basement insulation question

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I live in a split level house with a finished basement that I moved into back in July. This is our first winter and I noticed it was cold in the basement and after further investigating discovered that there was no insulation behind the wood panel walls. So I am in the process of removing the wood panels, which is fairly easy, and putting insulation inside the walls between the studs and on the sill plates between the ceiling joists. I have a storage closet that has no finished wall inside, it is just the foundation slab. How should I insulate this? I was thinking of using those styrofoam insulation boards and glueing them to the foundation. Also my furnace room has exposed foundation walls. I know I'm not suppose to put anything flammable near the furnace so is it better off just leaving the foundation exposed?
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The foam will work. Yes, it will save you some $ in the long run.
As for the furnace room, you must have some clearance from the heater. Check the manual for that. It cold be anywhere from 12" to 36". You can use foam insulation, but it must be covered with sheetrock to meet code.
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Is basement below grade, if it is are you sure no moisture gets in through the walls , if it does mold will grow. You can put in vents if you have forced air and are sure it can take the extra load. Moisture is a first concern
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Mikepier wrote:

Pay special attention to the top half as most of the heat loss will be there, the bottom half is far enough underground that you will not loose much heat there, the walls will be warmer.

Make sure the insulation is certified for exposed use. It is a safety issue. Most Styrofoam is highly poisonous when it burns. It must be covered with drywall for your protection and likely local fire code.

As noted there will be specifications for the furnace. Be sure to follow them and be extra careful with any foam insulation.
You may need to have someone take a look at the heat distribution (duct) system and your heating capacity before you have this all corrected. My guess is the heating equipment was not designed to heat the basement to living standards, or if it was,. it was poorly done. Only an on site inspection and some measurements can tell for sure.
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Joseph Meehan

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No, it is NOT poisonous. It gives off a lot of soot, along with carbon dioxide and water. While it is not good to inhale soot, there are not toxic fumes with either Styrofoam (Dow Chemicals trademark for extruded polystyrene board) or expanded polystyrene board. Other isocyanate foams may or may not; I'm not familiar with them.
The foam materials approved for insulation are modified so they do not burn on their own, only when there is another source of ignition. To test this, break off a piece take it outside, then burn it by holding a lighter or torch to it. remove the flame and it will go out in a few seconds. (this is not true of most packaging grade foams)
It must be covered with drywall to meet code thought.
I know you have good intentions, but be sure to check the facts of insulating foams. There are huge differences in how they react and I'm sure you want to be accurate.
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Seems to be a difference of opinions here. My friend who is a plastic engineer in the foam business disagrees with you completely on this when I spoke to him years ago about this very subject.
Check out this government site who sponsored Penn State for research on this subject. It conflicts with what you post says Ed. Also, the part on HOW the tests are done is extremely interesting.
http://www.cdc.gov/nasd/docs/d001001-d001100/d001007/d001007.html
More here
http://www.google.com/search?q=flame+spread+of+foam+board&hl=en&lr
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Ed I just took outside a piece of blue foamboard, its 15f outside and with my liitle Bic lighter it burnt and stank like polyurethane. Id say it is more dangerous then you realise
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Stink does not equate to toxicity. The flame went out too didn't it?
While you would not want to breath in soot, it is not the same as breathing in poisonous gasses. Too much of your own farts could smother you, but in moderation, they only stink.
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No Ed it burnt till it was gone. It is a petroleum byproduct , I dought you can give proof breathing it`s fumes while burning is safe, nor would you do it.
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Most of what is stated here is exactly what I said. They are lumping together a lot of foams here. I was addressing two types of styrene based boards. I've witnessed some of the testing. Under the right circumstances, yes, it will burn and give off a lot of soot. I never denied that. I've also seen where it offered more protection than other wall coverings that are considered acceptable. When used properly it is perfectly safe. When not used properly, it can and will burn. As pointed out in the web page, there are MANY different foams.
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Ed I just lit up a piece outside , it burnt right up till it was gone. I have 4 types in my house, I bet they will all burn up completely with my Bic lighter
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Did you remove the flame? Yes, it will burn as long as there is a source of ignition. When you take away the source, it will go out. Assuming you are using insulation grade material. I've been doing that test frequently for the past 35 years on hundreds of batches of material and it has never failed.
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Yes Ed I removed the flame and the blue foamboard burnt by itself till it was gone, Im going to try some more different brands.
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Well I just tried it again, it took 5-10 seconds to ligh then burnt on its own till it consumed itself. It was Dow blue styrofoam board R 5.5"
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Maybe you better update your information. There are serious real issues with burning Styrofoam.
One source http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/chem00/chem00053.htm says
"1. Polystyrene readily de-polymerizes at "campfire temperatures" giving off styrene vapor, which may or may not burn. Styrene vapor is toxic. Burning polystyrene has a characteristic odor which is largely styrene vapor."
A quick search will find many more. Under ideal controled conditions you may be right, but in real world conditions there are real problems.
When in doubt, error on the side of caution and always follow the code.
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Joseph Meehan

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Burning anything aside from wood in a campfire is pretty stupid. This does not address any other issues. Nor do they give much in the way of specifics "may or may not" ??? Does that mean they really don't know?
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

That means it depends on the conditions. Let's face it do you really want to use a material in a way that it MIGHT kill you?
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Joseph Meehan

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Anything MIGHT kill you if the house is on fire. If the house is not on fire, it is as safe or safer than most of the other material you have. Add together all the carpeting, upholstery, bedding, wall coverings, and something in there will surely kill you if it burns. Of it will give you cancer.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Very true. I was found to have cancer 35 years ago and I was given a 10% chance of living 5 years. Today after about a dozen new cancer sites, I am still here. It may get me someday, but I am working on staying ahead. I avoid the sun and use sun screen. I do the same in my home. If I know something offers a possible hazard I avoid using it, especially when there are viable alternatives. I do suggest that you no longer suggest that there is no danger or to overly minimize the danger.
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Joseph Meehan

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That is your opinion. Mine differs and I will continue to inform people of FACTS. Do as you please.
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