Opinions on Treating Embedded Joists in Brick Basement
We’re turning our unfinished Chicago basement into a living space and I’ve been working hard on a plan for insulating the ~80-year-old brick & concrete walls (below grade is poured concrete and upper 2/3rds is brick). After a number of interesting/informative/frustrating/enthralling rabbit-holes on the risks and best practices of old brick basement insulation, I think I have an acceptable (and affordable) plan.
It includes a combination of 2″ EPS on the majority of the wall, 2″ spray foam along the lower third (where the electrical and heating pipe will run), 1″ spray foam around the embedded joists, and Rockwool w/ a smart vapor retarder (maybe not needed?) to help reach the required r-value. The spray foam I’ll be doing myself with help from a friend who has experience with it.
One of my remaining questions is whether I should do anything additional for the embedded joists. From the reading it seems I could…
A) Inject the joists with borate rods
B) Insert metal plates.
C) Run the pipes for the baseboard heating along the ceiling below where the joists enter the walls, which in theory would provide some heat in those areas. I can’t find much about how to go about heating joists but wonder if this would be a reasonable option. This will slow me down and cost a bit more, but not a ton.
D) Of course, my preferred option would be to just insulate with foam and not worry about it. Ha.
**The practical Yankee solution of reinforcing and cutting scares me a bit. Would rather not disturb the joists at all, and it’s beyond my skillset. **
Thanks to all who have weighed in the community on all these issues in the past! It’s been hugely helpful. If anything else in this plan seems suspect, I’m welcome to all feedback.
***Note: The basement is pretty dry and exterior water issues have been addressed as best as possible – ground pitched away, downspout drain directs far from the house, masonry tuckpointed a year ago. Joists all are dry and in good shape.***
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