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I beam thermal break

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  • I beam thermal break

    We're on a big renovation right now where the house has many I beams that support the interior joists but also penetrate the exterior walls to act as supports for a balcony and other details. I'll post pictures tomorrow when I'm back in the office but the basic question is: how to insulate these the best.

    The exterior portion has some validity if left alone (showing the steel) and a cost benefit due to doing the job right and covering the entire thing.

    I have en thinking that if I wrap the interior portion with rigid (2", 4" would limit head room and be a clunky detail inside) that this would be a huge improvement and be "pretty good".

    The issue would still be at the point where the beam(s) touch the exterior plane. The structure is masonry on first floor where they all protrude. We'll build new interior walls and use super eco-friendly spray foam between the new and old but is that enough.

    Anyway, pictures tomorrow when I'm in the office, they will show things better.
    Portland Renovations, Inc.
    www.portlandrenovations.com

  • #2
    Re: I beam thermal break

    Dutchman, is there a reason you can't use the spray foam on the beam?
    "ALS IK KAN" - Stickley

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: I beam thermal break

      looking forward to the pictures and any drawings you might be able to include.
      Mark Parlee
      BESI(building envelope science institute) Envelope Inspector
      EDI Certified EIFS Inspector/Moisture Analyst/Quality Control/Building Envelope II
      EDI Seminar Instructor
      Level one thermographer (Snell)
      www.thebuildingconsultant.com
      www.parleebuilders.com
      You build to code, code is the minimum to pass this test. Congratulations your grade is a D-

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: I beam thermal break

        Here's a couple pictures.

        We're not removing the concrete deck above the cantilevered portion so insulating that side of the beam is not happening.

        I think we may just have to be happy with wrapping the inside and containing the cold there.

        Calvert: We could certainly use spray foam but the "basement will be living space, it needs to be inclosed to a finished detail...not lumpy. This is why I was considering using rigid, then strapping, then drywall.
        Portland Renovations, Inc.
        www.portlandrenovations.com

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        • #5
          Re: I beam thermal break

          Dutch
          Thanks for the pictures.
          Left a message, give me a call.
          more questions.
          Mark Parlee
          BESI(building envelope science institute) Envelope Inspector
          EDI Certified EIFS Inspector/Moisture Analyst/Quality Control/Building Envelope II
          EDI Seminar Instructor
          Level one thermographer (Snell)
          www.thebuildingconsultant.com
          www.parleebuilders.com
          You build to code, code is the minimum to pass this test. Congratulations your grade is a D-

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: I beam thermal break

            Here's another shot of the beams on the other side where they are exposed after penetrating the exterior wall.

            Good chatting with you Mark.

            Bob
            Portland Renovations, Inc.
            www.portlandrenovations.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: I beam thermal break

              All you can do is insulate them on the interior, and isolate them well with a vapor retarder/barrier. I'd seal them well at the outside wall, then wrap them with a foil-clad rigid insulation with all the joints taped with aluminum tape. Then strap and finish

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: I beam thermal break

                Yeah, it's the moisture that makes me nervous too - seems like it'll be a big condensing surface.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: I beam thermal break

                  I spoke with Bob this morning and he is demoing off the sun porch as well as opining the inside of the other ceiling that coincides with his latest picture.
                  He is going to look at how that area has performed.
                  I am curious as to what condition it is in and if in good shape why hasn't this been a problem for 60 years.
                  Mark Parlee
                  BESI(building envelope science institute) Envelope Inspector
                  EDI Certified EIFS Inspector/Moisture Analyst/Quality Control/Building Envelope II
                  EDI Seminar Instructor
                  Level one thermographer (Snell)
                  www.thebuildingconsultant.com
                  www.parleebuilders.com
                  You build to code, code is the minimum to pass this test. Congratulations your grade is a D-

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: I beam thermal break

                    We'll see what the framing looks like on the other side where is has been exposed directly since it was built.

                    The joists are sitting on a 2X pad atop the steel, so they may be protected but the pad may show signs of decay if there has been condensation on the beam.

                    If I don't insulate the outside, all of that cold will simply transfer to the floor framing....yuck.
                    Portland Renovations, Inc.
                    www.portlandrenovations.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: I beam thermal break

                      That's a pretty common detail in the commercial world. At each floor there is a relieving angle that carries the brick, it gets thru wall flashing's. the relieving angle gets fastened to another angle which is welded to the building frame.

                      It is what it is.
                      "First we finish the game, then we’ll deal with the Armada!"

                      Sir Frances Drake

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                      • #12
                        Re: I beam thermal break

                        Not the case here. These suckers are through and through. The dressed masonry is adhered to blocks on the inside on the first floor, then stacked above that for the second floor.

                        On the second floor, it's 2X4 stick framed with the dressed block attached to that...how it's attached, I don't know yet...but it's on there obviously.

                        There may be a relieving angle somewhere, I just can't see it nor does it show signs of failing.
                        Portland Renovations, Inc.
                        www.portlandrenovations.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: I beam thermal break

                          I didn't mean to imply the relieving angle was the case here, just that sometimes these tremendous thermal bridges are inevitable.

                          It is what it is.
                          "First we finish the game, then we’ll deal with the Armada!"

                          Sir Frances Drake

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: I beam thermal break

                            What about cleaning all the scale, use an automotive frame preservative paint such as POR-15 from eastwood at http://www.eastwood.com/ .

                            Then encase the inside in closed cell that should eliminate the possibility of a condensing space. Install some strapping and then cover it with a beam wrap or drywall.

                            Phil
                            It's better to try and fail, than fail to try.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: I beam thermal break

                              Bob

                              you ought to post the elevation pictures you sent me; very cool house.
                              Mark Parlee
                              BESI(building envelope science institute) Envelope Inspector
                              EDI Certified EIFS Inspector/Moisture Analyst/Quality Control/Building Envelope II
                              EDI Seminar Instructor
                              Level one thermographer (Snell)
                              www.thebuildingconsultant.com
                              www.parleebuilders.com
                              You build to code, code is the minimum to pass this test. Congratulations your grade is a D-

                              Comment

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