Insulating cinder block exterior walls

Discussion in 'Michigan Homesteading and Home Improvement' started by 2ESRGR8, May 7, 2012.

  1. Looking for advice input on what options I have for insulating the exterior walls on a block house I have in NE lower Michigan.
    Exterior is vinyl sided with I believe some type of insulating board behind the vinyl, think celotex or some similar type product.
    Interior is shown below. Firring strip on the block that was covered with a reflective paper then paneling. We are looking to remove all the paneling and have these walls drywalled. Right now I am leaning toward doubling up the fir strip after covering it with a vapor barrier and then using rigid foam.


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  2. I'm also in the NE lower, and I was recently faced with the same dilemma. I'm now in the middle of finishing a cinder block walled basement, though only 30% of the "basement" is below grade. I decided to rip out all existing and go with a 2" Foamular insulation on the walls, and then build out my 2x4 stud walls in front of the insulation. Cinder block walls by themselves give you an insulation factor of about 1.1. Adding up the R factor of the cinder block, the 2" insulation, the air gap between the insulation and the drywall, and the drywall...I will be at roughly R12 1/2. Before doing anything I caulked up any cracks in the mortar and then painted the walls with Dry Lok. Here's a picture of a completed section.


    I guess I should also mention that I had little to no framing experience prior to taking on this job. I did my research online, bought some books, read up to familiarize myself...then, DAMN THE TORPEDOES! ;)

    Let me know if you have any questions. I'm hip deep into this project, so it's all very fresh in my mind. :)

  3. A friend in Iowa had a cinder block cabin and did pretty much the same thing Wojo did except he then covered the rigid insulation and went nuts with spray insulation. I have stayed there several frigid January nights and have kept the whole place warm with just a small space heater and a few dogs. My friend claims you can heat it with a candle.

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  4. After 2 coats of dry lock extreme we used 1/4 inch fan-fold (styro) as a vapor barrier. Followed that by 2x4 framing and fiberglass batt.

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  5. Sounds like you got it backwards. The vapor barrier goes between the insulation and the finished wall. (warm air, drywall, VB, insulation)
  6. Nah. I think for basement walls I'm good.

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  7. 2es. - wojo's got it.

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  8. Spray foam is the way to go.

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  9. Hunt
    How much did the spray foam run you? Did you do that yourself or have it done?

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  10. I had it done. My cousin does it so I got a deal. It is pricey but so worth it.

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  11. Are you sure that it is cinder block? Typically, cinder block was only used above grade, cement block below grade.
  12. I'm no builder, and there's always a chance I'm going to use an incorrect term here or there. We've just always called them cinder blocks, regardless of what they're made of. It was always a generic Kleenex. ;)
  13. I'd go with this product...

    Quick and painless...easy to run wiring, video explains it all...good luck

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