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Question:

Basement insulation.....?

I currently have gold fiberglass, paperbacked insulation under my first floor/ on basement ceiling. (Between the joists of course) I was considering replacing it with rigid styrofoam board (blue or pink) insulation for a cleaner more attractive appearance that can even be painted. i realize this wouldnt be cheap and there would be a lot of cutting involved, and then a lot of sealing up gaps with foam spray and such. I was wondering how good the insulating properties would be as well as the sound insulation properties. Could the styrofoam insulation perform better than the fiberglass bats i have now? I'm also not sure what thickness I would need to do the duties of the fiberglass. The fiberglass is about 6 thick. What are the potential positives or negatives i could gain from the installation?

Answer:

Rigid Styrofoam 2 thick is not going to give you the R value that 6 of fiberglass insulation has = R 19. However it will look a little better. It will be expensive as a 4' x 8' sheet of 2 Dow styrofoam is about $20. You will have a lot of cutting to do also. Sometimes there is not an easy way to make a basement ceiling look good. You could install a suspended grid ceiling but as you know there are lots of pipes,ductwork,wires to go around - some of them will still remain below the ceiling. If you have the money and the time - go ahead with the styrofoam and yes you can paint it - black ceilings make the ceiling disappear. Paint all the pipes,ductwork first with black spray paint, Then paint all the styrofoam panels before cutting and fitting between the joist - touch up the cut edges after it is installed. Record some measurements to help you later find any valves,ductwork boots (floor register boxes for upstairs) and other things you may need to locate, then you will only need to remove certain styrofoam panels to get to these important locations. You already know and have thought about this a lot, So go with your instincts. If i could see it - I could tell you what I would do. Good Luck
Apr 14, 2017
All good advice. Even with new windows you may still have some leakage there. If they are not properly installed and insulated around, they are no better than the old. IN the attic you need to make sure there is still air circulation. When we moved into our home someone had blown in insulation in the attic, but covered and plugged all the vents. That was an uncomfortable summer. SOme cheap ideas.... Caulk any cracks around your foundation. Every place that 2 different maerials meet should be cau;ed or filled. Run a bead of caulk around the exterior of the windows and doors, including the bottoms. If you have large spaces to fill get some expanding foam. Ask your power/oil company about an energy audit. They are usually free and you get free suggestions from a professional, info about incentives on energy projects, and free goodies like lightbulbs and low flow heads.
Apr 14, 2017
You okorder.com/... Hope this helps.
Apr 14, 2017
Don't do it. Exposed foam is a fire hazard, and as an insulation, it's far more expensive. I bet drywall is more sound-deadening, too, just because it's more dense. I'm not sure I can see any potential positives to this proposed project, and I'm sure it violates safety standards and building codes.
Apr 14, 2017

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