Cold cellar insulation.

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  #1  
Old 10-07-19, 05:10 PM
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Cold cellar insulation.

So the previous owners of my house have the rigid foam insulation in my cold cellar. They have it on the roof and halfway down the walls.

It's partially starting to fall down and it's partially overlapping the vents and stuff.

I plan to use my cold room as a cold room so my question is if there a benefit to having insulation like that and if so how should I do It if my plan is to use it as a cold room.

I have pics if it isn't clear enough.
 
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Old 10-08-19, 04:48 AM
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So the question is why is there insulation to begin with, a cold cellar will stay at the temp of the ground, approx 45-50 degrees and any insulation would be used to keep heat out!

It really depends on what is surrounding your room and what could benefit from insulation!
 
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Old 10-08-19, 05:50 AM
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Well its under my porch and one wall is a finished basement. I'm assuming the above ground portion was insulated. Though I figured you should insulate the whole wall on the finished side no?

Does that make sense if you plan to use it as a cold room? Insulate the wall that is adjacent to the finished basement and the portion that would be above ground?
 
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Old 10-08-19, 08:26 AM
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Any place that would be warmer than the wall where earth is present.

Ceiling yes, if basement is heated yes!
 
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Old 10-09-19, 04:42 AM
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Im guessing foam board would just get glued to the wall?
 
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Old 10-09-19, 05:43 AM
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Styrofoam must be covered with gyprock etc. as a fire barrier.
 
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Old 10-09-19, 09:45 AM
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Is there a insulation I can use that doesn't? Cause covering it with druwa in a cold room seems like a bad idea.
 
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Old 10-09-19, 10:41 AM
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Rigid foam insulation, whether it is expanded or extruded polystyrene, does have to be covered if it is installed in the interior of a building. This wall covering must have a minimum fire rating to protect the insulation from quick combustion during a fire
But this is inside a cement cellar?
 
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Old 10-09-19, 11:20 AM
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I've heard that also. Plus my inspector pointed that out too.

Personally I don't really care as it's my cold room. I may just leave the foam board exposed. But if there is an option to do it to code I will.
 
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Old 10-10-19, 07:18 AM
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If the cellar needs to be colder than the 50 or so degrees F of the surrounding earth (ground, dirt, soil), say, will be used as refrigerated space, then you will need wall (and also floor and ceiling) insulation.

Typical basement finishing runs into the dilemma of the outside being colder than the inside and also not achieving a net moisture migration to the outside. This often results in condensation and then mold outside the insulation and on the wall surface. Theoretically the wall surface needs to be hermetically sealed from the room interior. This is rarely perfect but foam insulation adhered to the wall surface comes closest.
 
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Old 10-10-19, 07:11 PM
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Why the floor? If the ground temp 45-50 deg then wouldn't only the walls that are exposed temperatures above that need to be insulated?
 
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Old 10-11-19, 03:00 AM
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Why the floor? If the ground temp 45-50 deg then wouldn't only the walls that are exposed temperatures above that need to be insulated?
Any place that would be warmer than the wall where earth is present.
Your attempting to slow the influx of heat from warmer areas!
 
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Old 10-11-19, 03:33 AM
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A cold cellar in our climate needs to be insulated against the warm side and the cold side as well.
You do not want it to turn into a freezer in the coldest months and have to figure out how much insulation is needed.

I would suggest that you replace or reinstall the insulation that was previously there and see what the temperature is like in cold weather.
Do not try to open the door to warm it up in colder weather as you will allow humid air to enter increasing the risk of frost formation.'
 
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Old 10-15-19, 05:45 AM
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Last post on this one. I'm going to do the wall that borders the finished basement, the ceiling, and the portion of walls above ground in insulation (similar to previous owners except they never did the full wall on finished basement.)

Just assuming and want to confirm. I shouldn't block the vents to the outside though. So the insulation should be cut around the vents to allow airflow tho
 
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Old 10-15-19, 06:21 AM
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Yes I would not block the vents as they will help keep the humidity down.

