spray foam insulation for drafts???

Hi all, here is my dilemma: I bought a house 2 years ago in the summer with a half finished basement (supposedly). This is where my tv is and is a busy spot. I found out my first winter that the walls were not insulated and and that there are some nasty drafts. I stuffed insulation between the floor joists and where the top of the foundation meet. This hasn't helped with the draft problems. I am wondering if I should cut out an area at the top of my wall and ceiling and try to use the spray foam insulation to seal the area between the floor joists and foundation wall without bothering to insualte all the wall or should i just rip all the drywall down and insulate it all. I want to use the sray insulate because the regular insulation doesn't help with the drafts. I have also heard that Ruxol insualion prevents drafts and wonder if I should go with it. I recently saw a home repair show on TV and they used the spray in their atis to solve the draft issue.
Kudos Steve
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It sounds like it wasn't finished properly. I'm betting that if they didn't use insulation, they didn't put a vapour barrier up either. Insulating the walls is just asking for a damp basement, etc.
Cut a small section of drywall out and see if there really is no insulation and check for the plastic vapour barrier. It should be between the drywall and studs, so any insulation would be in contact with the foundation, not the drywall.
If there's no vapour barrier you might plan on taking the drywall down and redoing the job. Major pain and major waste, but at least you'll know it's done properly. While the drywall is down you can install plastic "envelopes" around your electrical boxes to help keep the drafts out as well.
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Yes, there is no vapour barrier or insulation behind all of the finished part. The basement is also very damp in the summer. Sould I re-drywall and vapour barrier the whole basement andd not just the half that is currently drywalled?? Also, what do you think about the spray foam for the drafts?? The house was built in 1950 and I've talked with a few of my neighbours who have the same problems with drafts. Actually, there are drafts allover the house. kudos Steve

some
didn't
insulation
"envelopes"
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If you want to do it the right way, yes.

It will help, but there are other ways that may be better in some areas. Do some checking for where the air is coming in.
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If by "spray foam" you mean the kind that comes in an aerosol can and expands to fill a space, or similar items, I think it might be a bad idea. I am not entirely sure on the details of this, since I have only seen it used in a few particular places: - it expands like crazy, and puts a lot of pressure on things that can't handle it, like drywall, window and door frames (especially vinyl), etc. It can easily "burst" a wall cavity, or bow a window frame out of shape. - it dries to a hard, dense solid, which makes later renovation and modifications a big pain.
As far as I know, it is best used only in small quantities, for particular purposes -- like filling up medium-sized gaps in a wall, and spot-insulation to get rid of drafts.
There are spray insulation products, though, that are meant for entire walls, like cellulose (fluffed-up newspaper), fiberglass, and other synthetic products. We did most of our house in cellulose, which required drilling a few dozen little 1-inch holes in each room to blow in the insulation.
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I don't mean the spray cans for door jams, i mean the type of spray resin that most insulation companies provide. They use a spray nozzle and compressor. I don't want to do the whole basement with it just between the floorjoists and foundation connection point. The rest of the walls i would use regular r12 insulation and vapour barrier. I guess nobody has had experience with the professionals who spray the foam in?? thanx

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I used to have a friend who had a cellulose blower. That can be a really great answer to your insullation need. Like the other poster said, it does mean drilling some holes.
One friend of mine foamed in the door frame around his side door. It expanded and pushed the frame in so much that the storm door wouldn't close. ah, well. Can't win?
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Operator error. Used properly, it is a very good product. It can be the answer to the air infiltration problem the OP has.
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On 1/17/2005 1:15 PM US(ET), dude took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

If removing all the drywall is not a problem for you (other than getting rid of it), I would go that route. I have a 1/2 basement around 30' x 30', so only 3 walls are to the outside and they are 1' out of the ground in the front and 2' out of the ground on the side and back. Poured concrete walls. I also have 5 vinyl clad wooden single paned basement windows on two adjacent walls, 4 on the side wall and one in the back, each 15"H x 30"W. What I did... 2 x 4 framing 16" OC all around the 3 outside walls. I also have a Bilco door, but I installed a steel clad door in the wall framing for further insulation there. 3-1/2" fiberglass insulation batts between studs (paper side facing in). 3-1/2" fiberglass between ceiling joists (put there for noise abatement when the kids were small and boisterous and this was their playroom) Plastic vapor barrier stapled to studs, floor to joists. Sheetrocked. Dropped ceiling with 2' x 4' panels. Partially carpeted floor. I have no heat in the basement except for ambient heat from the oil burner and the propane water heater which are both in a utility alcove under the staircase. Currently the outside temp is 22F. The wall thermometer next to my computer desk reads 66 as does the one on the other side of the room. In the NY summer, the temp down here never goes above 75F.

-- Bill
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I guess the vapour barrier plays a big role in draft reduction and the insulation for heat retention. I didn't want to tear out all the drywall but I don't see any other choice. My main concern is the draft problem. If I can resolve it with vapour barrier, then most of my current problems will be solved.
thanks

--
Bill



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The folks at fomofoam seem to think it's a good idea... but they sell the stuff. ;) (If i reacall, they mention this very application, the junction of foundation and house framing)
No ties to the company... it's the only one i know of that sells DIY foam.
Does anyone know of others? (I can't seem to find anyone here in pittsburgh that does retrofit foam install)
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