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Rim Joist Insulation - A Critical Place to Insulate Well (but often not insulated at all)
Photos Of A Home With Un-insulated Rim Joist Areas & Infrared Images Of Energy Loss:
Image of un-insulated rim joist area.
Infrared Image of un-insulated rim joist areas. The dark purple areas indicate cold air coming into the home due to a lack of insulation...
Infrared Image of a home with un-insulated rim joist areas. The bright orange at the top of the foundation illustrates heat escaping the home.
Photos Of A Home With Insulated Rim Joist Areas & Infrared Images Of Energy Efficiency:
Infrared Image of a well insulated rim joist area. Note the rim joist areas in this infrared image are pink, rather than purple - indicating much better insulation than the above image...
Infrared Image of a home with insulated rim joist areas. Note the lack of orange at the top of the foundation illustrates heat staying inside the home.
By Frank Lundeen - 218 Inspect Home Inspections
Many homes in the Northland generally are insulated well - but even the best insulated homes have one area that is commonly not insulated at all. This area is known as the "Rim Joist". The "Rim Joist" area is found at the top of the foundation - in the cavities formed between the floor joists. The rim joist area can be commonly be viewed from the basement or crawl space area of a home.
Often times, when inspecting the exterior of a home and taking the exterior infrared images I include with every home inspection, I'll notice the entire top edge of the foundation is very warm (orange, as seen in the above top right infrared image). When I see this, I fully expect to find the rim joist area to not be insulated at all (or poorly insulated) when I inspect the basement.
Why do so many homes not have the rim joist areas insulated? Well, I guess it is sometimes an awkward space to work in - and it's laborious to cut rectangles of insulation to size to fit in each of these rim joist cavities. With that said - insulating your home is money very well spent, providing you huge return on investment! In fact, insulating your rim joist area is something that most homeowners are capable of doing.
Following is what you'll need to get this worthwhile project done:
3" - 4" thick foam board insulation - some people like to use 2 thinner sheets (1 1/2" or 2"), as 2 thin sheets can be easier to work with than 1 thick sheet (cut it to size to fit into the rim joist cavity areas).
Cans of spray foam (to fill the gaps around the edges of the cut to size pieces of foam board - as seen in the above lower/left image).
A means of cutting the foam board efficiently... A long bladed utility knife works, but a reciprocating saw with a long blade would work best.
A tape measure and straight edge, for measuring and planning your foam board cuts.
Improving your home's energy efficiency is something that YOU can do, can be done affordably, and will substantially reduce your home energy consumption. Please reach out to me to discuss how you can improve your home's energy efficiency, or consider a 218 Inspect Home Energy Inspection on your home!
Don't leave your home purchase to chance - arrive at your closing with confidence! Choose 218 Inspect for your home inspection today!
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