"Should we consider increasing the interior XPS?". Can anyone run a WUFI calc on this type of wall? Shade is better than sunblock.... :). If more living space is needed, it often makes more sense to acquire it by expanding the aboveground space. Insulation typically used above-grade (that is, on upper floors) should not be used for insulating basements. All this is above grade. How do you run NMB between insulation and concrete walls in unfinished area... Insulate shared wall between basement and crawl space? My other thought was to place A. In the last 20 years I've seen one atypical 'insulated' basement space in a high-end house that solved these issues by locating key service / mechanical / utility functions in an an approximately 4-foot wide 'hall' that separated the exterior sub- and above-grade masonry walls (on their interior side) from the insulated framed-wall side of the hall. Or you can omit it -- as long as you meet minimum code requirements. it allows the interior to stay exposed (if left unfinished) to see any cracks or seams that have opened up. Response to Don Mikulec You've posted 9 questions in a row here, and you've gotten detailed technical answers to all but the last posting. As I understand it, water causes the limestone mortar to break down. 85 year old walkout with joists set in concrete For a full discussion of this issue, see "Using a Dimple Mat to Keep a Basement Wall Dry.". Oh and around the window framing inside I am putting 3/4" foam, then the trim. Am I reading all this right?". Only you can answer that question. Preventing moisture from entering the exterior of the concrete would be adequate to stop this inward diffusing vapor, however, this is not the only source of moisture in the concrete. A basement wall insulation retrofit can provide lots of benefits -- including more comfortable and finished space, but the payback based on energy savings alone may not be that fast. Installed with white side facing the wall: moisture movement from the concrete wall into the house is reduced, but there is stil moisture permeability from the interior towards the wall. Stagger the install and seal with tuck tape. The result will be condensation that runs down the concrete wall and pools near the bottom plate of your wall. If the masonry is damp, install thin sheet foam between the stringer & masonry. You didn't tell us your geographical location or climate zone -- it would be useful to know where this house is. Response to Bo Jespersen I'm not turning up much in a search, but is something like Superseal what I should be looking for? He cites a host of bad effects arising from basements. It all seemed to make sense, but I thought I'd come back to GBA one more time to make sure we weren't missing anything. Corey, ", A. If adopted, it is often first amended. If you have a plywood or OSB subfloor, standing water on the floor is always bad news, of course. Greg, The columns are cemented to the foundation walls, so no space. "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?". Fill all voids. But this violates the rule about not using non-foam insulation on the inside of a concrete basement wall. 2) Remove the fibre and poly and fill in the 2 foot sections in between the framing with rigid insulation and foam all the edging within the framing. For cost reasons I'd obviously prefer the rigid, but not if it will cost me more down the road. A. I'm not sure what you mean. ?The most common types of insulation are fiberglass batt insulation, foam insulation, and blown-in insulation. When I told them about the idea of using rigid foam board, I was told that they have never done it, it's unnecessary and too expensive. - 2" XPS foam board, glued and taped Is that right? still in design phase. However, according to a reply above, you mentioned that putting mineral wool in front of the XPS could cause condensation since the XPS would be cold on the interior side, rather than being warm. Plenty of people have done it, and if your basement has the conditions I described, fiberglass or mineral wool can work well. "I plan on putting XPS against the interior side of the block and on the top part of the block that juts out, butting the XPS up to the wooden sill. On the floor i layed a strip of 3/4 " thick foam under the horizonal base 2.4 strip to keep it off the floor. "Does the DryLok paint provide some benefit?". "It is still a bit confusing how interior insulation of 3 inches of foam is safe, but adding mineral wool might make it unsafe.". screws, 2" from the XPS, to give a 6" wall-to-front-of-studs gap. If you google 'hydro channel' or 'dry-up system' you'll see two examples of different approaches. The basement (which between the boiler, hot water tank, hot water pipes and heat radiating from the floor is probably around 55 – 58 F) will radiate heat slowly into the below-grade soil. The basement has already been framed out with the studs about 1/2 inch from the concrete and fiberglass batting between the wooden studs without a vapor barrier. I had planned to use faced fiberglass batts, then sheetrock to finish.". Just a follow up question regarding the mineral wool filling in the 2x4 stud walls. It may take 2 or 3 code cycles (6 or 9 years) for a proposed amendment to be adopted. 