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Old 02-12-2015, 05:13 PM   #1
Roland3 OP
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Spray Foaming the Band/Rim joist area, anybody done it?

A local Home repair talk show i frequently listen to on the weenends is always raving about spray foaming the band joist in the basement. They say its the Best bang for your buck as far as insulation upgrades to the house. It makes a lot of sense and Im considering doing it. One method I have read about is to use 2" rigid foam board cut about 1/2" small in each Bay then use a can of foam to go around the edges of it and lock and seal it in place, much cheaper than all out filling the bays with foam. Anybody done theirs?
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Old 02-12-2015, 06:12 PM   #2
trailer Rails
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Yup. The foam board is a great way to go.

A little tip: sharpen the side of a putty knife to cut the board with. Much cleaner. You just pull the knife back toward you can it cuts a nice clean line.
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Old 02-12-2015, 07:04 PM   #3
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It will help some. But BEST bang for your buck is attic insulation. (Heat rises) if that's up to spec, (R-60 in my area) then your joist belt would be another good place to tackle. Spray foam is the easiest way to do it. If you're going to cut ridgid insulation boards try using a 0.7 OLFA knife. You'll find the thicker blade will not snap as easily as the standard 0.5's. And it makes a nice clean cut if you use a straight edge.

Experience is 6 years working in major home renovations and construction.
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Old 02-12-2015, 08:14 PM   #4
RTCHIEF
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Insulation

Heat goes to cold. Get an infra red heat sensor. Check and see what the temperatures are as you go down the wall. That will help determine how far down you will want to insulate the walls. Fill the cavities, don't leave any voids in the insulation.
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Old 02-12-2015, 08:18 PM   #5
Vin
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Table Saw

You can cut the foam on a table saw with a high tooth-count blade. Most of the "bays" are the same size. It's a ton quicker than any knife.
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Old 02-13-2015, 05:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vin View Post
You can cut the foam on a table saw with a high tooth-count blade. Most of the "bays" are the same size. It's a ton quicker than any knife.
^this man gets my vote! never thought of that for some reason. I've tried a sawzall with a ground down blade to be like a knife. It worked pretty good.

Watch out for dust particles though.
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Old 02-13-2015, 06:30 AM   #7
trailer Rails
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StubbornDutchman View Post
^this man gets my vote! never thought of that for some reason. I've tried a sawzall with a ground down blade to be like a knife. It worked pretty good.

Watch out for dust particles though.
You will still end up with lots of dust. They make special blades for cutting foam. In 10" and 7".
The putty knife method is easy and no dust. Regular kitchen knives do not work because they are too thick.
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Old 02-13-2015, 08:38 AM   #8
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The best bang for your buck is air sealing. Use spray foam or fire rated caulking around every penetration that goes through the basement or attic. Anywhere that a conditioned and non conditioned area meet up. Above and below bathrooms, near exhaust fans, plumbing pipes, HVAC ducts and registers, and near chimneys. Look for areas with discolored insulation, which is the insulation filtering out dust as air passes through it. Your house will draw outside air through the basement more when the air can pass through the house and up into the attic - the stack effect. After the penetrations are sealed it's pretty cheap to buy cellulose insulation, and rent the blower from Home Depot, to blow insulation into the attic. Spray foaming the rim joist is great, but if there isn't much air infiltration going on there you aren't fixing much. Air can get in through the sills too, and there is benefit in sealing those. I haven't done it yet, but my plan is to have a contractor spray foam the rim joists and sills in my house, I've done all the rest of the work. I borrowed a FLIR camera from work to have a look at my house, it looked very good overall and even the sills and rim joist didn't look bad.
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Old 02-13-2015, 09:07 AM   #9
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Everyone here is right. High R- stop drafts-heat rises- heat goes to cold- you cannot over insulate.
The rim joist is a great place to look as is the corner of your upstairs ceiling where the rafters meet the Joists meet the wall plate, insulation gets squoze in there and is often ineffective.

A thermal photo of your house on a cold night is a great way to see your heat loss culprits.
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Old 02-13-2015, 12:01 PM   #10
showkey
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The spray packs for home DIY are pricey:

$300 is expensive........payback on that is going to take along time.

http://www.menards.com/main/paint/ca...331-c-7937.htm


Compared to fiberglass batts or foam sheet cut to size.

If you do the spray pack kit read the safety instructions.........you do not want to breath the foam particles or off gases and it can be messy.
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Old 02-13-2015, 01:25 PM   #11
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I wouldn't use batt insulation on the rim joist. There's too much possibility of moisture creeping in by either contact with the foundation or water intrusion (I know there shouldn't be any, but it still happens sometimes). Plus, spray foam will seal out any air leaks where moving air will make batt insulation useless.
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Old 02-13-2015, 01:27 PM   #12
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Obviously the main benefit to this is sealing that penetration where the top of the house meets the foundation.
I did half my basement with one of those big double can things like the menards link. Worked great but you have to work fast, it cures a lot faster than the stuff out of the can. It's super expensive though, even more up here in Canada. I'm doing the other half of the basement soon and I am going to use some of the foam insulation that has the built in vapour barrier and then spray foam around the edges. Should work out about the same R value and air sealing value but much cheaper. More work, but since when do I bill myself based on time. I also have a bunch of that foam left over from the first half since I used it on the inside of the foundation walls.
Here's the foam I used. It also has a higher R value per inch than others I've seen. http://www.rona.ca/en/insulation---r...ier-insulation

Those two things made a huge difference in my basement. It's now the most comfortable room in my house in all seasons.
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Old 02-13-2015, 03:09 PM   #13
Cogswell
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If you use the hard board foam and seal around the edges it will be easier to remove in the future if you need to get in for a repair.


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Old 02-13-2015, 03:55 PM   #14
zap2504
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Everyone else here is spot-on. Spray foam is the best; it is also the most expensive. Foam board cut loosely to fit surrounded with foam-in-a-can (also called "poor man's spray foam") works just as well. Heated air rises and causes pressure on your upper-most ceiling so addressing the ceiling area air leaks and adding attic insulation is #1; doing rim joist area is #2 (that is where most of the air is coming in to replace the air going into the attic); doing all the other air leaks/insulating side walls is #3.
Quote:
Originally Posted by trailer Rails View Post
Yup. The foam board is a great way to go.

A little tip: sharpen the side of a putty knife to cut the board with. Much cleaner. You just pull the knife back toward you can it cuts a nice clean line.
A different tip I saw on the Fine Homebuilding site - sharpen the edge of a 6" drywall taping knife to do the same thing. More strength than the putty knife.
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Old 02-13-2015, 05:16 PM   #15
showkey
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Originally Posted by juddspaintballs View Post
I wouldn't use batt insulation on the rim joist. There's too much possibility of moisture creeping in by either contact with the foundation or water intrusion (I know there shouldn't be any, but it still happens sometimes). Plus, spray foam will seal out any air leaks where moving air will make batt insulation useless.

If there water creeping in........foam or batts will make no difference.........you will end up witha rotten sill plate. Water will also likely bring ants.

The norm in Wisconsin is foam board on the outside running three to four feet down past ground level on the outside of the foundation. This foam board is used under the siding. The area exposed to sun light is treated with brushed on "cement paint" coating to stop UV damage.

The sill is sealed to the concrete foundation with a foam pad. The sill area is then insulated with fiberglass.

Foam does have advantage in sealing and keeping mice away or out. The only disadvantage is cost and digging it out if you want to work in that area.
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