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Old 03-18-2009, 10:17 AM   #16
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rim joist insulation project question


You could try to get hold of some drywall stilts so you don't have to keep moving ladders/platforms. Practice moving around with them before you get out the spray foam.

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Old 03-18-2009, 12:02 PM   #17
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rim joist insulation project question


Regardless of what code says, I don't see why it would ever be okay to leave the foam exposed even in an area that is not 'living space'. During a fire the fumes will easily spread to the living space. Better safe than sorry.

Having said that, I need to get busy and cover the foam I sprayed in my rim joists 3 months ago .
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:36 PM   #18
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This same project is still on my to-do list - but I'm a bit confused (but what else is new) - in a crawl space with foam on the rim joists (either sprayed or board) you need to cover this? there will never be a ceiling in my crawl (30" high).

How about something like this - foam board (as described in link in the original post) and then a chunk of fire rated insulation (I have bags of Roxul scraps leftover) stuffed in behind that - the foam seals the space, Roxul adds r-value and fire break

Maybe I could even get away with a thin (1") foam board to get the air seal, as the roxul would add quite of bit of r-value itself...?

Does that make sense?
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Old 03-18-2009, 12:59 PM   #19
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you do NOT need to cover the foam in a crawl space as it is NOT considered a living area. The reason is you will not need to escape from that area in the event of a fire.
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:52 AM   #20
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rim joist insulation project question


DG,
I didn't read all the replies but I did all my rim and sill last fall, 1200 ft basement. Since I have no time to drywall the basement I reused fibregalss and will add more as I have time later thsi year.

If you use the foam method you will then need to seal with drywall for fire resistance and toxic fumes.

In your link, your cross vue photo shows a gap below the sole plate and also no sealant above the floor behind your baseboards where drafts are ALSO AN ISSUE.

I pulled my fibreglass and used a bead of sprayfoam along my sill plate, top and bottom, and sides and top of the adjoining joist bays. Then ran another bead approx 8" inward from the wall at both top corners of each joist bay to prevent air travelling inward. Then tucked back the fibreglass blankets. Then I went upstairs and pulled back the carpet and sprayed foam under the baseboards to the sole plate. HUGE difference in drafts and located seriouys gaps in the sill. Also pulled all fibreglass packing around baseemnt windows and replaced with window and door low expansion grade spray foam.

First gas bills indicate at least 10-12 % savings with no added insulation and no other inner air barrier.
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:03 AM   #21
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rim joist insulation project question


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chemist1961 View Post
DG,
I didn't read all the replies but I did all my rim and sill last fall, 1200 ft basement. Since I have no time to drywall the basement I reused fibregalss and will add more as I have time later thsi year.

If you use the foam method you will then need to seal with drywall for fire resistance and toxic fumes.

In your link, your cross vue photo shows a gap below the sole plate and also no sealant above the floor behind your baseboards where drafts are ALSO AN ISSUE.

I pulled my fibreglass and used a bead of sprayfoam along my sill plate, top and bottom, and sides and top of the adjoining joist bays. Then ran another bead approx 8" inward from the wall at both top corners of each joist bay to prevent air travelling inward. Then tucked back the fibreglass blankets. Then I went upstairs and pulled back the carpet and sprayed foam under the baseboards to the sole plate. HUGE difference in drafts and located seriouys gaps in the sill. Also pulled all fibreglass packing around baseemnt windows and replaced with window and door low expansion grade spray foam.

First gas bills indicate at least 10-12 % savings with no added insulation and no other inner air barrier.
Here is a picture of my joist bay,


were you referring to this link? http://www.rd.com/57548/article57548.html
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Old 03-19-2009, 04:41 PM   #22
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I called building and safety in my city and talked to one of the more knowledgeable guys in the department. I know this because I worked with him when I pulled my deck permit last summer. He said that as long as it closed cell that he wouldn't have any issues with it being used in the rim joist bays. He said that either the closed cell foam board or the closed cell spray in foam would work and didn't need to be covered with a fire retarder.

I think I'm going to attempt the foam stuff, I'm not sure if I can get my whole basement done with the 200sq/ft package but we'll see. My uncle has a 4 ft rolling ladder that I could borrow and put the tanks on so that sounds like the way to go. I'll probably wait a few months before I attempt this so that the temperature is warmer in my basement. The foam kits work better the closer to 80 degrees you get.
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:15 PM   #23
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Sounds like you have done your homework. I think I would still do a test myself. I would apply some foam to a small board and ( outside in a controlled environment) see if it caught fire when a flame touched it. I would also want to observe the color and amount of smoke that emitted from it if it indeed did catch fire. Not trying to undermine the guy at city hall, but my life is worth quite a bit to both me and family. Good luck

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Old 03-20-2009, 07:15 AM   #24
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If you settle on one brand of foam go to their site and read about fumes and fire resistance since several of these foams are made of different compositions.
Also remember years ago urea foam was approved and now is not and vermiculite went into attics and now is a problem, popcorn STIPPLE ceilings were made with asbestos,ETC...My point here is that not all city and national codes last. I don't think you should fear the foam but take the precaution. It`s better to be informed before the install and it does sound like you`ve done some homework.