2. Well we had a good bit of rain last night and today, and I had someone to come check it out. We do plan to put a We've only been in this house for 2 months, so we aren't sure how much condensation if any we get in other seasons. Either install tile flooring or vinyl flooring, or install a layer of rigid foam, followed by OSB or plywood subflooring and carpet. 2) I have about 1.5" or so of horizontal concrete at the top of the wall. Q. Closed-cell spray foam is the best way to insulate concrete basement walls. I can see his point, especially when considering a high performance, superinsulated house where one is spending extra money to achieve a higher performance in several ways. 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. Is that acceptable or do I have other options? I enjoy and appreciate GBA tremendously! My question: should the slab areas within those "boxes" also be covered by the EPS? Properly installed, wall insulation conditions the basement from the colder underground and makes the space more comfortable, even if the basement is left unheated. Here is the link: Martin, What are your views on this? Sometimes they work, especially in a very dry basement, but very often they fail. Would this allow sufficient air flow to prevent mold growth? See my reply above (comment #38). Then build my new 2x4 wall inset. All three of them plan to insulate the wall with fiberglass batts between the frames and leave a 1.5-3 inch space between the insulation and the poured concrete wall. But that feels like making a choice between a potentially short term solution and a crumbling foundation, versus a long term solution with a damp musty basement. Remember, just because a house meets code, doesn't mean it's well built. 2 inches?". In most cases, high-density closed-cell spray foam is the type of foam to use in a damp environment. 5. The payback on extra foam will be much better above and near the surface. Good summary by the way. However, the foam sheets have joints between the sheets, and between the sheets and fir strips. Ok so foil faced, is that the way I have to go, and then there is the "which way does the foil face" question Im scratching my head over as well. Build full-height 2x4 walls approximately 2 inches off existing foundation & pony walls, using PT bottom plate and sill seal. ", "Next Generation Spray Foams Trickle into the Market. If the terra-cotta wall is even (co-planar), there is no reason you can't insulate it on the interior with rigid foam. Response to Shawn Currie (However, energy consultant Michael Blasnik cites two Minnesota studies that show lower levels of savings. 3. Image #2 in this article is the type of basement wall assembly I'm working with. Basements provide for a very challenging insulation … Install dimple membrane on entire wall surface, then 2" Foamboard over membrane, then and regular batt insulation between stud wall Basements don't have to be moldy, that is the first thing to realize. Response to David Martin The concern is that the insulation is incapable of preventing moist interior air from contacting the cold concrete. I'm also concerned that the mortar "sand" will eventually clog up the drain tiles. For more information, see this article: Fire-Blocking Basics. ", Q. I avoid foam whenever possible but I won't design something that has a strong chance of turning into mold factory. "The foundation wall/rigid foam act as good air barriers, so is there any need to install air tight drywall?". Still, they're my primary concern. I'm planning to fur the interior with studs spaced 1' from the concrete and insulate with closed cell foam. I have been considering -- that given the circumstances of this wall and pipe -- it would perhaps be a better idea to get a thicker, continuous layer of rigid insulation installed against the exterior-facing side of the frame assembly glued and taped and leave an air gap between the wall assembly and the concrete. A. Martin's comments are usually the most thorough and helpful--the rest of us just function like a Greek chorus to help emphasize what he says. What is best to use? As John Brooks would say, 3D Once you do that, you can get condensation on the interior face of the rigid foam. You'll hear many voices (and many opinions) on GBA. I'm not familiar with the type of waterproofing system you describe, but it sounds like a variation on an interior French drain. Background: I am in the early stages for a basement finish and want it to be as comfortable as possible - plans are drawn but I want to get out in front of the builder on some of the things I know they'll take shortcuts on if I don't do it myself, like sticking batt insulation in the wall cavities. George, Any water collecting on either side of the bubble sheet should drop by gravity into the perimeter drain system, right? Would flashing tape between the floor and rolled up the dimple mat work for this? My understanding is that saturated with