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Insulating concrete block walls


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01-11-02, 06:23 PM   #1  
Insulating concrete block walls

I have an old house that currently has just concrete block walls with a 2 to 3 in stucco exterior. My first question is what R-Value do I now have? Question 2 is "How best to insulate these walls?" Should I just do a total exterior residing, or would rigid insulation inside do the trick?

 
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01-16-02, 03:00 PM   #2  
You could insulate the concrete wall from the inside and not the outside. Insulating would depend if you intend to use the space and heat it. Some people don't use their basements as living spaces and insulation is not needed. On the other hand if you intend to use the space, it really doesn't matter which type of insulation you use as long as you leave a dead air space between the insulation and concrete wall (2 inches).

 
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01-19-02, 07:51 AM   #3  
gpn1021
What if, as in my case, the basement walls are finished and there is only 2" of airspace to begin with? I've heard of reflective insulation (aluminum foil with air space ) that is supposed to be a good choice. Is it? Is there a better choice?

Thank you,

 
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01-19-02, 08:41 AM   #4  
gpn1021

In your case it really depends on your comfort in the basement. Regardless of the material used to finish the basement, sheet rock, panelling, etc. it does have some insulation value. Not as great as insulation.

The determining factor is how you heat and use the basement. If you use it a lot and every time you do, the heat has to be on to feel comfortable. Then it would be cost effective to take down the walls and insulate. On the other hand, you don't have to use the heat that often when down there, you don't have to insulate. The same would be true if you used the basement infrequently.

The foil that you are referring to is a radiant barrier. Conduction is how heat flows through a material. Convection is how heat is transferrred from one object to another through the use of air as a medium. Radiance is the tranferance of heat without a medium. What this means to you is that radiant barriers do not deal with the dominant heat loss in a basement and heating, which is conduction. If installed for your purposes, in my opinion, it will have very little value to you.

 
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