April 19, 2024

Suggestions for insulating a basement to prevent freezing pipes

Home Enhancement

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Q. We made the plunge and put in multi-zone mini-splits in all the rooms of our 1950 ranch. We have shut down our oil furnace but not drained our baseboard heaters. The basement, all underneath quality, has blown insulation in the ceiling. We do have pipes, each baseboard and potable water, in close proximity to external partitions. In 33 a long time, this basement has never ever gotten colder than 50 levels or so. Without having the furnace working and performing as a warmth source, how considerably ought to we get worried about freezing pipes? Need to we get temperature warning alarms and pipe heaters or go away the furnace working? Many thanks.


A. Ordinarily, an unheated basement will remain involving 50 and 55 degrees, assuming there are no gaps to the exterior. Most frozen pipes materialize when they are within the exterior walls above the basement, not in the basement. What I would advise with the blown-in insulation in the floor bays higher than is to insulate the perimeter of the basement where by the foundation meets the framing. Most basement air leaks occur right here. We like to use closed-mobile icynene, but specified the modest sizing of the challenge, this may well not be useful. An simple substitute is to use 2-inch rigid insulation minimize into the flooring bays against the exterior and spray foam around the perimeter, sealing all the gaps. This is very efficient at air sealing a basement.

Pipe heaters are a Band-Assist on a problem that need to be solved correctly. There are economical alarm units that can ship telephone alerts if the temperature in the basement receives underneath 32. Customers can tie it into their phones. Again, any basement that gets to 32 levels has major challenges with infiltration. Considering the fact that you seem to be striving to lessen your carbon footprint, thoroughly sealing the basement space is an important stage. You could attempt the alarm for the first calendar year as a basic safety precaution.

Mark Philben is the job growth manager at Charlie Allen Renovations in Cambridge. Mail your questions to [email protected]. Issues are topic to enhancing.