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Old 01-17-2019, 09:49 AM   #1
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Insulating a basement without many material options


I'm trying to figure out the best way to insulate my basement with poured concrete walls. Problem is, I live in a small village in Peru and most insulation materiales aren't available here. The only thing I can find is unpackaged fiberglass, which I think would become a quick mold problem. So here's my idea and please pick it apart and improve it:

There is a 2mm insulation foam that is sold here to go underneath laminated flooring. I'm thinking of using an adhesive to put that directly against the concrete, and then hanging 1/2" drywall directly on top. Not sure if I should use furring strips (pressure treated not an option, would probably use scrap planks from a floor I put down) to hang the drywall, or if I should drill directly into concrete with 2" drywall screws. If furring strips are better, should insulation go on before or after furring strips?

Or is there a better way? I considered framing with 2x4's, but I wouldn't have a good insulation to fill in the framing and am worried about moisture. Any tips/ ideas?
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:56 AM   #2
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Re: Insulating a basement without many material options


Quote:
most insulation materiales aren't available here.
Not a good start.

Quote:
unpackaged fiberglass
What is that? Describe it to us.

Quote:
2mm insulation foam that is sold here to go underneath laminated flooring.
No insulative qualities at all. May make a good vapor barrier, but I doubt it.

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hanging 1/2" drywall directly on top
Not going to happen. You can't screw drywall to a concrete wall.

Quote:
I considered framing with 2x4's
The best way (and I understand your limitations) in a real world is to install 2" XPS foam panels on the walls with glue and tape the seams to form a good vapor barrier. Then come one inch outside that and frame up your walls with pressure treated bottom plates and 2x4 studs with top plates. At that point you can insulate between the stud bays with a good insulation. Again, we aren't sure of the type of insulation you have.
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:57 AM   #3
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Re: Insulating a basement without many material options


Foam on the wall before the framing and insulation is a well received option and approach.



I would still frame the walls and insulate in front of the foam. You aren't loosing much in terms of floor space and a traditional framed wall is much easier to work with.



https://buildingscience.com/document...ent-insulation
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:03 AM   #4
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Re: Insulating a basement without many material options


You have to start with good drainage, no moisture problems with the floor or the walls.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:18 AM   #5
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Re: Insulating a basement without many material options


Thanks chandler48. The insulation is essentially 2mm thick rolled styrofoam covered with a moisture resistant foil. I agree, probably no insulation quality but I'm more worried about moisture than temperature.

Sounds like it may make sense to put the 2mm foam against the concrete as vapor barrier, frame on top with 2x4's, and then hang drywall on frame? Or should I put 2mm foam against drywall as well?
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:19 AM   #6
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Re: Insulating a basement without many material options


Thanks Windows on Wash. So you think 2mm foan on concrete, then 2x4 frame, then drywall could work? Should I put 2mm foam between drywall and frame also?
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:31 PM   #7
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Re: Insulating a basement without many material options


The material limitations are hard to get around, but do you have access to caulking?

Heat loss in a basement is primarily through the upper areas and air leakage (incoming air). If you use the caulking and go crazy in each rim cavity and between the sill and the foundation it will make a big difference.

As for the 2mm underlayment it can't hurt, the old coffee cup analogy.

Aluminum foil (if you have access) would provide a radiant barrier and radiant transfer is a major component of heat loss. As long as it has an air gap it helps.

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Old 01-17-2019, 02:14 PM   #8
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Re: Insulating a basement without many material options


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Originally Posted by imcgroarty View Post
So you think 2mm foan on concrete, then 2x4 frame, then drywall could work? Should I put 2mm foam between drywall and frame also?
Never install 2 layers of vapor barrier (even if named "moisture resistant") in the same wall system. You'll get moisture trapped between them.

What's the R-value of the 2mm, like 2, or is it the bubble style?
What's the climate and ground moisture like and would a 4 vs. 2 R-value make any difference there?
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:30 PM   #9
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Re: Insulating a basement without many material options


A concrete wall is considered a "1" for r-value so adding anything over it is a plus.

If you have ever used or worked around a wood stove they use a piece of sheet metal on stand-offs to protect walls when space is limited. It is amazing how much difference it makes just having that simple layer inbetween.

For the thin layer of insulation I suspect it is closer to r-1 but even that would cut the heat loss in half.

When I have to assign an r-value to a floor a thick carpet gets about an r-4 so lots of materials out there that can help.

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Old 01-17-2019, 03:31 PM   #10
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Re: Insulating a basement without many material options


2mm foam underlayment will have the R value of 0.022, based on the R value per inch of .29, and a 2 mm being .0787 of an inch. Hardly noticeable, and a lot of work for nothing, IMO
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Old 01-17-2019, 03:49 PM   #11
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Re: Insulating a basement without many material options


You obviously have internet so is there no where in Peru you can order insulation from online ?
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:43 PM   #12
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Re: Insulating a basement without many material options


He he, thanks Bud. Let me clarify:

- Are you an ex-pat thinking of US methods to use in Peru?
- What do they typically do there? Are energy costs high or rock bottom?
- Is the basement conditioned (or say unheated but with 64F consistent temp)?
- Do you have to take, say a donkey, to Lima to obtain rigid or batt insul and pay a ransom to get it off a ship?

I'm being a little facetious now, but even R6 may not matter if its too difficult to obtain or not cost efficient. There are a hundred threads with the standard answer for insulating a basement. I like to find out the situation, learn a little, then try to get as close to best practice as possible for that situation.
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:47 PM   #13
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Re: Insulating a basement without many material options


Bud doesn't need my help, but the OP asked the question to which Bud's response, along with the others was spot on.
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Or is there a better way?
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