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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    4

    Default Insulating Basement

    A similar question was posted earlier today. I live in Ohio and have hardwood floors throughout the house. The floors are cold during the winter. If I were to insulate the basement ceiling - (1) Will the floors be warmer? (2) Is this even worth it? cost of insulation -vs- savings in heating?

    Also, when installed, does the vapor barrier go towards the basement ceiling or the basement floor?

    Any feedback will be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Insulating Basement

    If you have a basement then you won't loose much heat ( if at all ) to the basement from upstairs since warm air rises. In fact the warm air from the basement will rise toward the floor above.

    I'll admit I'm having quite of a bit of fun doing temperature experiments today after purchasing a digital infrared thermometer which measures surface temperature.

    For example .... in my basement the ambient air temperature is 60 degrees measured with a decent quality mercury thermometer.

    With the infrared digital thermometer the basement floor temperature was 56.2 degrees and the underside of the upstairs floor is 60.4 degrees. Upstairs the hardwood floor temperature is 61.5 degrees in the same spot with the ambient air temperature around 63 degrees in that room.

    Putting insulation to the underside of the floor from the basement I don't believe will have that much benefit versus the cost.

    One area that is most important and commonly overlooked is the rim joist. Sealing and insulating this area will prevent drafts and cold transferring in and cooling the floors.

    Another example .... I removed the insulation at the rim joist for one area. The surface temperature of the floor along that edge was 54.6 degrees ... replacing the insulation the temperature was 58.3 degrees. This also indicated there is a poor seal along the bottom of the exterior wall and the floor . ...these areas can be very cold from drafts.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Insulating Basement

    Here is a picture of what canuk is talking about.I have a thermal infrared imager and investigate homes for energy loss.
    Sometimes you need to see where your issues are because your cold feeling may be infiltration from the rim or other areas.If you think you may have a problem find a thermographer in your area to help you.The cost of a scan is a few 100 dollars but will pinpoint your areas instead of guessing.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    4

    Default Re: Insulating Basement

    Thanks for the information. I should look into those thermal readers...sounds fun to use.

    In addition to looking at the rim joist, I'm assumming I would want to look at insulating my crawl space? Should I use faced or unfaced insulation? If I use faced, which direction does the vapor barrier go?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    The Great White North
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    Default Re: Insulating Basement

    If you are talking about the walls of the crawl space then unfaced bat insulation is all you need ... or better yet sheets rigid foam will work ... which ever you choose you will really only have to do three exterior sides and don't have to do the basement wall in the crawl space.

    Now if it's the underside of the floor above the crawl space then you could use the faced bats with the paper toward the floor of the room above. Then cover that with rigid foam sheets for a continuous thermo break and increased insulation ... or with a house wrap material.

    Hope this helps.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Insulating Basement

    To make sure I have this correct. For the ceiling, have the paper face up towards the floor above, then cover with a Tyvek type material? Thanks again for your assistance.

    Robert
    If you don't mind I'll post the reply in the thread. This may help anyone else following along with answers or to offer suggestions.
    Robert ... you're welcome ... the answer to your private message :

    Yes .... have the paper face toward to the floor above ... since that will be the warm side. The idea of the faced part of the bat is for vapor barrier and the vapor barrier should always be on the warm side.

    The reason for the house wrap ( Tyvek or similar) is for providing an air barrier also it will let any moisture that will accumulate in the insulation to breath out.... plus it can help with keeping the insulation in place.


    Hope this helps.

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