You will probably have to adjust them to find an ideal setting where they keep the moisture level low but do not let in too much cold air.
 
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Old 10-15-19, 06:31 AM
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I shouldn't block the vents to the outside

I may be repeating what your saying but want to be clear, your cellar area has vents open to the outside?

Personally if that is true than I would seal them, that is a source of heat during the warm months.

The room is closed (assuming there is a door) so during summer it will not get influx of humid air so no moisture concerns.
 
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Old 10-15-19, 08:28 AM
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I also assumed that the vents you are referring to are up near the ceiling and vent outside.
Is this correct?
If they are fixed louvered on the outside then put an adjustable louver on the inside so you have options/adjustments on venting.

If you seal them off then if moisture and or temperature does become a problem you will have to rip things apart.
I would keep as many options as possible as you do not know what is going to happen.

In summer once the area fills with the colder air you would need a wind to force the warmer air down into the cold room. There will be some air mixing but cold air is heavier than warm air so it should be fairly stable. Open the door into your basement and the cold air will flood out into the basement it will suck warm air from the basement and through the vent so then it will take some time for your cold room to fill up with cold air again.

Depending where in Canada you are in the winter you may have to shut them.
I live where it gets to 40 below so that cold room could turn into a freezer if they were left open.
 
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Old 10-18-19, 02:28 PM
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*sigh*.....

So after tearing down the insulation this project got more complicated.

clearly the sagging insulation sagged past the vents which allowed all the moisture to build up and damage the metal roof.

Dont even know where to start here... Suggestions?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/8qz0qc9e02dc7pn/IMG_20191018_170628.jpg?dl=0
 
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Old 10-18-19, 02:52 PM
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I'm guessing it's mostly cosmetic likely? The concrete above from outside is sound from what I can tell.

So even if the metal is done the concrete should be fine. I'm assuming I'd have to try cleaning up the metal or rip it down?
 
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Old 10-19-19, 09:07 AM
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Before putting any time into it.

Try poking it here and there with a knife etc. just to see how solid it is.

I would also get a bright light and place it inside then check for any holes etc when it is dark out.
Yes you could just look for light getting into the space during the day but for some reason looking at night has always worked better for me.

Looks like you have opened the proverbial can of worms.
Seems to happen just about all the time with older buildings.
 
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Old 10-19-19, 11:36 AM
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Yeah never fails... What's supposed to be a simple project turns into something more.

I'm trying to remember the other houses with cold cellars I've lived in and none had a metal roof.

I'm assuming it was there to support the concrete when they poured it and really has no purpose anymore. I'm debating whether I'm going to have to end up sand blasting it or something or just cutting it out because I can't see a purpose it would or serve anymore?

I'll check the light later though.

Update


​The metal. Well it's done.. a flat screwdriver goes right through it so it will all be coming down
 

Last edited by mopar44o; 10-19-19 at 01:50 PM. Reason: New info
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Old Yesterday, 01:29 PM
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Given that the metal is shot.

I'm wondering if it would be sufficient enough to maybe just pull down as much of the rot as possible. Maybe the big **** since it's a huge pain in the ass and then spray foam the roof to cover it?

Or would it need to all come down? And be smooth to concrete? I'm inquiring about maybe some media blasting to clean it but not many seem interested. Plus because the metal was wavy the concrete is also. So you can't just put foam board up or you will have a whole bunch of gaps.
 
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Old Yesterday, 03:25 PM
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The metal was there to support the concrete, and it did it's job well. There is no real need to remove the metal as it's not a structural material any more.

Just cover it up and move on!
 
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Old Yesterday, 08:18 PM
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Great figured as much. So since it was on a panel with ridges . If I just put a a foam board up it will not sit flush and will have gaps at the ridges. Would you use spray foam? Or will that really matters as the space should be sealed at the seams.
 

Last edited by mopar44o; Yesterday at 08:43 PM.
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