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Bedroom floor is cold

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Beer Belly, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    My floor is 2x6 tongue-and-groove pine boards. There was no insulation beneath them (open to the crawl space) until I installed the styrofoam insulation. Once I get the woodstove going and the cabin up to temperature, the floors stay warmer than they did without the insulation. The bedroom is carpeted, which adds more insulation in there.

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  2. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    The code that gets broken is the one dealing with flame spread, exposed un-faced foam is candy for a fire since it has a very low ignition temperature and burns very quickly and emits very nasty chemicals while a smoldering and a flaming. Code calls for a certain flame spread rating when materials are used for interior surfaces. There is a ceramic micro bead powder that can be mixed into cheap flat latex paint that provides the required flame spread, and as another poster pointed out Dow provides foam panels with required ratings as well.

    Covering the panels with drywall or another material also can provide the required flame spread ratings, there is a laminated particle board foam panel that comes in 2' by 8' and is 2.5" thick called barricade panel.
    Beer Belly likes this.
  3. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    Frankly we're all guessing here. I would add that airsealing between the house and attached garages is a real problem in existing houses. I found a lot of openings between my garage and house, maybe a couple square feet when added up. If I left garbage in my garage sometimes, I could smell it in the room over...that ever happen to you?

    If you've got that, it could be a large part of your problem. Also not great for indoor air quality...gas fumes, exhaust, CO, etc. not what you want in a bedroom. I would go berserk in there with a caulking gun to make the garage drywall a continuous air barrier.

    Are the garage sidewalls framed, or concrete? If the latter, you could also be pulling cold air in at the sill plate and freezing your floors. I had that, and just had the area cellulose densepacked for surprisingly cheap.
    Joful likes this.
  4. pyroholic

    pyroholic Member

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    Any heat getting dumped in there (in the insulated floor cavity)? When I used to build for Toll Brothers we always had this issue.

    The solution: draft stop to isolate the part of flooring that actually had living space(there was some dead space in the living area in their design). Insulate. Run a duct in there to dump a little heat into the insulated area.

    Not sure if this is possible with your situation, but thought I'd throw it out there.
  5. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

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    No garage smells leaking into the bedroom above. The garage has the last 8 feet enclosed as a laundry room making it too tight a fit for a car, so just basically storage, and is half foundation with a finished and insulated walls on one side....on the other side of the garage is the lower level family room (split level ranch)
  6. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    Even if the garage ceiling is insulated the fiberglass is probably not in contact with your bedroom floors. Air circulating above the insulation will make the floors cold.
    I like the packed cellulose option. I think it will achieve your goals without a complete teardown. I'm not sure that "dense packing" is even required in this case. A medium or loose pack cellulose blow-in may achieve what you need.

    Trouble is, no matter how well you insulate your garage ceiling it will still be cold in there. In the bedroom you have only warm air heating your floors and that air tends to rise not sink. I fear even with good insulation your floors will be too cold for your wife unless you add some underfloor heating.

    Another option, electrically heated floor mats. Put them where you wife tends to walk. I believe you can cover them with area rugs.
  7. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    The only way to be certain that the void between the bottom of the floor and the ceiling of the garage is properly setup, air sealed. and insulated is to pull down the ceiling.

    Don't go dumping hot air into the void as it will also dump moisture into the void leading to other issues down the road.
    bag of hammers likes this.
  8. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I suspect the "dense packing" is aimed at avoiding the phenomena you describe in your first two sentences. A looser packing will settle, allowing an air space between the insulation and floor. If the ends of each joist bay are sealed, no biggie. But if cold air is getting in there (eg. woodgeek's block wall scenario), then the loose fill may achieve nothing.

    Area rugs are indeed a good suggestion. We have a very old house with wood floors and zero insulation anywhere. We have area rugs on most of our wood floors, using them more to define "areas" in each room (large rooms) than anything else, but they do keep the feet warmer. I usually wear slippers in the house, but my wife and kids are usually barefoot.
  9. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    If you radiant floor heating, you wouldn't necessarily have to have your electric bill go up if u used some pex, and outside solar array and a circulator pump:



    (This video is just the basics, but yeah, folks run radiant floor heating off a system like this as well)

  10. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    The actual specs for "dense pack" are pretty rigorous as far as density. A medium pack, which is much more achievable, even with equipment available at big box stores, should still result in intimate contact between the insulation and floor preventing the air flow issue.
  11. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    From the OP, it sounds like the sills are NOT tied into the floor joist bays, and not a huge amount of air leakage. I would still pore over the garage drywall looking for openings to the framing, and caulk/can foam any I find.

    If the bays are empty now, cellulose is def the way to go. My guy densepacked a whole 30' long bay from a single 3" hole near the middle. IF they are already insulated, I would try airsealing the garage and do one winter on it to see if that fixes it before doing something more aggressive. As for the loose/dense fill issue, the material is cheap, and dense will provide airsealing (believe it or not).
    kingquad likes this.
  12. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    S'cool. Sad story....I have a friend whose mom did herself in with the 'running car in garage' 30 yrs ago. CO leakage into the bedrooms overhead nearly killed her three daughters too, and left one with permanent brain damage. IMO, I think 'airsealing the attached garage' will eventually become a code and resale/inspection issue.
  13. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    Interesting - do you have more info? (I'd PM you but thinking others may also want to know more..?....)
  14. kingquad

    kingquad Minister of Fire

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    It already is in the new international building code as of 2012, but many municipalities are slow to adopt new codes.
    woodgeek likes this.
  15. Stegman

    Stegman Feeling the Heat

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    While I don't share Hogwildz concerns about the product, I'm pretty sure he's right - most code requires that the foam board be covered with sheetrock.
  16. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    This is a link to the paint additive http://www.hytechceramics.com/flameretardant.html

    Dow makes the laminated OSB/foam panel and this is sold at building supply and home improvement centers http://www.homedepot.com/p/Barricad...all-Panels-OVRX2496R12/203640690#.Uha2slSSZIg

    There are other panels as well, basically, a large number of materials can be laminated to foam to provide the required flame spread ratings.

    I'm looking at doing the walls in the garage (which is a garage under) a bit later on and have been looking at a number of options. I have to decide if I want to be able to attach things to the walls when I'm done.

    As always when mucking around a house have a chat with the building inspector what passes for code in one location would fail at another.
    bag of hammers likes this.
  17. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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