insulating the top of the basement bulkhead
Thursday, September 21 2023
location: 800 feet west of Woodworth Lake, Fulton County, NY
Gretchen sent me a message this morning saying she'd managed to get rid of the white leather chair (and matching footstool) after listing it on Buy Nothing (or whatever the Hudson Valley give away forum is called these days). She said the woman who came for it had admired my solar collection system from afar for years.
Now that the insulation for the cabin's foundation is all installed, I've been wondering how to leave things around the bulkhead that supports the Bilco doors in the back. That bulkhead is a separate concrete box that attaches directly to the north foundation wall, and due to that connection, it can act like a heat sink, drawing away warmth from the two places it attaches. To combat this, I'd already insulated the south part of the bulkhead walls using scrap styrofoam (measuring 0.5 to 0.75 inches in thickness). But since concrete is such a good conductor of heat, the uninsulated parts could still leach away valuable warmth. Today I dug around the still-uninsulated part of the bulkhead, including its north wall, so that I could install more sheets of scrap styrofoam to fully insulate the top thirty inches or so. Below that, the ground gets less cold and the small advantages of stopping the small heat loss through the bulkhead foundation wall aren't worth the trouble of digging deeply. I found digging the ten feet or so of trench I needed wasn't too difficult, since it didn't go much deeper than about 18 inches. Since I couldn't be bothered to wait for slow-drying adhesives, I glued all of the styrofoam using Gorilla Glue. I then used spray foam to seal all the gaps, especially at the top of the bulkhead wall between it and a frame of treated lumber.
For lupper, I festooned a vegan frozen pizza with mushrooms and onions and cooked it in the stove. Such pizzas are always better than I remember them being from the time I'd last made them.
Then I took the dogs for a hike down the driveway out to Woodworth Lake Road. We turned into the entrance of the nearest parcel west of our driveway and hiked back through the woods along what seemed like an old logging road. Along the way, I kept a lookout for rocks I could use on the north retaining wall topping project, but only found a few small ones. Unlike in the bluestone terraces of the Catskills, loose rock in the Adirondacks is surprisingly scarce and typically takes the form of rounded boulders in sizes that are often too big to carry.
This evening I cut away the extra spray foam from the styrofoam bulkhead insulation so it would be ready tomorrow to be sealed away beneath portland cement.
The bulkhead with the new styrofoam insulation held by prop sticks, viewed from the northwest. Note the bottle of Gorilla Glue.
Click to enlarge.
My shadow on Woodworth Lake Road with the dogs, viewed from the west.
Click to enlarge.
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