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Old 03-06-2009, 08:21 PM   #1
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rim joist insulation project question


I've done some research and concluded that using fiberglass is not a good solution for rim joist insulation, so I'm looking at following this process
http://www.rd.com/57548/article57548.html

Are there any problems associated with this type of insulating?

I took a look at tigerfoam and the problem I would have with it is keeping the gun going every 30seconds. I would need to build a platform (to reach the rim joist) all the way around my basement and that would be a lot of work.

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Old 03-06-2009, 08:48 PM   #2
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rim joist insulation project question


another option is spray foam from a contractor. I am not sure just how pricey that would be, but it means you do not need to put in vapor barrier as would be needed if you used fiberglass.

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Old 03-06-2009, 09:08 PM   #3
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rim joist insulation project question


Wouldn't spray foam be similar to the tigerfoam I mentioned above. I've come to the conclusion that fiberglass should never be put in the rim joist space because it does not create an air tight seal. If I use extruded polystyrene squares sealed with caulk or an expanding foam spray then I don't need an additional vapor barrier as long as its air tight. Correct?
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:16 PM   #4
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Yes you are correct, sorry I did not read it as thoroughly as I should of. you did not state how much you had to do or if you were up for all the tedious cutting and sealing. With the tiger foam or spray foam it would guarantee you NO leaks and peace of mind. I have an entire house and crawl space that I am going to have to do. I agree with you on the 30 second new tip thing. That would be a pain in the butt. If it were not an entire house to do, then I think you are on the money with the extruded polystyrene calked around edges and foamed for all pipe or other openings.

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Old 03-07-2009, 08:44 AM   #5
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I would be curious to hear how much a contractor would charge to spray foam?

And is it OK just to leave the polystyrene exposed like that? I was under the impression it would need to be covered with something to reduce the toxic vapors it releases in case of fire.
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Old 03-07-2009, 09:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drtbk4ever View Post
I would be curious to hear how much a contractor would charge to spray foam?

And is it OK just to leave the polystyrene exposed like that? I was under the impression it would need to be covered with something to reduce the toxic vapors it releases in case of fire.
As for how much it cost, call a local insulation contractor, they should give you a quote.

Could you tell me what does not release toxic vapors in a fire?
Carpet
furniture
bedding
siding
roofing
vinyl windows
clothing
etc, etc,
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Old 03-07-2009, 10:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDC View Post
As for how much it cost, call a local insulation contractor, they should give you a quote.

Could you tell me what does not release toxic vapors in a fire?
Carpet
furniture
bedding
siding
roofing
vinyl windows
clothing
etc, etc,
Well thank you for the constructive comments. I'll be sure to file that information away for future reference and I am sure the OP has learned a lot about his insulation issue due to your help. I am sure glad we have contractors in here like you.


Now what I was trying to say is that in some areas, I believe it is against code to leave styrofoam insulation exposed after installation. Whether those same rules apply when using the insulation on the rim joists, I don't know. That is why I threw that comment out there, with hopes that an expert would clarify it for us and the OP.

Can anyone clarify this?

Last edited by drtbk4ever; 03-07-2009 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:12 PM   #8
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according to CODE... all living areas must have the styrofoam covered with a fire retardant material ( not necessarily fire rated). And this is because although your burning carpet and couch will make you cough and your eyes water, the burning foam will take you down in a much shorter time.
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Old 03-07-2009, 02:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fixrite View Post
according to CODE... all living areas must have the styrofoam covered with a fire retardant material ( not necessarily fire rated). And this is because although your burning carpet and couch will make you cough and your eyes water, the burning foam will take you down in a much shorter time.
Well thank you for that information Fixrite. I personally appreciate your expertise and contribution to this topic. I am sure the OP will benefit from your input as I know I did.
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Old 03-07-2009, 07:21 PM   #10
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rim joist insulation project question


Quote:
Originally Posted by fixrite View Post
according to CODE... all living areas must have the styrofoam covered with a fire retardant material ( not necessarily fire rated). And this is because although your burning carpet and couch will make you cough and your eyes water, the burning foam will take you down in a much shorter time.
So now the question is:
Is the rim joist area considered a livable area? A simple call to my city's building and safety department would answer this but if I had to guess I would say no and that the foam doesn't need to have an aluminum foil backing. However if foam with a backing is available and it isn't a significant price delta I will probably go with it.

