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cbrc5eric 01-29-2012 08:30 PM

Insulate rim joist & basement walls- if exterior walls have no insulation?
I'm mapping out my basement remodel. It was finished in the 1960s with yellow psychadelic floor tile and paneling installed with furring strips :laughing:. I plan on fully studding the walls, mainly for plumbing, running HVAC ducts down to the floors and possibly insulation.

BUT- I discovered the exterior walls of my house do not have any insulation :( My energy bills aren't terrible, even with the original 1955 windows (though they do have storm windows). My bills have been around $100 a month for wintertime electric and gas. I'm wondering if there is any point in insulating the basement walls and rim joist in this situation.

My thought for insulating is, since the basement is naturally colder, it will help keep heat in the basement before it flows up to the upper level.

My thought against is- it may not be worth the expense or effort, since the upper levels have no insulation in the walls. Also, I should note parts of my house the exterior brick veneer walls are below grade. It's been like that for 50+ years and I don't see any evidence of mortar failure. One theory I have is since there's no insulation, heat from the basement comes through and prevents the damaging effects of the brick soaking up water then freezing. If I insulate the wall, then the brick may freeze. This is only my thought and I may be totally off, so that's why I thought I'd ask here :)

jimmycrackcode 01-29-2012 09:08 PM

I'm actually contemplating the same thing in my 1953 home. I just had the exterior walls insulated while I had the siding off, but the basement is very cold right now. And consequently, the entire first floor flooring is cold. No insulation on basement walls or band/rim joist areas.

Sorry not offering any advice, but just wanted to let you know you're not alone on this one.


cbrc5eric 01-29-2012 09:16 PM

:laughing: Thanks for the support, my house is 1955. But brick veneer outside, I wouldn't want to punch through the brick to put in insulation so I got a quote to have foam injected through the inside walls and it came out to something like $2200 :( Not to mention the time and effort it would take to patch everything back up, I just said screw it. If my energy bills were $300 a month it may be worth it, but not when they're only around $100 or so. And I figure the top priority should be replacing things like the windows and doors with ones that don't leak. My front door is pretty leaky but I'll change that out in the spring.

jimmycrackcode 01-30-2012 06:57 AM

I did have my exterior walls insulated. The company I used drilled through the brick mortar joints on the outside and injected blown cellulose. I didn't live in the house before it for energy bill comparison, but I can tell you the walls feel much warmer to the touch now. The brick was already painted before I bought it (stupid previous owner), so I just had it repainted so there was no chance of seeing the patch holes.

If I was paying $100 for electric/gas in the winter, I would just leave it. It would take a long time to make up the cost. But if it's a comfort thing......

I was hoping someone would chime in on the basement part of your question - that's what I'm wondering about.

cbrc5eric 02-01-2012 07:24 AM

Anyone? :laughing:

Windows on Wash 02-01-2012 07:47 AM

Brick veneer that is bonded to block or brick veneer with a vent space?

Insulating the basement (unless you use something like a closed cell foam directly to the brick) should not really affect the safety of the brick.

As long as you don't use something like a vapor retarder (Class I) it will still allow the window to dry to the interior if it needs to.

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