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Missing Thermal Barrier (Sides) - Cold Floors


hashjax's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 8
CANADA

12-31-13, 08:06 AM   #1  
Missing Thermal Barrier (Sides) - Cold Floors

Hello Everyone,

I have been experiencing cold floors since I moved into my new townhouse. After multiple rounds of troubleshooting and raising concern with my management, I have concluded the cause for the cold floors after an engineering company came to inspect.

My unit (corner townhouse condo) is on the ground floor and right above the cement slab. Underneath my unit is a common garage that spreads through all townhouses. The cement slab is insulated from bottom by fiber glass - however, the engineering company reported that there is no thermal barrier on the sides of the cement slab that are exposed on the outside. As a result no matter how much heat I pump my floors are always cold on the side facing outside and eventually spreads the cold throughout the house/floors. Even after I crank up the heat to 24C the floor is still freezing ...

I am not sure what options I have to fix this problem? Is there a way to create a thermal barrier from outside or can I do something in my unit? I am trying my best to have management address this concern but I need to look at alternatives as well. What is an efficient/best solution and how much will it cost?

your suggestions are welcome.

 
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Bud9051's Avatar
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Posts: 9,774
ME

12-31-13, 09:12 AM   #2  
The edge of a slab is a difficult area to protect. In your case it sounds like is rests upon a concrete wall forming the basement. Even if you were to cover the outside with rigid insulation, the insid would remain mostly exposed to the cold garage. The fiberglass you mention doesn't sound very substantial.

If the garage is "very" cold, then the solution would be to insulate the outside to below the frost line with at least 2" of rigid foam. Then, insulate the inside down to the same level. Unfortunately, concrete conducts heat in all directions, so the neighboring walls may still affect the performance of the above. I don't need to get into details, since I'm sure this is beyond your intended budget, even if (doubtful) the association approved it.

The other approach would be an insulated floor with perhaps some thick carpet. If you installed at least 1" of rigid foam over the concrete floor and then new flooring it would make a huge difference. You would need to taper the insulation down to the existing level near any doors so their in-swing would still have clearance.

Not sure if any of this helps,
Bud

 
hashjax's Avatar
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01-03-14, 10:12 AM   #3  
The garage is not cold. It's pretty decent temperature as it has some heating + fiber glass insulation on cieling.

I am refraining from doing anything in my house until I get no where with my management. My management did hire a company for inspection, I am waiting for their report.

Will come back to update the forum ... as a last resort I will consider creating a subfloor with insulation.

thanks!

 
Bud9051's Avatar
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01-03-14, 01:58 PM   #4  
In some cases a slab can be insulated along the outside edge with rigid foam. In your case it is not just a slab, but a basement wall if I understand correctly. A layer of rigid up against the foundation from the bottom of the siding down at least 2" (more would be better) would significantly reduce the heat loss. However, the inside of that foundation is the basement garage and whatever temp is down there would be the limiting factor, along with how thick the rigid is.

Bud

 
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