Kansas City Area Basement Insulation


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Old 11-12-14, 01:52 AM
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Question Kansas City Area Basement Insulation

3rd time I've attempted to research and begin this project and now I'm so flustered by all the misinformation, I'm reaching out for help.

I have a Ranch house with a walkout basement. Front basement wall is completely below ground level, back is completely below ground level. Ground level at the side walls slopes to meet front and back yards.

I want to insulate the entire basement, and finish half of it. For my zone I read I should insulate with R-13, but how I do that seems to be up to who you talk to.

I've read from pros, manufactures, and codes, all suggesting unfaced fiberglass, to kraft fiberglass, to poly-foam panels. Each suggesting one of the other solutions will cause problems, but of course that could be due to the region, or grade.

Basement is dry. I've had water come up through the mud sill once in the 15 years I've lived here after 8 days of heavy rain. That was 5 years ago and it's never happened again.

Someone care to help get me started in the right direction? It's freezing down here using this as a home office.

Thanks.
 
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Old 11-12-14, 07:31 AM
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Can you clarify this statement:

Front basement wall is completely below ground level, back is completely below ground level.
Is the back actually above ground level?

Posting some pictures might help as well.
 
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Old 11-12-14, 02:58 PM
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Sorry, that wasn't very clear was it.

The back of the house, the basement pad is level with the ground outside.
At the front of the house, the ground is level with the driveway / 1 foot below the top of the basement wall. Sides slope to connect.





 
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Old 11-12-14, 03:25 PM
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What are the walls? Concrete in front and maybe sides and just studs in the back or is that concrete in the back as well?
 
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Old 11-12-14, 03:47 PM
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All basement walls are currently concrete. The back wall is a half wall. The top half is wood framed and already insulated with fiberglass / paper facing the room.
 
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Old 11-12-14, 04:54 PM
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Hi EB, nice house.

Landscaping looks pretty good to handle the flood event you had in the past (liquid water), but virtually all basements have moisture vapor issues. The typical coating of tar below grade on the outside does not prevent moisture from passing through. The basement can look dry, but when finished that moisture needs an escape route. Above grade can dry to the outside, but below grade it will need to dry to the inside. Avoid using a vapor barrier below grade. The pink or blue rigid foam board actually allows some drying if not covered with a foil or plastic coating.

There are guidelines for the required thickness of rigid foam board depending upon your climate zone.

I'll give you some more reading. The first is specifically on basements and the second is a good overall healthy home guide.

BSD-103: Understanding Basements — Building Science Information

http://www.buildingscience.com/docum...build-renovate

Air sealing is also very important and while you are at this many locations will be much easier to get to. So another link on air sealing.

http://www.efficiencyvermont.com/ste...ide_062507.pdf

I'll let you read.

Bud
 
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Old 11-13-14, 12:43 AM
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Thanks! All of that was very helpful. Back on track.
 
 

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