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Sealing an old foundation

Post in 'The Green Room' started by laynes69, Feb 4, 2007.

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  1. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    Our home is 150+ years old. Our walls are filled with urea-formaldahyde foam appx. 5 to 6 inches thick. Its currently 3 degrees here with a chill of -24. All exterior walls are warm, but where the floors meet the foundation they are drafty. We don't have any insulation in the floors between the basement and first floor. I can't for the life of me figure out how to stop or seal those drafts. The old basement walls are about 2 feet thick of boulders. The construction is weird because the homes floor joists are built in quadrants. Some run north to south and others run east to west. I think where the air is coming in is where the joists run into the beams on the foundation. I have looked over this multiple times and can't come up something to stop it. Everything else has been updated, windows and ductwork.

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It might be worth getting a quote for having foam sprayed into the sill cavities around the perimeter to stop the leakage.
  3. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    I have considered using urethane foam in the cans. Where all the joists meet the beams, there are blocks that were cut and put in place tightly. I would assume that these were used in the day to help stop some of the air. I have thought about removing those blocks, or drilling into them and injecting foam. One of my other thoughts where the air is coming in just under the siding at the base of the foundation. We have the original dutchlap and a layer of tar paper and asbestos shingles on the outer layer. Seems like no matter what I do I can't stop the drafts. This summer I will button up the home and add insulation in some places that need it. We are at 75 now, but the house will quickly cool w/o heat. I would like to see it hold heat a little better. It is pretty efficient for its age, actually cheaper to heat than my grandmas trailer.
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It's impossible to get the coverage that a spray unit has with the cans. The spray will seal the entire sill space. Congrats on sealing up the old place as well as you have. We're still working on ours too.
  5. sgcsalsero

    sgcsalsero Feeling the Heat

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  6. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    That stuff looks like a nice solution to the problems alot of us with 100+ year old houses have with drafts..
    Have you ever used it before?
  7. sgcsalsero

    sgcsalsero Feeling the Heat

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    Another forum member recommended it, I plan on ordering when it gets a little warmer out and post update

    . ... pretty sure it is the same polyurethane product as the one time use Great Stuff cans at HD/Lowes, I went
    thru 3 cans of that sealing a couple spots last year, that's $18 right there and I ended up wasting a lot of it

    Supposedly froth paks are good for 30 days once opened . . ., found more info. at http://www.dow.com/buildingproducts/frothpak/fp_12kit.htm
  8. erikdhafaB

    erikdhafaB New Member

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    You might want to look at Tiger Foam: http://www.tigerfoam.com/ It is a similar system to the froth pak 180 (200 board ft / 16 cubic ft coverage, two part polyurethane foam) but unlike most foams, it is fire rated. You may not be required to have fire rated foam a rim joist application (maybe someone with more code experience could weigh in on this...), but I tend to think safer is better. On the green side, it also is CFC, VOC and formaldehyde free. I don't see a price on the froth pak system, so I don't know how the price compares. Tiger Foam is $335 for the 200 ft. coverage tanks, gun and hose system.
  9. sgcsalsero

    sgcsalsero Feeling the Heat

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    I thought I noticed that tigerfoam was fire rated, good to know thanks . .. the froth pak prices are on ncssupply.com . . they haven't been updated in a little while, another price source is abcsupply.com
  10. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I guess I have to get in the swing of things and look at costs for stuff like foam boards. The price on this stuff, which I know seals irregular surfaces well, etc, sure seems expensive. Maybe everything is expensive, what do I know.
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It IS expensive, but then again, so is the cost of heating outdoors. Use the right product for the right job to keep costs down. For irregular surfaces spray foam can solve a lot of problems very quickly. For flat surfaces, sheet foam products work well.
  12. sgcsalsero

    sgcsalsero Feeling the Heat

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    break it down to the cost per board foot, Owens Corning Formular comes in around 40 cents for R7.5, the spray foam products can be 1 to 2dollars per bd ft. The canned products (great stuff, insta seal) probably are v. expensive per bd. ft. and not worth costing that way b/c they are meant to fill smaller gaps (1-3 inches)

    ... so IMHO a combination of rigid, spray foam kit, and point of use foam in cans would probably be a good economical way to approach things . .
  13. pearsall

    pearsall New Member

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    They also make "great stuff" in a maximum expanding version. For many of us with stacked stone foundations, anything rigid just doesnt work. I have a friend who has had the spray foam professionally done in his old house and crawlspace and it made a world of difference. Very pricey though! Unfortunately it is a problem that doesn't have an inexpensive solution.
  14. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    When I lived in NH I had an old house with a stone foundation. Alas, during Spring it would leak like a sieve. Wouldn't the hydrostatic pressure just eat holes through the insulation?
  15. jjbaer

    jjbaer New Member

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    suggestion...before using foam in exposed areas, I'd suggest a termite treatment you spary on the wood joists using a pesticide type sprayer. Reason is that once the foam is in place it's hard to inspect for termites in the future. If they're there now (or ants in the wood that you can't see) spraying foam guarantees that you'll probably never gain access to the wood for inspection. I used Boracare (got it on the internet)...it's a clear, syrup-like liquid that you mix with hot water and spray on the joists. It penetrates both sides of the wood and kills termites, beetles, ants, etc already in the wood, it stops new infestations and it preserves the wood. I sprayed all the joists, underside of the sub-floor and all box headers and sill plates in my crawlspace before I put up R-19 fiberglass. It was a real PITA but I have peace of mind knowing I don't have termites in the wood.
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