Basement with Existing Stud Walls - Insulation Options

thearrysJanuary 2, 2012

Been reading all about the recommendations for basement insulation, and feeling a bit like we need to tear apart our basement and start over! But there has to be another option, and I'm hoping someone here can shed some light on this for me.

We have Dry-lok-ed block walls, and existing stud walls (with 1/2" gap between stud walls and block walls). We're in central Illinois, so even if we could get 1/2" foam insulation in between the stud walls and the block that's not really enough thickness in our climate.

What other safe options are there?

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Until aerogel foams are developed for home insulation, there is no way that a 1/2" of common insulation materials will keep a basement wall in your climate free of condensation from warm interior air hitting the wall in winter.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2012 at 1:49PM
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Thanks for the input!

So, basically, only non-risky solution is tear out & move/rebuild the stud walls?

Is there a good link for figuring exactly what R value you need for a given climate? Seems 1.5-2" is the 'norm' in climates similar to mine, but not sure if there's a definitive resource on this.

Husband and FIL may kill me for my research. ;)

(Although if it means less work 10 years down the road when we still have a nice mold-free basement, I do believe it's worth it!)

    Bookmark   January 2, 2012 at 1:59PM
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The US Department of Energy directs you to this Zip Code specific site.

Dr. Joe Lstiburek of Building Science Corp. promulgates his "10 20 40 60 rule" for any home built north of the Mason-Dixon Line.

In Ontario, the Code minimum is 12.66 (20.04 for electric heating).

    Bookmark   January 2, 2012 at 8:24PM
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1.5-2" is the 'norm' in climates similar to mine, but not sure if there's a definitive resource on this.

That's on the wall. But the total R Value should be higher. And that can be achieved with lower cost fibrous insulation or EPS (expanded polystyrene) added between the studs.

Another alternative--in cold or mixed climates only--is the use of a MemBrain "smart" vapour retarder with fiber insulation.

Of course, any system composed in part of moisture sensitive materials is
at risk from groundwater.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2012 at 8:46PM
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