February 6, 2023


A Home Grown Success

Tips for insulating a basement to keep away from freezing pipes

House Advancement

Deliver your residence enhancement questions to [email protected]


Q. We produced 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 under grade, has blown insulation in the ceiling. We do have pipes, the two baseboard and potable water, in close proximity to exterior walls. In 33 a long time, this basement has by no means gotten colder than 50 levels or so. With no the furnace operating and acting as a warmth resource, how much must we get worried about freezing pipes? Really should we get temperature warning alarms and pipe heaters or leave the furnace working? Many thanks.


A. Normally, an unheated basement will continue to be involving 50 and 55 levels, assuming there are no gaps to the outdoors. Most frozen pipes come about when they are inside of the exterior partitions over the basement, not in the basement. What I would propose with the blown-in insulation in the ground bays above is to insulate the perimeter of the basement wherever the basis satisfies the framing. Most basement air leaks transpire listed here. We like to use closed-cell icynene, but presented the modest dimension of the task, this may perhaps not be useful. An quick alternative is to use 2-inch rigid insulation minimize into the ground bays from the exterior and spray foam about the perimeter, sealing all the gaps. This is extremely powerful at air sealing a basement.

Pipe heaters are a Band-Assist on a issue that should really be solved effectively. There are inexpensive alarm systems that can send out mobile phone alerts if the temperature in the basement receives down below 32. Buyers can tie it into their phones. Again, any basement that will get to 32 degrees has significant concerns with infiltration. Considering that you look to be trying to reduce your carbon footprint, adequately sealing the basement house is an important move. You could test the alarm for the initially 12 months as a security precaution.

Mark Philben is the challenge improvement manager at Charlie Allen Renovations in Cambridge. Ship your queries to [email protected]. Queries are matter to enhancing.