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Old 07-11-2013, 05:47 AM  
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Default Is spray foam insulation a good choice for...


I own an old house with a stone foundation. The basement has a damp, earthy smell and sand (maybe degraded mortar) falls through the cracks. Someone suggested having a company come in and line it with spray foam insulation. I have done a little research and there is one school of thought that warns against using this product. Their argument is that the moisture is trapped which could lead to other problems. The article is below.

Now, the article talks about the trapped moisture affecting the wood sill, etc but in my basement I believe that the foam would stop at least a foot short of any wood but it still worries me.

Any advice would be appreciated.

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Old 07-11-2013, 06:07 AM  
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I'm skeptiacl like you on use of foam. I think its great on exterior walls or areas where moisture intrusion will not be an issue. I think we are going to see some issues down the road with some improper installation much like we saw when drivet hit the market years ago. But thats just my

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Old 07-12-2013, 06:04 AM  
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Originally Posted by oldognewtrick View Post
I'm skeptiacl like you on use of foam. I think its great on exterior walls or areas where moisture intrusion will not be an issue. I think we are going to see some issues down the road with some improper installation much like we saw when drivet hit the market years ago. But thats just my
You and I know all to well that being in this business there is always the latest and greatest we have to install now to solve all our home problems.

I personally from experience thing foam is ok in some applications. remember each home is different in design and wetness. (Keeping it simple)
I have used foam in the past and have had some serious issues in the begining with 1/2pd open cell in a new construction job. I have also inspected homes with issues on the coast where the lumber shrank after the foam was installed in a new construction. The exterior plywood had already decayed, mold was growing and the insulation was wet in the wall on all the skinned surface after 3 years. Not to mention the carpenter ants that had moved in rent free. Now for the past few years I was also using www.nationalfiber. on our jobs. NO issues, No complaints, and no bugs. From now on will only use dense pack cellulose.

Good luck to you, everyone has an opinion on this, but I will not use foam again.
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:39 PM  
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Generally, stone foundations should not be insulated on the inside. Basements, concrete slab floors, brick and stone are all natural air conditioners because they have thermal mass. That is, that they store up the heat or cold that surrounds them and then re-radiates it. This is why underground areas like basements and caves make the best wine cellars. Insulate the basement ceiling to improve air conditioning costs for the first floor. Any other exterior items like glass balustrade systems will make home more stylist.
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Old 08-31-2013, 07:46 AM  
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To get rid of that damp smell, close off the basement windows and doors and run a dehumidifier. The smell will be gone in a few days. Otherwise, the cool walls and floor will always collect moisture from the humid air in this old home, regardless of what you do.

In modern homes that have walls and slab that are insulation this is not so much an issue, but I doubt very much your walls or basement floor are insulated.

With respect to the foam question, I think your best bet would be to first seal up the cracks with some sort of foundation repair kit - a building supply store will have them and I have used them in the past. Then paint up the walls with some basement waterproofing paint. Then see how that holds up over a season where you get some unusually heavy rain and go from there with the insulation. Since you are in sand, you should be able to insulate without issues of frost heaving that often occurs in northern areas of heavy wet clay soil. Don't know where you live - perhaps post this info. Not too sure about using foam - note that the article you posted a link to is from a contractor that has their own interests in mind so even though there is some truth in what they say, they might be stretching things a little. At any rate, your best source of info would be to see what works best in your geographical area with your soil type and water drainage situation - building supply and lumber yards (not big box stores) are good sources of info on this as they know their products well and how they are used locally. A general contractor (like InspectorD above) is also a great source of info - find a friend or friend of a friend in the area that is a GC.

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