Basement Insulation - Exposed in Utility?
We had our basement insulated with spray foam (then finished the rest with stud walls and drywall), and looking back it was stupid to have this done in the utility room BECAUSE...
Now we have exposed insulation in a room we did NOT intend to finish. It has taken over a year and all we have financially, ability wise, emotionally, etc. to complete this total DIY project (large basement living room, bathroom, linen closet).
Of course when we had the insulation contractor out they told us it was no problem to leave it exposed, and that if we wanted we could paint it with fire retardant paint if we were concerned. Shame on me for not doing my homework on this; so far, this is our major area of failing to do homework on the DIY project, I am happy to say the rest has gone OK if super long and difficult.
I am now devastated to realize that what we thought would just be a 10x10ish space with furnace, water heater, soil stack, misc utilities, and a little storage might have to be finished because there will be exposed insulation on two of the walls and in the rim joists.
The vents and utilities that cover the ceiling in half the room would make the ceiling height about 6' there, and a nightmare to frame out. This is a 1950s house.
As you can see I am down to my last nerve here on this project :), but really the idea of finishing a whole 'nother room by building stud walls (esp given the challenges of this utilities in this area) and drywalling, AND putting in a drop ceiling around about zillion vents, soil stacks, utilities, pipes, etc. is a nightmare! That's why we weren't finishing it to begin with. If I had only told the contractor NOT to spray foam the area we'd have just paint-sealed the concrete and left it... now I am desperate to come up with something other than a total finish.
We looked into intumescent flame-retardant paint for just this purpose (over spray foam) and thought this might solve our problem in terms of safety and selling the home in a few years. However, it appears that while this provides an "alternative 15-min fire rated covering" to drywall, it is only approved for non-occupied spaces and utility areas "that are accessed only to service utilities, etc.". Because this is part of our house, even though it's a storage and utility area, I'm concerned that it counts as an "occupied space?" but I might be wrong I have no idea!
If we finish the walls by building stud walls and putting up drywall, the rim joists will still be exposed... I am concerned about safety/fire, homeowner's insurance, and inspection as we won't be living in this home more than 5 more years, maybe a few more.
Here's the best overview I could find (below).
Thanks so much,
Here is a link that might be useful: Spray Foam Ignition Barrier Summary