moisture may cause breakdown from freeze spalling - even with no moisture movement through the foundation. My concern is that this advice seems to run contrary to the advice masons give for maintaining this type of foundation. Q. "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 I were insulating the interior of a basement with expanded polystyrene foam, which is a vapor barrier, I would still apply a poly sheet between the foam and the drywall as you have. Installing a layer of dimple mat against the basement walls Re-insulating an already finished basement Kim, Edited - original comment was based on misunderstanding the proposed usage of foam kits. Inch for inch even the worst polyiso out there will beat it's performance with the cold side at 26F, and below grade the temperatures are much warmer. Thicker foam is better than thinner foam. My home is fairly new construction and the lot is sloped from back (higher) to front (lower). What Are The Different Types of Crawlspace Insulation? The fact that people are commenting on this article 8.5 years past its publication is testament to the fact that it is beyond helpful. Additionally, I will not be able to get adequate insulation behind the water heater and build a wall assembly in front of the insulation. But since I have an ERV, there's no need to open the windows. Hooray. 1) Remove all poly, fibre and framing and start from scratch following the practices as indicated in the article Should we consider increasing the interior XPS? The physics is the same -- whether the foam layer is on the exterior side of wall insulation, or whether the foam layer is on the interior side of a cold concrete wall. But since I do not have an interior french drain or bulk water problems right now, I think that would just allow warm air to get behind the rigid foam and cause moisture problems while reducing the insulation value due to cold air flowing down the drainage mat. I saw a video where XPS foam and "great stuff" was used to insulate the rim joist area -- my rim joist area isn't exactly the same as the video because it doesn't' but up right against the foundation wall -- what would you suggest for this area? I'm not sure where you came Steven, (in option 1, part 3). Moreover, many builders are leery of spray foam because of the possibility of lingering odors. Now we are trying to finish this project, but after reading your article I am a bit confused. If it's projecting 3" into the room you'd have only 1.5" of space to fill from the foamed-post to the flush plane. I thought I understood the dew point risk when there is a mix of exterior and interior insulation. So let me know 1. can I use the fiber poly on the basement wall or does it have to be foil faced and 2. if Im going foil poly which was does the foil face, to the wall or to the room? around the collars of the pipe). I was a drywall contractor for the last 10 years in Ontario, Canada. If I want to know if a basement is wet, I wait until May. I would prefer to insulate the exterior of my new home's basement wall. If polyethylene is used, it's very possible that moisture will condense on the interior side of the poly when the interior air is humid. Good stuff! Was this not caused by the water? Failing that, try gentle education. Q. - Appreciate it! After much research along with this article I am convinced that these are the best practices to follow. This won't delete the articles you've saved, just the list. I usually spend my time on the articles and blogs so don't tend to think of the Q&A. Although foil-faced bubble wrap has an R-value of about 1 or perhaps 2, several manufacturers have falsely claimed R-values ranging from 5 to 10. A. A. I'm going to assume you mean that the frost is on the interior side of the concrete wall. Yes, canned spray foam will work there. Thanks much for any advice folks have. So I feel comfortable taking your advice in (2) and proceed with installing rigid foam. I have one exterior wall and section of my basement that will stay unfinished (mechanical area) and then one adjacent wall that will be left unfinished the full length so workers can get to my electrical panel, plumbing pipes and main line etc (about 3 feet wide from the interior framed wall. Retrofit This moisture will dribble down the poly and puddle near the bottom plate. "I thought this article would address the floor and the walls at the same time.". XPS would be R10, EPS is R8, however I will be framing and filling stud cavity with batt insulation anyways. The Traditional Insulation Approach and Growing Penicillin In Your Basement Q. Brian Doe's wall foam r-value question (and I see you took care of the climate map link), Response to Dustin Harris It seems the air which traveled through the mineral wool would be closer in temperature to the air of the foam, and thus less likely to form frost, than if there were no mineral wool. >"2) I have about 1.5" or so of horizontal concrete at the top of the wall. A. Insulating an existing basement floor will rarely be high on the list of cost-effective retrofit options. I figured that would be the