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External Foundation Insulation


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By Jim in Maple Grove, MN on 2/15/2007


Does anyone have any ideas about insulating the external foundation of a house basement (Minnesota)?  I'm thinking about using 2" Foamular insulation from Owens Corning, but not sure how to install it... or if it will drain properly.
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By Tom in Stroudsburg, PA on 2/15/2007


Jim, I used the 2" cellotex which has a foil on one side and a fiber reinforced membrane on the other (foil goes to heated side). I parged my wall then waterproofed then stood the insulation on end and propped it in place while I put in the footer drain and brought the stone up the wall a little to hold it. Folded over the geotech (raps the footer drain and stone) and backfilled. I have a small area by the doorway that is not complete yet and can definitely tell the difference in wall temperature. Additionally, it has kept my basement completely dry. I ran it about 2" from my termite shield and cut the top at a 45. I covered it with wire mesh to ground level and plan to do stucco over it to help fire proof it.

I have seen many variations, on a school job I have seen a rubber membrane applied to the wall first then the insulation which was ran up to the bottom of the brick lip. I've seen the panels applied to the wall with adhesive and the joints sealed. I've seen a block wall waterproofed and again the panels propped up and stone and geotech brought all the way to the surface to be covered with top soil. My father in-law use to install an exterior coating product called Dryvit it gave a smooth stucco like finish but was more of an epoxy sand finish. His company always applied it over Styrofoam because they could cut it in fancy shapes with a hot wire setup. You would have to research if it can be used over other products. As you can see this area is wide open. You'll want to make sure your product is resistant to termites. The rest in my opinion is subject to any ground water or drainage issues you may have.


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By Dale in Richland, AZ on 2/15/2007


A simple solution would be to build your basement wall with ICF.

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By Jerry in Lee's Summit, MO on 2/15/2007


I have been planning to lay on 2" foam board after waterproofing, but was recently presented another option by a local spray foam guy.  He said they can spray closed-cell polyurethane foam on the foundation to serve as both waterproofing and insulation.  Quoted me $1.30 per sqft wall area at 1" thick, 2" would probably run close to $2.00.  If you figure the cost of premium waterproofing and the foam board it comes out about the same.  I am going to seriously consider both options.
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