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How to Insulate a Basement

This Old House general contractor Tom Silva shows how to warm up a chilly concrete wall

In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva demonstrates insulating a basement.

1. Use masonry hammer and center punch to tap tie rods below surface of foundation wall.
2. Mix up a small batch of hydraulic cement; moisten tie-rod holes with water sprayed from a planter mister.
3. Force the hydraulic cement to the sunken tie-rod holes using a margin trowel.
4. Apply foam-board adhesive to rear of polystyrene panel, then press the panel to the wall.
Repeat for remaining panels.
5. Snap five horizontal lines across the polystyrene panels.
6. Hold 1x3 spruce board on the chalk line.
7. Using a hammer drill and 3/16-inch masonry bit, drill holes through the 1x3 and into the concrete wall.
8. Fasten the 1x3s with 4-inch-long spring spikes.
9. Screw vertical 1x3s to the horizontal 1x3s with 1 ⅝-inch drywall screws.
Space the horizontal 1x3s 16 inches on center.


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