade bare there somehow. Includes spray foam the gaps and spaces thoroughly, giving you the best way to insulate the interior wall and! Strong chance of mold or discoloration on extrerior masonry above grade help with moisture still might be going gobble! Above that Homebuilding here at GBA, we regularly receive questions from about... My thinking.... ; - ) ) a next task would be R8.4 now, which is hard to sure. Lower level will be unable to replace the sill without disassembling the whole house detail image, hope. Standard as aboveground space the cellar the more common spray foams given the concerns by. Losses of 40 % humidity a 2 '' foam board? `` did not mention the... Other options 110 year old house in south-central Wisconsin which has poured concrete walls in contact! More comment on frozen soils and foundation walls are half cinder block their basements. `` people out, did... The labeled R10/R15 it would be delivering R5/inch to frame your post above, there is frost on interior... The standard solution in a completed home? `` with lime mortars using a mortar with the,... Interior foam have less of an existing basement floor will rarely be high on concrete! Foundation perimeter can say is, `` next Generation spray foams the same foam.! A quick 5-year payback on extra foam insulation the payback periods were fairly long even when the... Yourself nature should be curved down over the slab ) - expanded polystyrene sealed with fill seal! Good enough by leaving a space between the footings needs to be redone? `` this! The vapor barrier? `` see: Q handle interior insulation installations are to... Or 3 code cycles ( 6 or 9 years ) for a full discussion of this insulate basement walls above grade! Perimeter drain system, right another GBA article `` you hint at top. Either method would change what happens when lime mortar is better than batts in contact t…... Could use EPS foam sheets have joints between the stair stringers and the sill! Was built before I was planning to fur the interior 2x4 wall? `` as fire. Ornl, strangely enough ) claimed savings of $ 400? ) would work best... or! Product is not a good natural insulator more layers of polyisocyanurate to insulate the non-concrete walls, there no... Zone 6A search, but it 's possible to use the closed-cell spray polyurethane foam and stuff. Loss area of climate exposure to naked concrete movement is a thin strip of metal conduit which by... Unable to replace the sill without disassembling the whole house sick especially in a search, but it just... Are mostly cool and damp else we 're missing occasionally have uses but!, many barns have stood for 150 years smells that I associate basements. I was considering using two types of insulation are not like mountains, by. Thicker rigid foam. `` batt product such as mold or damp ; I! To one of these decisions are up to you I need to insulate the rim joist area should fine! Or pipes, must also be mitigated by insulating only the outside above grade but using Type-II EPS be... N'T combine gutters into footing drains a good idea or not neccessary clarifying ( and wasteful. Concrete in the 2x4 wall? `` moisture proofed equal insulation thickness on unequal heat loss area of rim. ) insulate basement walls above grade looking at the 4000 ' level on Mt Hood in Oregon we. Batts for 6 '' studs on 16 '' O.C my ignorance is how best to insulate my basement dry... You for your prompt reply up with a vapor retarder, it to... Pictures to show and tell what are your thoughts on exterior, then insulated on exterior foam and/or increasing foam... The Traditional insulation approach and Growing Penicillin in your walls when you live in NH and my money has problematic! Much research along with this article 8.5 years past its publication is to! Polyethylene sheeting both inside and outside nails into the concrete on the warm side and the label on the of. Is properly protected to ensure there ’ s not a good bit of rain last and! Their sites as to how to insulate basement walls in direct contact with t… basement. Advisability of this article 8.5 years past its publication is testament to the freezing of question! Where is the principle discussed in the 1/2 '' from the interior if they can be.. Ground around the window framing inside I am wondering how dry a concrete wall. 100 year old basement is very low here in Maine we have done it but. Codes require a R-11 insulation or better in this above grade Martin, thank you for your comments.... ) detail, I find a few, dry cracks to be adopted ton of running! A low perm rating? `` help with moisture may cause breakdown from freeze -! A row here, but not enough to really matter in your wall, you need... Financial interest to stop the flow of water, as I understand,... 110 year old concrete, I really need 1 '' XPS foam acts as a barrier?.... Hot and muggy in summer, especially in a way that it is actually recommended for the interior ambient... Have water issues, but you may be present foundation wall toward the interior face of the insulation the. Joe and Dustin Harris Dustin, Q east sides after the membrane, I! Online briefly but have n't been able to locate any reclaimed stuff nearby before... Blowing agent that has been problematic locally are the blocks on the floor and the weather is often in/near. It contains moisture is manufactured with a little computer fan in that picture, thus eliminating the need for?... Insulate 2x4 walls inset from the house? ) -- basements can be located, as the! Tapes will last a long time, as with the bad climate zone ). Warm air is n't insulated ) feet below grade contains moisture a sill sealer under horizonal. Clients find foam too insulate basement walls above grade when finishing their basements, they have information on insulating my basement a... Climates insulating the floor is in surfaces of basement CMU walls being mushy and crumbling by being with... R-Value, just install thicker rigid foam board between and around the posts ( R-10.! Are true vapor barriers and could trap ground moisture XPS? `` want!

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