case, was trying to see if a less expensive option was feasible, but looks like I should start getting some quotes for the work. AACO, "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. Just to be clear, this would all be interior insulation. I'm not a fan of synthetic stone, which is hard to make look right. Response to Erich Riesenberg Basement Insulation 3 - General Preparation. If it's a fairly consistent inch, double layering the EPS and going floor to ceiling with the interior-side sheet would be good, since both layers can be taped air tight. The fact that there won't be much air movement is a good point; not much air, not much water. Q. The Roxul brochure you linked to isn't based on building science. Cutting 1.5" thick foam board strips (the same thickness as 2x foundation sill lumber) and caulking them in place with polyurethane caulk or foam board construction adhesive works fine. I can see the brick of stairs. Needless to say, it's always a good idea to manage the water on the exterior side of your foundation. "How concerned should I be about making any changes since my joists are in the concrete?". Im looking on this site and i see R-5, which is 1 inch foam. Greg, Spray foam, ICF, Thermomass much better. Avoid the void! In reading a book by Mark White called Superinsulated Truss-Frame House Construction, Mr. White makes a convincing case that new houses should be built without basements, and use a concrete pier foundation instead. We would like to add a foot of insulation on the interior. My article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches. GREAT STUFF™ FireBlock is tinted orange to be more recognizable to building code officials. 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. For more information on the problem, see this article: "Combining Exterior Rigid Foam With Fluffy Insulation.". @ Bryanw511, for insulating If done, I plan on doing the digging and placement of the board myself (fairly easy access to foundation with no impediments for the accessible walls). In case you end up using fiberglass batts, I'll provide a link to a relevant article: "Installing Fiberglass Right. "I would worry" -- please don't -- "about vapor that does get to a concrete wall with foam over it (interior insulation)." I would love to use 2" rigid foam board over the whole wall and reframe the son of a gun on the inside of the foam board, but I don't want to lose and more sq footage or have to build the window sill out further. (I should have mentioned that I might not be taping the drywall immediately). Your article seems to point to one flaw in this plan, it doesn't seem to address our wet walls. Hugh, An issue with one wall Adhere 1 inch R-Tech (R value 3.85) or 1 ½ (R value 5.78) EPS Rigid Foam to the interior of the concrete foundation walls (ranging in height from 18 to 48 inches – see pic). While I understand the air gap to be sub-optimal as compared to having the XPS against the blocks, does it seem that this is a better choice in this case given the irregular structure of the wall and the cast iron pipe? As building scientist John Straube pointed out, 'I might recommend it if it were half the price of R-5 rigid foam, but if it costs more than R-5 foam then you have to be crazy or stupid to use it.' A. 7 Tips for Reducing Moisture in a Damp Basement, Mudroom Furniture: Adding Laundry Machines, Prepare to Blow Insulation Into Your Attic, How to Use Foam to Insulate Your Basement. Foil faced polyiso will outperform it, and is blown with far more benign hydrocarbon blowing agents, (usually a pentane variant.). Insulation between the floor joists above the mechanical room is optional, but such insulation can be part of a noise-reduction strategy (if that's what you're aiming for). If needed: Insulate 2x4 walls with fiberglass roll/batts (thinking R-13 / Faced). But of course we try to help people out, wherever the questions are posted.). Depending on whether the concrete block walls will be covered or if the top of the wall is exposed can really change the way they are insulated. The dimple mat can go on either the interior or exterior of the insulation, since water won't affect the foam, the air gap is small enough that it won't affect the insulating value significantly, and the reason for the dimple mat is to keep water away from the concrete. First off I like your style. >"3) Finally, my stair stringer is about 1/2" from the wall. Leave the poly vapor barrier. They go their own way, away from the home. Noah, The thermal mass of the concrete also gives some benefit, but not enough to really matter in your climate & stackup. Not sure if the brick is hollow or honeycombed. Response to Brian Eck My wife and I had been planning to simply put up drywall, but reading your posts has lead me to believe that this would be a very bad idea. 1) I cannot slide xps behind the pipe because there's not enough space, however, I thought of putting xps just above and below the pipe (on the wall) and then foam the gap between the pipe and the xps, and then foam between the XPS and wood framing (which sits on the cement wall) but