I have between 150 to 200ft of spaces between I-joists to seal. Cutting all these squares and rectangles is not going to be fun. However many of the spaces are hard to get at with pipes and things going into them, plus my rim joist is over 9ft off the ground. If I were to use a foam spray I would need to make some poor man's scaffolding with buckets and 2x6s and even then it would be tough to avoid breaking the 30 second rule.

The cost will depend on the basement size and I think were talking hundreds of dollars.
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Old 03-07-2009, 08:28 PM   #11
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If the rim joist is to remain exposed, you will need to cover it. This is usually done by installing a ceiling. Just a thought regarding the 30 seconds with the Tiger foam, if you had a helper and 2 ladders, then you could simply have your helper mover your next ladder into position while you are on the other one. Leap frog effect. That would allow you to work almost nonstop. Just a thought.

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Old 03-07-2009, 11:47 PM   #12
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rim joist insulation project question


Having a helper would greatly increase my chances of success.

It's tempting to go for the foam. I've done a little more searching and have found some more products to consider.
HandiFoam Polyurethane Spray Foam Products and Accessories - DIY Kits
And
foam-it-green
Foam It Green Polyurethane Spray Foam Kits - Spray Foam Kits

Handi-foam looks to be the same exact product dispenser kit as tigerfoam except the instructions say you have 1minute between sprays.

I kind of like foam-it-green the best because they offer a free tyvec suit and other stuff, but I'm not sure how much time is allowed between sprays.

Obviously the less time between sprays the better because the longer it sits the more it could expand.

Edit: foamit-green responded to my email question and they said 30 seconds as well. They provide 13 nozzles and a nozzle can be cleaned with acetone so I guess I could switch nozzles when transferring to a spot that would take some time to get the gun pointed up behind the pipes.
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Last edited by dgbehrends; 03-08-2009 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 03-18-2009, 03:51 AM   #13
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I recently used the slo-rise version for an attic floor situation. 1920's vintage house had never had ANY insulation in it whatsoever. It was a lot of work to drill the holes in the pine flooring and squirt all that stuff in there, but what a difference! The occupants said the difference was immediate and dramatic. Hope to put it in the walls one day, but not this year.

I found the "30 second rule" was pretty forgiving with the slo-rise. It was ample time for me to reposition myself and the tanks to make a smooth work flow from place to place in a cramped attic.

I'd definitely recommend two ladders and a helper. You might want to put the foam tanks on some sort of cart so they can be shifted along with you easier as well.

The cool thing about the foam is that it will expand aroud obstacles like pipes, etc. so just entomb them and move along.

Do check with your local inspector on the fire protection code issue though. It may make for more work, but if the basement is unfinished and not "living space" then it might be a moot point.

Do tell us what you find out, ok?

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Old 03-18-2009, 08:50 AM   #14
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I insulated the rim joists in my basement last year, using 2-inch thick Foamular, silicone caulk, and a table saw. Without the table saw, it would be very tedious to have done it, but the table saw and a blade for composites made it pretty easy. Nice straight, quick cuts. I made them snug but not wedged in, because it's important to be able to access the rim joists if needed, to watch for termites, carpenter ants, water/moisture, etc. If you need access, just cut the silicone edging, and pop it out.

Way cheaper than spray foam, and can be removed/replaced when needed.

Also, Foamular is at least somewhat vapor permeable, while any foil-lined product is not. You don't want to trap moisture against the rim joist or sole plate.
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Old 03-18-2009, 09:14 AM   #15
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I did a combination of the fitted foam board method and FoamPower spray foam kits in the areas I could not get into to fit foam board.

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