Insulating basement walls with rigid insulation

Hello, I am wondering if it is worth insulating my basement walls with 1/2 inch pink ridgid insulation (R3)? The previous owners of the house slapped nice wood panelling up but put no insulation on 1/2" wood strapping. I dont feel like ripping the whole works out and redoing with 2X4 studs etal. But am not adverse to taking down the panelling , insulating then putting up the panelling again, Any ideas?...is this economical? Thanks to all, Bro Bones
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Brother Bones wrote:

Foamboard is good but check the specs on any you use to see if a layer of drywall is req'd for fire protection. Jim
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Actualy R3 is not much , it will help But it more depends on your area- Zone. For a high freeze area , Zone 5 or less... R 20 will make a difference on basements. R 3 isnt worth the effort unless you are zone 10 + ..... You give no area info , or KWH coist
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Fire protection between a basement room and the foundation wall? Are we worried about scorching the earth?
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You have to protect the insulation from flame. The gases given off when some styrofoam burns is deadly.
NJBrad
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Didn't we (as a people) learn anything from the deaths last winter in the nightclub fire in RI?
Exposed foam is a huge fire hazard.
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John Hines wrote:

Yes, we learned that you do not know the FACTS.
The foam used in the club was NOT a fire retardant material. It is NOT insulation and should not be used as such. It was a soft urethane that is used for sound deadening and packaging applications. It was used in a manner not according to any fire codes.
Foam insulation must meet certain criterea for flame spread and burning. It is trated with chemicals that will not support a fire unless it is exposed to an open flame. Take away the flame and the fire goes out. How do I know this? I run tests on material on a weekly basis to be sure it does go out. There are many types of foam insualtion. Sytrofoam is the Dow Chemical trade name for the blue extruded polystyerene foam board. Georgia Pacific also makes it in pink, and I've seen another company making it yellow. Then there is the white "bead board" that is made from expandable polystyrene beads. There are modified grades that must be used for insulation and any building applications. You can put a torch to it and it will melt and burn, but you take the torch away and in a few seconds it stops burning. Other ridgid insulationis made from urethane foams and they are also fire retradant.
Fire codes do call for any foam insulation to be covered with another material though. Sheekrock is best. I've seen tests where vinyl coated paneling burned up and left the foam behind. Paneling is not a good wall covering material.
Please find out the FACTS before you make statements. I've been in the industry for 34 years and I'm very comfortable with knowing the safety of proper foam insulation. They are now building entire houses from it with concrete. Check out www.standardicf.com www.integraspec.com www.polysteel.com for a few examples. Very energy efficient homes.
--
Ed
snipped-for-privacy@snet.net
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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[snip]
So I'm wrong, but I'm right by code.
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Brad wrote:

In spite of being resistive to ignition foam insulation will contribute a large volume of toxic smoke to a room and contents fire. This is why building codes require that such foam panels be covered with sheet rock or another fire resistive material. Basement fires are particularly difficult to fight because the attack team has to "make the stairs" against the rising heat unless they can apply distributor nozzles from the floor above through a cut hole or apply streams to the seat of the fire through exterior windows. This latter technique increases the likelihood that the fire will be forced into the walls of the building and once the fire has possession of the frame the building is lost. This is not meant to imply that the rigid foam is a bad product but rather to warn that it must be installed in accordance with the instructions that are included in it's labeling, and included in it's listing in the UL building materials book. -- Tom H
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Tom Horne wrote:

Please clarify your statement. NOT ALL foam make toxic fumes. Some urethanes do, styrenes do not. The byproducts of burning styrene foam are carbon dioxide and soot. While it is not good to ingest and the quantities can be large at times, it is not any more toxic than the fuel in your oil heater or fireplace. Anything that displaces oxygen can result in suffocation.
I have to laugh at people that talk about toxic fumes and air pollution and their dangers while puffing on a cigarette. -- Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

snip
No one who works in construction or fire safety should be ignorant of the "smoke contributed" by foam products including styrenes. Pound per pound insulating foams have a much higher smoke contributed rating then naturally occurring combustibles such as wood. The products of combustion of pyrolized styrene are only as you describe in a fuel limited fire. Once the fire progresses past the free burning phase; between five and fifteen minutes after ignition in a residential sized compartment; the products of combustion will be dominated by carbon monoxide because the fire will then be oxygen limited. Covering the foam insulation with well fastened sheet rock markedly limits it's smoke contributed rating. -- Tom H
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Our firecodes require that foam insulation be covered with a fire resistant covering. Eg: sheetrock. Wood panelling doesn't cut it.
These days you can't even put panelling over bare studs. You have to sheetrock underneath the panelling.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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I was wondering the same thing, but seeing that I don't actually heat my basement, I have my doubts as to if insulation would help me any.
Do you heat your basement?
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On 9-Feb-2004, scott snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com (Childfree Scott) wrote:

Unless you insulate the basement ceiling, you are heating the basement, just not very efficiently. Heat moves from where it's warm to where it's cold. Even an unheated basement should be insulated if you live in a cold area. If you live in a hot area and spend on air conditioning, you can also benefit from insulating the above-ground and top-most portion of the underground bit of the basement walls.
Mike
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