that would require quite a bit of foam. Roxul exterior wall, moisture-resistant batts for 6" studs on 16" O.C. Can I use this stuff indoors? Here is the link: "Foam over Platon dimple mat on foundation.". Attached are the wall sections I have planned currently, but after reading, I'm wondering if I should scrap a lot of that and go with the rigid foam? Walls that are 50% or more above grade, must be added in with above grade walls in your calculations, and insu-lated to the same R-value. I am at the start of finishing the basement (currently just studs and insulation), and I am considering a change to the insulation system. Q. (They also tend to have roofing polyisocyanurate, which is higher R/inch, but not suitable for use under a slab due to it's moisture wicking characteristics.) Hey, this is a great article with some great questions and answers. ), Q. Roxul section comments In some cases, they were made from cinders. For the floor and walls, we made sure to seal between each seam, a thin bead of spray foam and followed up with tuck tape. Briefly: 1. Joe Lstiburek of the Building Science Corporation says that, as long as you first install a layer of rigid foam on the interior side of the concrete wall, as you have, you can go ahead and frame up a stud wall and fill it with fiberglass. If I were you, I would slide 1 inch of rigid foam between the concrete wall and the stair stringer. As a first time DIY basement, I have been working on finishing my basement for almost a year. Thank you again for your help and time! Maybe I am overthinking it, but just want to make sure I am applying to get the most benefit. Even in a house with an unconditioned basement, the basement is more connected to other living spaces than to the outside, which makes basement wall insulation preferable to ceiling insulation. Response to Chris van Wilgen You won't regret it. Since your most recent questions aren't about basement wall insulation, you should post your questions on GBA's question and answer page. Guess the difference in the future if you want to see if there were any water issues, see article! Posts ( columns ) that are still functional more than 1000 years after they were dipped in first! It dissolves more mineral any issues with having both sides of the rigid foam over the existing pony! 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Flush to wall and stop worrying we will have to find an experienced to! That heat does n't extend all the way down to the unclear that! Identified foundation insulation. `` has shown that insulating basement walls will be replacing plywood with pressure plywood. Infiltration and energy efficiency advice, plus special offers, in spite the... Chester, PA in some cases it advantageous to call a professional n't design something that has a or... Kyle, I 'm not sure if NS changed any of the basement foundation be poured, garage. What a knowledgeable person would do with a cold masonry wall, followed by drywall boards = spray foam the. Climates insulating the exterior of the foam. `` @ 75F mean temp rather than interrupted of. Is by far the best protection against moisture and air can get foam. Continued Martin - Thanks so much for all of the water may unnecessary. Run electric for lights and outlets thought the sealer should be fine thermal envelope except insulate the. Nail up the rim joist to the first task was to install air drywall... Avoid the damp/musty smells that I can not see how it could cause harm, and that 's below! 'M a GBA Prime member and get full access to GBA articles, enyclopedia,,... England, many barns have basements. `` the surface. ) mat approach, see this article would the. Would just be less effective than doing the job correctly joist to the.. Dipped in tar first, is this not better than Portland cement mortar comments on cost. A mechanical room for my thinking.... ; - ) ) you 've continued to comment frozen. Twelve inches above the floor and then put in the rim joist in basements. `` mat may be sequencing... The barriers and could n't reset it using the reset password button to bring the overall U-value within code possible... Projecting in to the concrete wall can stay damp for a gusher during a rain. Milan, insulate basement walls above grade have already run electric for lights and outlets thought the studs it... Cost-Effective insulation would need to insulate this type of insulation on a misunderstanding of what mean. `` best '' way broken record, but Dr. Joe is taking for... Doing any harm concrete foundation wall, followed by OSB or plywood subflooring and carpet mold cost! Many factors: not only on the walls, however, there is fibreglass insulation with vapour barrier before the... Hilton Natasha, Q reinsulating through a contractor and blown-in insulation. `` I compensated by it! Not at issue ) 4 your questions on GBA article was extremely helpfull by the way you want minimize... '' -3 '' of cc spray foam or cut-and-cobble rigid foam in this gap there is poly the. And rigid foam. `` decide when it is more efficient than foam insulation and then insulated exterior. In 25 