I live in Canada and we had a product here called RetroFoam which was distributed locally.I think it originates in the states. After being approved by the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND BEING ALL OVER THE NEWS AS AN ENEERGY SAVER, LAST MONTH THE GOVERNMENT RETRACTED AND PUT THIS GUY ON HOLD AND ARE RE EXAMINING HIS PRODUCT.

My rule of thumb is this If you wouldn`t make a camp fire and cook a hot dog over it you don`t want to ever have those items at risk of burning in your home.

Either way, good project, good effort. By the photos I`m guessing your house is newer so it should be better insulated under the sole plates than mine and likely prewrapped with tyvek or similar however I was amazed at how many cold pockets I found with a thermal scanner particularly around baseborads and inside corners at closets and partition walls.

Keep us posted.
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:31 AM   #25
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rim joist insulation project question


The gap I referred to was the cross section from the how to site. I prefer to start the sealant right at the rimjoist and seal all points of contact of adjoining joists. Might be overkill but it works. In your case if you spray the whole joist bay the foam will travel there anyway.


If you settle on one brand of foam go to their site and read about fumes and fire resistance since several of these foams are made of different compositions.
Also remember years ago urea foam was approved and now is not and vermiculite went into attics and now is a problem, popcorn STIPPLE ceilings were made with asbestos,ETC...My point here is that not all city and national codes last. I don't think you should fear the foam but take the precaution. It`s better to be informed before the install and it does sound like you`ve done some homework.

I live in Canada and we had a product here called RetroFoam which was distributed locally until last month. I think it originates in the states so you might want to read up and see if there is any further news relating it to similar products you are considering.
After being GOVERNMENT approved and making the local news as a great new product and business venture, LAST MONTH THE GOVERNMENT RETRACTED AND PUT THIS GUY ON HOLD AND ARE RE EXAMINING HIS PRODUCT.

My rule of thumb is this If you wouldn`t make a camp fire and cook a hot dog over it you don`t want to ever have those items at risk of burning in your home.

Either way, good project, good effort. By the photos I`m guessing your house is newer so it should be better insulated under the sole plates than mine and likely prewrapped with tyvek or similar however I was amazed at how many cold pockets I found with a thermal scanner particularly around baseborads and inside corners at closets and partition walls so check those areas when you`re done the basement.

Keep us posted.
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:07 PM   #26
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rim joist insulation project question


House was built in 2004, and this winter when it was -30F out I went around the basement with a can of great stuff and felt for air leaks with my hand and sealed up a bunch of places. There are still smaller leaks that could be sealed which is why I wanted to just seal the whole rim joist bay area.

The spray foam I'm leaning towards, is named foamit-green.
http://www.sprayfoamdirect.com/

My second choice would be tigerfoam, followed by handi-foam.

Next winter I plan on renting an IR camera. I've gotten some quotes and it would cost me about $250 for 2 days. If I didn't plan to raise my kids in this home I probably wouldn't go through all this trouble

I appreciate all the thoughtful advice people have given
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:14 PM   #27
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rim joist insulation project question


I don't have the IR camera but borrowed a heat sensing laser temp scanner from a furnace guy. I think the IR scanner would be great on finished walls but my guess is you will be fairly consistant if you scanned your rim joist especially in new construction given improved codes.

I detected big leaks around heat ducts travelling up outside walls, and perforations for AC and electrical to outside, but bay to bay the joists were very consistant. In my case it was sole plate on concrete where the big gaps were, in corners and around windows. I had no tyvek on the rim joist, just brick or stucco outside. Also any abutting concrete porch area is suspect as a heat sinc.

Just my opinion but you would have to find a hole the size of a football to offset that $250 rental and that seems less likely in a 5 year old home.

If you are going that distance, why not get a complete energy audit done by a guy with camera.

I had an audit done for leaks, then scannned with the thermo laser myself a month later, but again my house is 35 years old...and the leaks I found wouldn't need the camera.
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Old 03-21-2009, 09:43 AM   #28
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I did have an energy audit done about a year ago that included a blower door test and some IR camera pics. My house is 4000sq/ft and he didn't spend the time I would with the camera looking for leaks. You are right about the payback in years, to recoup the cost of an IR camera rental I would have to find something quite large. I think I've gotten all the big stuff between my own testing and the energy audit, but I've got this perfectionist habit that is hard to kick when it comes to this kind of thing If I do the IR camera it will be in the middle of winter next year after the spray foam is applied. I will be able to cover every sq/ft of my home

After I do the foam this summer I'll post another pic.
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:15 PM   #29
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I'm finally getting to this project. With the energy credit running out I was compelled to buy a several 4'x8' sheets of R10 2" closed cell foam board and a bunch of great stuff cans. Tomorrow is the day I tackle it. I'll make one final post with the results and maybe a picture.
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:35 PM   #30
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I'd like to see some pictures and hear about how it goes. I've been working on getting my house sealed up for a couple years and I have the same 'problem' you have as far as being a perfectionist. I keep looking for more ways to keep the weather out.

With all I've done so far, I brought my heat bill (gas) down from $131 per month on the local gas company's budget plan, to $54. But I'm not finished yet.

Are you still planning on getting the IR camera? If it's that expensive, you could always find someone who will go in on the cost of it with you if they want to use it in their house.

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