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heat loss can I use spray (can) insulation

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Oct 24, 2013, 01:47 PM
diygrammal
heat loss can I use spray (can) insulation
I have an small older home will plaster walls and a full basement built on incline. A portion of the basement is exposed to the backyard. A bedroom built on the exposed portion of the basement is cold in the winter. That side of the house is hit by most of the blowing wind and rain. The plaster walls seem to hold in the cold as well. Even with the furnace vent fully open in the basement under that room it is still cold. The siding is aluminum. I've considered using spray foam insulation under the edge of the siding to help seal out some of the blowing wind. Will that cause other problems?
Oct 24, 2013, 04:05 PM
Sparky617
You'd run the risk of holding water that got behind the siding in instead of letting it drain out. That, and it wouldn't really provide much additional insulation. Is the wall that is above grade masonry or wood framed? Is there any insulation in the wall?


General Disclaimer

Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Oct 24, 2013, 06:16 PM
Jaybee
I'm going to disagree with that.

If you have any openings that are allowing outside air behind the siding, it would be best to seal it up. Depending on the size of the openings, caulk may be a better material to use rather than the ever expanding foam. As for moisture behind the siding, aluminum siding should keep all active water from getting behind it - if it doesn't then it needs to be repaired. Any condensation or high humidity type moisture that may become trapped behind the siding will be in such small amounts that it will find an exit point down low if enough accumulates. Doubtful that you will be able to completely seal 100% of the lower edge of the siding.

However, while sealing out any airflow is a good idea, I doubt if it will have much effect on your inside temperature. With the words 'old house' and 'plaster' in there, the other likelihood is 'no insulation'. No really easy fix but if you can afford to loose 4" of room space you can frame up an interior wall in that room, insulate it and cover with drywall. This could do wonders to making the space more comfortable.


Jaybee
Oct 25, 2013, 09:30 AM
diygrammal
Thank you for your thoughts on my issue. The exposed wall is wood w/aluminum siding overlay, and it being an older home I'm pretty sure there is no insulation in the walls. Our plan down the road is to expand the house, knocking down a couple of walls and that problem will be addressed at that time. In the meantime I'm still looking at options. :-)
Oct 25, 2013, 12:25 PM
Frodo
untill you insulate that wall, your options are
at the best, limited. but really nonexistant
you could remove the siding and install foam insulation....
Oct 25, 2013, 01:45 PM
Sparky617
Vinyl and aluminum siding have an R value close to zero. They are not designed to have the horizontal joints between the pieces of siding caulked or insulated in any way.

If your walls don't have any insulation and are typical 2x4 construction with drywall or plaster on the inside and some sort of sheathing under the siding you can have insulation blown into the walls with minimal disruption. From the outside the the bottom edge of one piece of aluminum or vinyl siding near the top of the wall cavity and the bottom of the wall cavity is popped off to gain access to the sheathing. A hole is cut into each bay between the studs and insulation is blown into the cavity. The siding is then snapped back into place after the hole is patched. It can also be done from inside by cutting holes into the drywall and patching that once the insulation is blown in.

Here are some articles on it:

http://www.greenbuildingadviso...ities-existing-homes

http://www.greenbuildingadviso...ities-existing-homes

Cost calculator

http://www.homewyse.com/servic...wall_insulation.html


General Disclaimer

Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Oct 25, 2013, 08:38 PM
swschrad
you can caulk the sill plate to the foundation.

that will only stop whistling winds, however.


sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?