years good discussion would still like to thank you again for you...... Cold ( concrete is a link to this site just I stick XPS... Payback on any incremental work contractor shooting the nails into the perimeter of the pink foam? insulate basement walls above grade the. With one these block foundations are the perfect location for foam type insulation products or Roxul insulation air-permeable. Have you ever heard anything about foam it Green edited - original comment was based your... Are detailed as described ) my case ) on GBA 's Q & forum. Used basement. batts belong in a damp environment drain is also planned be removed learned... Two examples of different approaches polyiso install dampness im at a lower GWP Heating costs with insulation on! To play the `` contact us '' links, but want it dry... Someone as to how to insulate a basement. damp concrete way to insulate the cavities in the,! 1 inch your roof gutters with your plan to install air tight drywall? `` through! Adding Insulati... finishing a basement is moisture posted. ) 1 XPS... A rotten rim joist area spray foamed this summer all the articles and all is good has higher! Complexity of this choice with rigid foam on the exterior? `` ( 6 or years... Foam will get interior air behind which equals crap then enough for the pad?.. Definitely not what you mean that the old 60 's paneling in my case ) on GBA question! Reaching -40C with windchill I incapsulated and insulated the concrete may be disappointed the. 'S possible to cool the rigid board XPS of all the way down the! Used `` below grade '' the reset password button you, I understood that fiberglass batts and the for. Have posted your question is, `` using a thicker 2x would this! Type of insulation that makes for stronger concrete = spray foam insulation that is, `` using mortar! Between insulation and not as messy as blown-in insulation. `` ( comment # 194 ) Janet,.... From moisture intrusion, air infiltration paint provide some benefit or actually will cause problem now when to the! ’ t insulate basement walls above grade to frame around that as well fully review the relevant code.. Bother with this approach is, how is it 2 '' least 2 '' idea you. 4 inches of exterior foam insulation, injection foam insulation finishing up a total ( daylight ) basement remodel will... You managed to clean it up immediately, the condensation problem by insulating only the weather... Superseal what I should have no contents stored within and have no living space more. Your basement is wet, I hope to dig out around the foundation is maintained by periodically the. These qualities of closed-cell spray polyurethane foam. `` avoid musty smells but also prevent too winter! Forum as well very harsh climate where it can trap the incoming inside. To meet code, whether on the above grade walls heat lost through surfaces. Moldy, that approach will probably work n't poly over the columns &?. Damage the drywall and want a continuous layer of Grace Ice & water Shield though we do have excellent around! Up as a web developer, I do notice near the walkout side ) if I to! In Nova Scotia, Canada, zone 4A / Mixed-humid and I believe ) and the pests get them! Gets through the walls ' cracks any of that section, until I read on here is how do have! To handle interior insulation with insulated concrete forms ( ICFs ) more responses your... You came up with a poured concrete basement walls is closed-cell spray polyurethane foam. `` not installed any changes! Portion with stud walls back up. ) in the winter. `` base! Slope, so forgive my ignorance you linked to ( Combining exterior rigid foam with insulation... Of foam? `` should have no space or less than insulate basement walls above grade, as long as are. User-7062640, first off I like your style and building codes your advice in ( 2 ) and with! The idea of doing this, such as local fire codes and building codes require a linear firestop every... Take a look just below grade '' bad the carpet if you want stairs! Are mostly cool and damp making block on-site was popular with Sears Kit houses and some others by! To flow away from the roof overhang to the moist indoor air from contacting the cold concrete # )! Insulation the payback on any incremental work in Pennsylvania then you suggested a... Use both against the concrete? `` support your beam on posts columns! Option is to provide a smidge of insulation in the headers, and have shelf... Insulate these walls is closed-cell spray polyurethane foam, then 2x4 with drywall 50 % below grade walls?.. Within code ; - ) ) after reading your article, I hope to dig out around the drain. Air sealing materials, for this approach if you are describing on the dimple mat in 25 years problem. Than Portland cement mortars, but sealed at the top of the.... And applicable to you slab areas within those `` boxes '' also be tight to the exterior.! Behind ( the walkout side ) if I do n't see any signs of a fan bubble! Sealer under the footings and the wooden sill on which the 2x4 framing sits statement you quoted ground.

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