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Old 10-26-2010, 07:45 PM   #1
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Header Insulation

Hi there, I live in Toronto (cold winters, hot summers). I am about to finish my basement. Today, I was told by a hvac sales guy that I should put foam boards where my headers are and seal the cracks with spray foam insulation (great stuff). However, I also read a post that said, insulating that space in that way would create and trap condensation and rot (and or mildew) the wooden joists which are unfortunately in direct contact with the concrete. Please help.
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Old 10-26-2010, 08:39 PM   #2
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Header Insulation

Looks like there's red brick masonry behind the paper. Am I mistaken?

Also, why and how did the paper rip?

Also, I do have to agree with him. There are many things you could do though. Polystyrene does have the best R-value, it's also easy to install and you don't have to worry about breathing glass particles if your a DIYer.

If he's talking about polyurathane form, that's also amazing. Perfect for what was described.

Back onto the red brick though, is that above grade?

Last edited by npbsurfr; 10-26-2010 at 09:17 PM.
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TheMadADDer (02-20-2011)
Old 10-26-2010, 11:10 PM   #3
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Header Insulation

where are you insulating, exactly? over that concrete/brick area? i don't see any headers. if insulating in the spaces between your beams, foam board and great stuff should do fine; eps is the most permeable, but if you don't have high humidity inside, and the outside is not allowing water in, you'll be ok, i feel. the problem with foam in walls, i believe, is the foil-faced iso, which acts as a vapor barrier. if it is the second one in the wall, that is real trouble.
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TheMadADDer (02-20-2011)
Old 11-09-2010, 12:13 AM   #4
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Header Insulation

Thanks for the reply.

@npbsurfer, that's not paper, it's concrete although I can see how it might look like grayed tar paper. The bottom of the joists are approx 2 feet above grade.

@jklingel - Insulating about that horizontal 2x4, in between the joists. It's not foil faced, so I think it's going to be foam board and great stuff... the blue can...
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:47 AM   #5
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Header Insulation

So, here is what I ended up doing...

I cut and put foam pieces into the openings. I used an old hacksaw blade to cut it. This made a surprisingly small amount of mess and the cutting was amazingly easily! Then I used an expanding insulation spray foam (Great Stuff), which was really messy but I used gloves, and took my time. This provided immediately recognizable insulation.

I then measured and cut the Roxul Safe n Sound (with a breadknife). It was incredibly easy to work with! I was really stuck on whether I should put the Roxul or Pink Insulation on the outside wall, but when I called Roxul (Amazingly helpful and knowledgable, btw) The agent let me in on a little secret... Safe n Sound has an R value, of 20 something... good enough for me, especially over the styrofoam. There is a corner of the room that is usually colder, I will put some pink insulation in that area, over the Roxul, just because I have it, and I can now with little effort.

Instead of using the resilient channels which are a little expensive, and will significantly reduce my basement height I am considering purchasing carpet tape, or felt pads and running them along the joists. Then I can screw in the drywall without it touching the joist beams. This should provide adequate sound protection. I'm just wondering if I need to provide the same separation on the outside walls, which have pink insulation all the way up to the ceiling... I feel like this may be a little much and would really like to avoid moving all of my receptacles, etc...

That's all folks, I have posted a couple of pics for your general interest. Good luck!
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