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Insulate Band Board / Rim Joist To Block Air Infiltration into a Basement
Posted By Fred On December 19, 2009 @ 8:49 pm In Insulation | 15 Comments
If your looking for ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home, you might turn to the area of your unfinished basement ceiling where the joists meet the sill plate (at the top of the wall) and the rim joist (or band board) at the edge of the house.
It’s in this area that most of the air infiltration into a basement takes place, and an area where you can make a significant improvement in the energy efficiency of your home.
The reason insulating in this area is important is because much of the heat loss in a home is due to convection – the loss of heat that is carried away by drafts whipping through the basement.
Since wood joists make imperfect joins, they are highly prone to air leaks. The area where the joists meet the rim will have literally thousands of gaps.
There are a number of basement insulation options  to consider for this job. We chose open and closed cell spray foam  for our own home. We believe spray foam is the #1 way to insulate this area and will yield the best results. Unfortunately, spray foam is expensive and generally requires a contractor for the installation. There are DIY kits available but the cost is nearly as high as hiring pro help.
Here’s a few suggestions for insulating this key area of your home:
Fiberglass: The easiest method is to obtain kraft-faced fiberglass batting (the pink stuff) and stuff it tightly in between the joists. We recommend going with an R-30 insulation as opposed to traditional R-13 wall insulation, since you’ll usually have the extra space and you want to maximize the seal. StuccoHouse just added fiberglass  in their home and we’re sure it will pay dividends. You can visit that post for some great pictures of this job which only takes a few hours. You can also add to the fiberglass installation with the following:
Wet Cellulose: Wet cellulose (like NuWool ) is an option only if you’re doing all the walls in the basement. We like closed cell foam better for this option since it provides its own vapor barrier  which you’ll need to prevent moisture from condensating on the block/concrete wall, but wet cellulose can work.
Spray Foam: The picture in the upper right of this article shows spray foam installed between the joists. Like Great Stuff, spray foam expands to fill the available space, creating an extremely tight seal. You can watch our video on spray foam  for a complete rundown on the material.
Each home is different, and the energy savings will vary. If you have no insulation in the joists today, you could be wasting more than 15% of the energy in your own. Leaks cost money… a lot of money. Stop them, and you get instant savings.
As a bonus, the U.S. Government will chip in if you tackle this job in the next 12 months. In 2009, and now extended through 2010, there are energy tax credits for insulation  that will provide you as much as a 30% back for doing this job.
What do you think? Have you insulated your basement?
Article printed from One Project Closer: http://www.oneprojectcloser.com
URL to article: http://www.oneprojectcloser.com/insulate-band-board-rim-joist-to-block-air-infiltration-into-a-basement/
URLs in this post:
 basement insulation options: http://www.oneprojectcloser.com/basement-wall-insulation-options/
 open and closed cell spray foam: http://www.oneprojectcloser.com/installing-spray-foam-insulation-video/
 added fiberglass: http://stuccohouse.blogspot.com/2009/12/filling-rim-joists.html
 Great Stuff: http://greatstuff.dow.com/
 NuWool: http://www.oneprojectcloser.com/nu-wool-cellulose-insulation-in-a-basement/
 vapor barrier: http://www.oneprojectcloser.com/vapor-barrier-for-closed-cell-spray-foam-insulation/
 energy tax credits for insulation: http://www.oneprojectcloser.com/2010-energy-tax-credits-for-home-improvements-insulation-windows-more/
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