DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Insulation and Radiant Barriers > How do I know if my basement is insulated?




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Old 05-09-2014, 07:44 AM  
bud16415
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Last year I helped a friend with her basement rim joist problems. The basement was under insulated but cold and floor were always cold and robbing a lot of heat upstairs. When I pulled out the little bit of glass someone stuffed up in the rim joist area cold air just poured in. I foamed the big gap and let it to harden up and when I went back it was amazing how it had changed. We put the glass back in and added more but I don’t think it did much. Stopping the draft was 99% of it.

If you have siding that snaps on its not that hard to take a couple rows down. It may be possible to do some good without taking the ceiling down. Most people dread opening the ceiling but that also isn’t that much to fix if you are careful how you open it up.

Your question is hard to answer because we don’t know the whole picture. You can keep anything warm as toast if you pump enough heat to it. It’s hard to say.



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Old 05-09-2014, 08:23 AM  
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It is like trying to keep warm by swallowing your sweater. Doesn't work you should wear you sweater instead.

A basement should be insulated from the outside in. So you want to start there around your foundations with a strong vapor barrier such as blue skin, keeping the dampness out a couple inches of polystyrene at least.



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Old 05-09-2014, 06:56 PM  
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It is like trying to keep warm by swallowing your sweater. Doesn't work you should wear you sweater instead.

A basement should be insulated from the outside in. So you want to start there around your foundations with a strong vapor barrier such as blue skin, keeping the dampness out a couple inches of polystyrene at least.
Over that sweater put on a rubber rain coat and get to work and see how that works. New rain gear can breath just like house wrap.
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:46 PM  
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A basement should be insulated from the outside in.
In principle and as to only heat loss or gain it should make no difference which side the insulation is on but there may be practical considerations that dictate one side or the other [beside the expense of excavation].

Can you post a link to a pdf file that supports your position/assertion/opinion/fact?
TIA.
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Old 05-16-2014, 01:39 PM  
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2" Of Styrofoam around the outside should make the concrete walls much warmer.

/watch?v=kwn0Vjw_ji0

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Old 05-16-2014, 03:27 PM  
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Can you insulate the outside walls above grade? The rim joists are the problem.

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Old 05-16-2014, 04:30 PM  
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I suppose you could, but it depends on what you have out there. you will want a flashing that goes behind the siding and house wrap above it and cover it so it looks nice.
Something like this just higher.

slab-edge-insulation-1.jpg  
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Old 05-16-2014, 07:28 PM  
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I have a brick exterior, can this still be done?

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Old 05-19-2014, 09:01 PM  
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Brick absorbs water and releases it toward the inside, there is a space beteen the brick and wall to allow the water to run down and out wipe hole beween brick in the bottom row. The flashing in my photo would go behind the brick and house wrap. So in a word "no" I would sooner loose a little heat, than mess with the outside. You could be causing much bigger problems.

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Old 05-20-2014, 05:04 PM  
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Quote:
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2" Of Styrofoam around the outside should make the concrete walls much warmer.

/watch?v=kwn0Vjw_ji0
Good link about heat transfer and vapor transfer. I'll have take notes on this video, it goes fast.

Here are my unedited notes from the cold climate video which may serve as a checklist.
It seems that for existing construction, you'd need some way of measuring vapor and water transfer, relate that to basement comfort and decide what your comfort is worth in dollars.

Basement insulation


Cold climate research

-below grade heat loss is outward, vapor pressure is inward.

-above grade, in winter vap out, in summer it's in.
-understand moisture flow, liquid and vapor
-capillary wicking water upward. Need a capillary break between footing and foundation.
-vapor comes in two ways, by air and diffusion (pressure), Soil is 100% RH.
-preferred is to put water membrane (spray on or roll on) and insulation outside so water & vapor does not saturate the walls. Then the wall stays warm and if any moisture is in the wall it can rapidly be dried out by the basement air.
-basement wall moisture content strongly predicts joist moisture content by vapor transfer. Joist insulation makes it worse. So extend the outside insulation over the rim joist.

-You can insulate from the inside but it has to be perfect because the wall moisture control has not been taken care of. The cold basement wall will get condensation. And if your basement floods the interior fiber insulation has to be removed.
-You could use styrofoam on the wall interior but basement wall surface has to be dry. The bottom foam edge needs to be sealed.
-The slab has to stop water from underneath so use aggregate to allow drainage and prevent wicking.
-Seal the sump lid to prevent humid air coming into the basement.
-Use a thermal barrier under the slab because warmer is drier and the slab becomes part of the conditioned space.
-Don't carpet the slab.

-The lump sum cost of exterior insulation may pay for itself over time. This insulation needs to be protected from physical damage. Interior insulation systems are risky but may be cheaper in the short run.
-Use paperless drywall for finishing, no insulation, use flat latex paint.

-The rim joist should also be part of the conditioned space.
-You could use spray foam inside but it may not bond properly. The joist may absorb moisture.


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