Home>Discussions>INSULATION & HVAC>Basement ceiling insulation?
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patdeuel
Basement ceiling insulation?

Recently purchased 1927s home in northern NJ, that is built on rock, with an addition that has poured walls and floor. To summerize, part of basement is over rock and dirt, part has rock walls with large rock ledges protruding in to room area (old part) some area is over pour concrete crawl space, and new addition with pour walls and floor. All reachable (full height) outside wall areas have been firred, insulated and covered with sheating. Due to mice,squirrels and chipmonk invasions, all ceiling insultion was removed. Basement area has no mold even tho very damp in summer - Added dehumidifier. Livingroom floors are very cold. House has hotwater baseboard heat that struggles when outside temps are below 20... need to upgrade some equipment - another questionfor another time. Basement areas stay around 40 degrees. Having read many news boards we are not sure whether or not to 1) replace basement ceiling insulation in areas over dirt/andor rock, over poured concrete and whether or not adding it back in will increase humidity in basement, possibly causing a moisture problem where none exists now. Or 2) only insulate basement ceiling in LR which is over poured floor but has some rock walls as well as doors into other areas. 3) We have considered adding a baseboard heat run in the basement to raise the temperature, thus making the upstairs floors warmer. Since it would only heat when upstairs thermostat calls for heat it would not be adding any cost. Thanks for any comments or help! Pat

Jemery
Re: Basement ceiling insulation?

I guess the question I asked today ties into similar questions and since I was also asking, I don't entirely have a solution.

Insulation will definitely trap moisture in the basement and if there is enough, it will rot your joists in short time. I have rotted joists under the kitchen to prove it. I'm going to install a power venting system but its an extreme case.

If the living room, poured section is not a major moisture source and if it is the worst culprit for cold floors, I would insulate it. I'd probably insulate the whole thing and hope that the moisture can be removed with a dehumidifier. I don't like the idea of putting in a hot water system into a cold basement that will only be turned on when it's cold enough since hot water freezes quickly and copper breaks easily. If you wanted to put more heat in the basement, perhaps a pellet stove would work well but obviously then I wouldn't insulate.

Like my own problems, I wonder if the ultimate source is a drafty foundation wall.

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