How to insulate on a cold storage room


I have a cold storage room underneath my front porch. It is poured out of concrete. It is around 20 long wide by 5 feet Wide. We don't use it at all for cold storage, but want to use it for regular storage year round. Obviously it is very cold in there during the winter. How do I Insulate a cold storage room to make it useful at room temperature ? Should I frame the whole thing and then use R-12 insulation or something else ? Should I just spray foam everything ? Should I use Styrofoam ?
Any ideas would help.
Thanks.
D
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I would use conventional home insulation. In most areas that would be fiberglass. I would not use Styrofoam unless I was going to put it behind a fire resistant wall. That stuff is a real killer when it burns.
In my experience most all regular storage does not mind getting cold, unless it has water in it. Maybe you can leave it as it is and just make sure you don't store something in there that freezing might damage.
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I would use conventional home insulation. In most areas that would be fiberglass. I would not use Styrofoam unless I was going to put it behind a fire resistant wall. That stuff is a real killer when it burns.
******************************************************* Code does require foam be covered with drywall, but the product of combustion are soot, water, carbon. It is actually safer than many other materials in the home. It is an oil derivative and has about the same when burned. Please take the time to look into it before making statements that exaggerate. Foam plastic for insulation does have additives (bromides) to make the fire go out when the source of ignition is removed.
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Um... First of all, I think you mean soot, water and CARBON DIOXIDE. And, that's when burned in an incinerator under ideal conditions. In a house fire, there are other products, not the least of which is carbon MONoxide.

That is probably true, but that's not saying very much.

Precidesly. The foam required to insulate a 20X5 foot room would be equivalent to burning several gallons of gasoline. Thanks, but I'll pass on breathing that.

The problem with a house fire is that the source of ignition is never removed unless everything in the room is fire retardant. It's not the same as setting a block of foam on the table in the lab and trying to light it with a match.
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"When burned without enough oxygen or at lower temperatures (as in a campfire or a household fireplace), polystyrene can produce polycyclic aromatic compounds, carbon black, and carbon monoxide, as well as styrene monomers." (wikipedia) Those are some nasty things to breath.
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"When burned without enough oxygen or at lower temperatures (as in a campfire or a household fireplace), polystyrene can produce polycyclic aromatic compounds, carbon black, and carbon monoxide, as well as styrene monomers." (wikipedia) Those are some nasty things to breath.
Well duh, everything burning is bad to breath. My point it that it is no more a danger than any other product in the typical house. Carpet, drapes, upholstery can be much worse. The insulating value far outweighs any other consideration.
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You dont mention how it will be heated, insulation wont help without a heat source, Humidity might be more of a problem than you realise.
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20 by 5! I'd love to have that for storing homebrew!
Big questions: 1. Where do you live (City/State)? 2. How deep is the frost line there? 3. How is the other part of your basement currently heated? 4. How cold does other part of your basement get unheated? 5. How is other part of your basement currently insulated? 6. How cold does the storage area get when it is 0F outside?
Unless the temperature where you live is well-below freezing for 6 weeks, it is unlikely anything will freeze. I'd be more concerned about moisture than cold. First thing I'd do is apply waterproofing - as many coats as needed.
Afterthat I'd put down a flooring of 1x6's on top of half inchers. Store what you want in there without putting up shelves. BUT leave cloth on top of some things so you can check for moisture. AND leave a closed plastic container half filled with water so you can check for freezing.
It would also help to put a thermometer in the room so you can periodically record the temperature in the storage area as well as the temperature in the other part of your basement.
If you do that, you may avoid the expense and the labor of insulating.
Dick
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