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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    NW PA
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    Default My family room is cold!

    My house is about 45 years old. I have a full basement under the house which has 1 heat vent situated right before the family room crawl space. It has a concrete floor (not dirt). Would adding some insulation between the joists under the family room help warm up that room? I already have some insulation in the area above that room. Not sure how much, if any, in the walls. The crawl space is 2 ft 8 in high. It will be hard to maneuver in there. If the answer is yes, what type should I buy? Do you have any other suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Boston
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    Default Re: My family room is cold!

    the type you use will be dependent on the height of the floor joists. use the highest R-value that you can fit in the joist bays then staple plastic across the joists after you get the insulation up there. it will make a very big difference in the comfort level of the room.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
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    Default Re: My family room is cold!

    suec,

    I would ask if there is already insulation between the joists at the rim joist ( that portion that sits on top of the concrete foundation, facing the exterior). My first house was built in 1970, just before the first "energy crisis", after which energy codes got stiffened. The rim joist was not insulated. Worse yet, there were horrible drafts between the the concrete foundation wall and the sill plate. Insulating the rim joist and plugging the drafts made a dramatic improvement in comfort in my basement, and the house as a whole. My basement was not finished. The walls were only painted concrete foundation walls, but it made a comfortable area after taking care of just those two items.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Pacific Northwet
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    Default Re: My family room is cold!

    If it's not already there, be sure to place plastic sheeting (heavy "visqueen" type) on the ground in the crawl space, and make sure the crawl space is ventilated. This will help reduce humidity in the house, and prevent moisture and mold in the crawlspace.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    NW PA
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    Default Re: My family room is cold!

    Quote Originally Posted by MLB Construction View Post
    the type you use will be dependent on the height of the floor joists. use the highest R-value that you can fit in the joist bays then staple plastic across the joists after you get the insulation up there. it will make a very big difference in the comfort level of the room.
    Thanks for your response. The floor joists are 9 in. high and 14 in. wide. Do I just ask for faced insulation to fit that space? I know the paper faced side goes against the warm area, right? So, that would be against the family room floor? I do have insulation between the joists on the block sill in the whole basement including the family room. I didn't know about the plastic so I will buy that, too. Thanks again!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    NW PA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: My family room is cold!

    Quote Originally Posted by ordjen View Post
    suec,

    I would ask if there is already insulation between the joists at the rim joist ( that portion that sits on top of the concrete foundation, facing the exterior). My first house was built in 1970, just before the first "energy crisis", after which energy codes got stiffened. The rim joist was not insulated. Worse yet, there were horrible drafts between the the concrete foundation wall and the sill plate. Insulating the rim joist and plugging the drafts made a dramatic improvement in comfort in my basement, and the house as a whole. My basement was not finished. The walls were only painted concrete foundation walls, but it made a comfortable area after taking care of just those two items.
    Yes, the insulation was put between the joists at the rim joist many years ago but that didn't seem to help warming up that room very much because it was still quite cold, especially at night when I'm just watching TV. I appreciated your response. I'm always open to suggestions!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    NW PA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: My family room is cold!

    Quote Originally Posted by Fencepost View Post
    If it's not already there, be sure to place plastic sheeting (heavy "visqueen" type) on the ground in the crawl space, and make sure the crawl space is ventilated. This will help reduce humidity in the house, and prevent moisture and mold in the crawlspace.
    Dear "Senior Member"!!! I thought your additional replay about being a senior member was humorous.
    Anyway, thanks for telling me about the plastic sheeting called visqueen. I didn't know about that. Are you saying I should put it on the concrete floor in the crawl space? Along with stapling plastic sheeting to the floor joists to cover the insulation??? Thanks for your help.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
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    1,361

    Default Re: My family room is cold!

    Quote Originally Posted by suec View Post
    Are you saying I should put it on the concrete floor in the crawl space?
    I misunderstood that the crawl space has a concrete floor; I assumed the concrete you mentioned was for the full basement part. That's not typical, though some new energy-efficient construction is putting concrete in the crawl space, not insulating the floor, and conditioning that space (just like a 2-foot high basement). In that case, there is a vapor barrier below the concrete. I can only guess, but that's probably not the case in your house.

    I think I'd still lay plastic sheeting on the concrete as a vapor barrier; it will help with moisture.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

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