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
But am not adverse to taking down the panelling , insulating then putting up
the panelling again,
Any ideas?...is this economical?
Thanks to all,
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
I have to laugh at people that talk about toxic fumes and air pollution and
their dangers while puffing on a cigarette. --
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
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.
On 9-Feb-2004, scott email@example.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.
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