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Old 12-14-2010, 10:36 AM   #16
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Does the bottom half of basement wall has to be insulated?


Ah-ha, now I see.

I haven't come across that up here. Pretty well all houses have an 8' solid concrete foundation, for obvious reasons.

The type that the OP has is typical of houses up here, I am surprised they do what you describe in Minnesota.

Learn something every day.

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Old 12-14-2010, 11:34 AM   #17
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Does the bottom half of basement wall has to be insulated?


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Ah-ha, now I see.

I haven't come across that up here. Pretty well all houses have an 8' solid concrete foundation, for obvious reasons.

The type that the OP has is typical of houses up here, I am surprised they do what you describe in Minnesota.

Learn something every day.
Why? Concrete doesn't have even close to the R value of an insulated wall.
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:36 AM   #18
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Does the bottom half of basement wall has to be insulated?


It resists frost-heave better tho'.
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Old 12-14-2010, 01:27 PM   #19
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Does the bottom half of basement wall has to be insulated?


Not really. That is what your frost footings are for.

Maybe we'll get aresponse and better pics from the OP.
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:19 AM   #20
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Does the bottom half of basement wall has to be insulated?


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Not really. That is what your frost footings are for.

Maybe we'll get aresponse and better pics from the OP.
Hi, you guys are correct. The behind of the fiberglass is also concrete, so the total height is 8'. From what I understand from your discussion, I better to remove all existing stuff. then put foam board, then studs. It's really not what want. But if it's best solution, ....
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:54 AM   #21
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Does the bottom half of basement wall has to be insulated?


Yeah, well it may not be the best solution technically, but it is one solution you must consider IF you are planning on converting that space to liveable space. Otherwise you don't really need to do anything.

You must also consider properly insulating the space above that pink stuff, in between the joists, those square 'boxes' where the concrete meets the wood. A lot of heat escapes there...

So if you are going to convert that space, then you'll not want what's there anyway...it isn't doing much more than the minimum, which - in this day and age of doing more and saving more - isn't good.
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:23 PM   #22
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Does the bottom half of basement wall has to be insulated?


Enjoy: http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...ent-insulation

Heat loss below grade: http://www.quadlock.com/technical_li...Insulation.pdf

http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...lation-systems

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Old 12-15-2010, 05:58 PM   #23
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Does the bottom half of basement wall has to be insulated?


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Originally Posted by Johnny Ren View Post
Hi, you guys are correct. The behind of the fiberglass is also concrete, so the total height is 8'. From what I understand from your discussion, I better to remove all existing stuff. then put foam board, then studs. It's really not what want. But if it's best solution, ....
I see. I forget that back then the codes were much different than now. Still wierd how they waste all that cement above grade.

A foil faced foam would be best with a higher R value than the Dow, plus you won't need a vapor barrier over it.
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Old 12-15-2010, 06:18 PM   #24
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Does the bottom half of basement wall has to be insulated?


MJW, the Canadians had/have me confused on this one as well. I thought that it was a partial exposure myself, but now think it may be completely below grade and they only insulate the top 4 feet or so due to the extreme soil temps...........
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:36 PM   #25
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Does the bottom half of basement wall has to be insulated?


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MJW, the Canadians had/have me confused on this one as well. I thought that it was a partial exposure myself, but now think it may be completely below grade and they only insulate the top 4 feet or so due to the extreme soil temps...........
I think you are right. I read another post from a Canadian Contractor and he said they only have to insulate to 2 ft. below grade. Wierd. Since the IRC code (06, I believe) went into effect here, we have had to insulate the entire wall (R10 at least, in basements and rim joists).

Still confusing (if it's true) on a half basement (split house), why they would put up block 8 feet if only half is in the ground. Maybe I'm misunderstanding that one.

If it's a full basement, then I understand the picture.

BTW, many responses I see lately just relay to building science (or 'Green Building' page). Didn't know they made the codes. haha. That site (blog) has been around for quite some time now, and points out many key things that most good Contractors already know. Maybe there should be a sticky that says "if you have a question, just go to building science webpage (blog).

No offense GBR, your posts are almost always links (that's a given), which is good, but it seems too many are just relaying links now.

Last edited by MJW; 12-15-2010 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:20 PM   #26
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Does the bottom half of basement wall has to be insulated?


