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Old 08-31-2020, 09:18 AM   #1
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Unfinished basement/crawl-space insulation


I have an old house basement that is half crawl-space and the other half is an unfinished basement with stone walls.
I have the furnace in the basement, so that actually it never gets cold in there during the winter

I want to replace the existing 'ceiling' insulation that was poorly installed in the first place and by now it is in a pretty bad shape

What would be the best type of insulation to use? with one side vapor barrier? Or 2 side? or No vapor barrier?

If using insulation with vapor barrier, which way would the vapor barrier go?

(I am not a pro home builder but did quite a few projects on my house. No insulation projects just yet. This would be the first one of this kind)

Thanx 2 your answer!
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Old 08-31-2020, 09:41 AM   #2
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Re: Unfinished basement/crawl-space insulation


How is the crawlspace in terms of moisture? You have two options, insulate the crawl stem wall and treat it as a "conditioned space" or re-insulate the ceiling (foam board works well there).
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Old 08-31-2020, 07:44 PM   #3
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Re: Unfinished basement/crawl-space insulation


if the basement is heated, why would you want the ceiling insulated ? you want a big difference ? insulate the walls.
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Old 08-31-2020, 07:54 PM   #4
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Re: Unfinished basement/crawl-space insulation


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Originally Posted by Fix'n it View Post
if the basement is heated, why would you want the ceiling insulated ? you want a big difference ? insulate the walls.
Well the basement is not explicitly heated. Just that the furnace (and heated air ducts) is down there and because of that it never gets cold.

As I've said, the house was build in the 1890ies.
The 'structure' that holds the floor (or whatever is called - sorry don't know the proper terminology) is made of such a hodge-podge planks that no 2 of them is the same size! :o And no 2 of them are placed at the same distance from each other

At some point somebody did put some insulation between the 'planks' but he also did a miserable job.

Now I am trying to figure out what would be the best course of action
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Old 08-31-2020, 10:40 PM   #5
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Re: Unfinished basement/crawl-space insulation


my basement is also not directly heated, though the furnace/ducting and HWH are down there. i insulated about 2/3 of the walls, the other 1/3 would be kinda hard to do. and the basement stays quit noticeably warmer in the winter. but i bet your walls would be expensive to insulate = spray foam.

i would like to see your flooring. sounds interesting.

both of my neighbors houses were built in the late 1800's. mine was built later in between them, 1920's i am thinking
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Old 09-01-2020, 10:01 AM   #6
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Re: Unfinished basement/crawl-space insulation


Well, I just want to find out what to do about replacing the ceiling insulation - that insulates the floor of the rooms above the cellar. Will leave the wall for another time.
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Old 09-01-2020, 10:53 AM   #7
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Re: Unfinished basement/crawl-space insulation


sure. you could replace all of it. or, go through it and sort it so it looks ok, then put some house wrap over all of it. if replacing, get the one sided and staple it up. you could put Roxul, but if the basement isn't that cold, that would be overkill.
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Old 09-01-2020, 11:15 AM   #8
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Re: Unfinished basement/crawl-space insulation


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fix'n it View Post
sure. you could replace all of it. or, go through it and sort it so it looks ok, then put some house wrap over all of it. if replacing, get the one sided and staple it up. you could put Roxul, but if the basement isn't that cold, that would be overkill.
Thanx 4 your reply! Just want to make sure I understand this right.
You are suggesting to get the insulation that has paper/vapor barrier on one side of it and install it so that the papered part is towards the basement - stapling it to the beams?
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Old 09-01-2020, 08:16 PM   #9
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Re: Unfinished basement/crawl-space insulation


That is good insulated ceiling. Insulation DOES NOT have to look neat and tidy. It needs to be stuffed in to minimize air movement from one space to another and the "myth" of tidy insulation was proven. Neat work practice is a good thing but doesn't prove function of the insulation. More per inch does not give you more insulation value, though.
Can't say anything about the framing but it is time tested and if nothing is bouncing or sagging, you probably have a good house.
If you want neater looking ceiling, I would cover the ceiling with non flammable material, maybe sheetmetal - can be cut into any shape, light and non flammable - over the furnace and other parts too. If possible, use non flammable material.
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Old 09-01-2020, 09:55 PM   #10
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Re: Unfinished basement/crawl-space insulation


Insulation is always a good idea. But if you are getting some heat from the furnace radiating through the floor into the living space why block it with insulation? The perimeter and any space not getting that heat advantage should be insulated to prevent air infiltration.
And the vapor barrier should face the conditioned space.
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Old 09-03-2020, 05:48 AM   #11
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Re: Unfinished basement/crawl-space insulation


Forgot to add. "Heat" in the bsmt keeps the bsmt warm as well as help with keeping upstair floor warmer. With conditioned bsmt, same temps as upstairs, you can remove the insulation but why bother when your bsmt as it is now is not really a conditioned space? I would leave the bsmt insulation as it is because, even if installer was doing it willy nilly, it worked out. Only thing I'd think about is, does the furnace (and the water heater?) get enough air for combustion? You can try to go as efficient as possible by insulating the ducts (as well as other heat losing parts such as hot water pipe) but then your floor can get colder.


There is also how much are you spending for heating, but spending extra money for energy efficiency is not something you'll profit from, unless you're looking many years ahead and using energy efficient appliances.

Last edited by carpdad; 09-03-2020 at 05:51 AM.
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Old 09-05-2020, 04:54 PM   #12
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Re: Unfinished basement/crawl-space insulation


in the basement there is heating, why do you insulate the ceiling ? do you want a big difference ? insulate the walls.
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