Insulation Ideas for a Finished Room
LESLIE: Dan in Missouri, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
DAN: I have a back porch that I turned into a salon and – for my wife. And it was never insulated out there. And I’ve insulated the walls and ceiling and I need a way to insulate the floors. And what it is – it’s just about a foot off the ground, at the front of it, and maybe a foot-and-a-half at the back of it. And there’s not really a good way to crawl under there and try to insulate. I was wondering the best way to try to insulate that to keep the pipes from freezing.
TOM: Yeah, that’s going to be difficult because you have no access to that space. In a perfect world, you’d be able to get under there and push some fiberglass batts underneath the floor but you can’t do that.
Now, what kind of flooring is down from the top side? Is there any way you can remove that floor and insulate and then reinstall it?
DAN: No, not without great difficulty. It’s got old, 2×6 flooring with sheeting on top of that and then I’ve got a laminate-type flooring on top of that.
TOM: Mm-hmm. So the flooring is finished, too, correct?
DAN: Yes, yes.
TOM: I don’t have a good solution for you, because you have no access to that space.
DAN: Very, very little access around the edges. I can get to the edges and insulate around the outside but I wouldn’t even know…
TOM: If you could get creative and get those insulation batts up and pressed up under that floor, that’s going to help. But it’s very difficult.
You know, one thing you could also consider doing is spray-foam insulation. A spray-foam pro might – might – be able to get the tools back down into the nooks and crannies of that floor space to be able to foam it and sort of work their work out. Spray foam, you spray it and it expands. There’s a very significant expansion ratio of maybe 100 to 1 or so. So if they put a thin coating on the inside of the floor, it will fill up to 8 inches or 10 inches thick. So that’s a possibility but again, it’s tricky.
DAN: And I got – I ran plumbing and water, so I need to somehow …
TOM: Well, if you ran the plumbing and the water, why didn’t you insulate the pipes at the same time?
DAN: Well, I was planning on – I thought there’d be a way to insulate around the outside of it or insulate – I ran everything through a window, through the basement, to get out there. So I’ve got airflow through my basement, so if I could somehow insulate around the edges, I think it would – might keep it enough to …
TOM: Right. You might want to dig out some of that crawlspace, create kind of a Yankee basement there. Not enough to do anything more than crawl in there but you may need to lower some of it to get access to that space and do all – everything that you need to do. That’s a problem when you convert spaces like that. They were never intended to be a living space when they were first constructed, so they’re very challenging to work around, just like you’re experiencing.
DAN: Yeah, I’m finding that out. Alright. Thank you.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.