Yes, the first link showed exactly what the OP has on his full height concrete (not cement) wall, and the good and bad about it from testing done in Canada. It wasn't meant for you, as you probably already know it all, as you said.
The second link was showing the heat loss below grade and the savings in dollars.
The last was commenting on the mold growth from plastic and also addressed the first as well as the heat loss below grade. I sometimes type more of an answer, when I have the time, but at least the Op can read the science as no one else offered it other than their personal opinions. I have a dozen or so B.Science sites I select that backs up my opinion or statement, rather than just a general link. You caught me this time, I'll try to do better for you....lol.

"A foil faced foam would be best with a higher R value than the Dow, plus you won't need a vapor barrier over it." ------ Does that create any problems below grade?
From the last link above on pp. 13: "The fastest and most cost effective way to
provide insulation is covering the upper half
of the foundation wall with foil-faced
polyisocyanurate foam sheathing that is fire
rated for exposed use (Figure 11). This will
eliminate the greatest source of heat transfer
through the foundation wall while still
allowing the lower half of the wall to dry to the
interior. The joints between pieces of foam
sheathing must sealed using foil tape to
prevent air leakage that could result in
condensation on the cold foundation wall.
If at a later date the wall is to be finished,
expanded polystyrene (EPS) can be used to
cover the lower half of the wall (Figure 12).
Expanded polystyrene is semi-permeable to
water vapor and will allow the lower portion
of the wall to continue to dry inwards.
However, the expanded polystyrene will
require thermal protection with 0.5 inch of
gypsum board or equivalent."



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Old 12-15-2010, 10:32 PM   #27
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Does the bottom half of basement wall has to be insulated?


It seems I already posted that exact thing with the Thermax in much fewer words. I doubt most people are going to read a 25 page blog to finish their basement.

Yes, that is concrete (poured walls) not cement. Correction accepted. Concrete is formed using cement if you want to be picky.

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Old 12-16-2010, 06:39 AM   #28
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Does the bottom half of basement wall has to be insulated?


Most houses I come across up here have full basements, and this is just another one... a full basement is intended eventually to be converted from 'bare' like the OP has, to liveable, which needs further work.

House builders have the choice of finishing it for you, or not. But by code they must provide a minimum of insulation where there is the most heat loss and that's what the OP's builder did.

I'll say it again, all that has to come off in order to insulate the concrete wall in order to 'live' down there. Polyisocyanurate panels with ot without foil, is one possibility - but every choice must be seen as integral part of a whole-house comfort system.

As plentiful as Gary's links are, and before commenting on methods that relate to our climate up here, some of you should read the information. A lot of it was probably written by a Canadian anyway.
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Old 12-16-2010, 06:13 PM   #29
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Does the bottom half of basement wall has to be insulated?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ccarlisle View Post
Most houses I come across up here have full basements, and this is just another one... a full basement is intended eventually to be converted from 'bare' like the OP has, to liveable, which needs further work.

House builders have the choice of finishing it for you, or not. But by code they must provide a minimum of insulation where there is the most heat loss and that's what the OP's builder did.

I'll say it again, all that has to come off in order to insulate the concrete wall in order to 'live' down there. Polyisocyanurate panels with ot without foil, is one possibility - but every choice must be seen as integral part of a whole-house comfort system.

As plentiful as Gary's links are, and before commenting on methods that relate to our climate up here, some of you should read the information. A lot of it was probably written by a Canadian anyway.
I still think you don't understand what a split level house is. It still has a liveable basement and it's still a full basement in most cases.

As far as Canadiens writing the laws, I wish they would keep them up there. We adopted many of them and created a huge mess and MANY ammendments to make them all work. The IRC code has been here in many forms since 2000 (maybe earlier) and since then, many problems. They are just finally coming around with ammendments to fix the code. Thanks for the incredible hockey players though.

It was a simple question, that needed a simple answer, which some people gave. I had an assumption and then had to explain myself off topic. Sorry to the OP for the sway off topic.
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Old 12-16-2010, 09:18 PM   #30
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Does the bottom half of basement wall has to be insulated?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Ren View Post
Hi, you guys are correct. The behind of the fiberglass is also concrete, so the total height is 8'. From what I understand from your discussion, I better to remove all existing stuff. then put foam board, then studs. It's really not what want. But if it's best solution, ....
My son bought a new home (in Canada)last year. It has 9' concrete walls. The walls were insulated by two courses of what is foundation wrap. Same as in the pics.
It was passed by the building inspector, so I assume that it meets our minimum code.

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