The Best Way to Insulate Your Basement
The Basics of Basement Insulation
The basement is one of the most critical areas of your home to insulate properly. It’s often the most musty-smelling, draftiest room in the house. But it doesn’t have to be. Basement insulation aims to keep mold and mildew away by controlling the temperature.
Problems with Basements
Getting rid of that basement musty odor.
Many basements smell bad. It’s a common problem, but it doesn’t have to be that way. This is because concrete absorbs moisture, and there are concrete walls in almost all basements.
This moisture creates that musty odor that many of us know all too well.
Before installing insulation, check that you don’t have a more severe moisture infiltration problem. If you see any water on the foundation on a typical day, you may need to install a drainage system first.
It’s essential to understand your options when considering insulation options. Not all popular basement insulation products work well.
Fiberglass batts, for example, are less costly than other insulation types but are not considered the best choice for basement insulation material.
A batt is a roll or blanket of fibers like fiberglass or wool.
Rigid foam insulation is known to be more effective than fiberglass. However, it is more expensive. Rigid foam comes in panels or sheets of extruded polystyrene (or XPS). Just one to two inches is an effective deterrent to moisture.
Remember that XPS is a flammable type of insulation, so you’ll need to install a thermal barrier—a half-inch gypsum board is recommended.
Be cautious about using fiberglass insulation. Applying fiberglass insulation directly to a concrete wall is not recommended. If you must use fiberglass, there must be a space between the wall and the insulation.
This is because fiberglass is NOT moisture resistant, so if it touches the concrete, it can be a prime place for mold and mildew to grow.
Reduce the risk of moisture issues by using an even layer of rigid foam or closed-cell spray foam covering the concrete. Insulation installers can install a wall on the inside side of the foam insulation. Fiberglass batts are then placed inside the stud bays. Using closed-cell spray foam to insulate your basement is better.
Benefits of using Spray Foam in your Basement
The best method of insulating your concrete basement walls is by using closed-cell spray foam. It can achieve a higher R-value and excellent moisture resistance with less thickness. It can thoroughly fill all the gaps and spaces.
This is the optimal way to protect against air infiltration and moisture accumulation. It’s a more expensive option, but you’ll save money on future damage control with mold and mildew problems and savings on your energy bills.
Foam insulation offers several benefits when used in the basement of a building. Here are some advantages of using foam insulation in a basement:
Thermal Efficiency: Foam insulation, particularly rigid foam boards or spray foam, has a high R-value (thermal resistance) and effectively resists heat transfer. This helps to maintain a more consistent and comfortable temperature in the basement, reducing the need for excessive heating or cooling.
Moisture Resistance: Closed-cell spray foam insulation is impermeable to moisture, making it an excellent choice for basements, where dampness and water intrusion can be issues. It can help prevent moisture from entering the basement, reducing the risk of mold, mildew, and water damage. And gets rid of musty smells.
Air Sealing: Foam insulation provides an effective air barrier, sealing gaps and cracks in the walls and floors of the basement. This prevents drafts and the infiltration of outside air, improving energy efficiency and indoor air quality.
Noise Reduction: Foam insulation has soundproofing qualities that can help reduce noise transmission between the basement and other parts of the house. This is especially beneficial if you use the basement as a living or entertainment area.
Space Saving: Foam insulation is relatively thinner than traditional insulation materials like fiberglass batts. This can be advantageous in basements with limited headroom, as it allows for effective insulation without sacrificing much space.
Pest Resistance: Closed-cell spray foam is dense and not an attractive nesting material for pests like rodents or insects. Using foam insulation can help deter these pests from entering the basement.
Durability: Foam insulation is resistant to deterioration, providing a long-lasting insulation solution. It doesn’t settle or sag over time, maintaining its effectiveness.
Easy Installation: Foam insulation can be relatively easy to install, especially if using spray foam. It can be applied directly to various surfaces, including concrete walls and floors, adapting to irregular shapes and surfaces.
Energy Savings: The improved thermal efficiency and air sealing capabilities of foam insulation can lead to significant energy savings over the long term by reducing heating and cooling costs.
Increased Property Value: Properly insulated basements are attractive to homebuyers and can increase the overall value of your property. A well-insulated basement is an asset, mainly if it’s a usable living space.
However, it’s important to note that while foam insulation offers numerous benefits, choosing the right type of foam insulation and installation method is crucial based on your specific needs and the condition of your basement.
Consulting with the professionals at Installed Services can help you make the best decision.
Exterior or Interior Walls?
Insulating the exterior walls will give you more space inside the basement. When you insulate the interior walls, you’ll have an uninterrupted connection between the below slab insulation and the wall insulation.
Interior wall insulation works better with the construction schedule if you’re building a new home. All these factors are essential to consider when planning your basement’s insulation.
At Installed Services, we recommend that you consult with professional insulation installers before insulating areas of your home. There are many potential pitfalls when trying to do it yourself.
When you call on experts, you can avoid unnecessary expenses from trying to fix mistakes and feel secure that you’ll have it done right the first time.
At Installed Services, we’ll be happy to discuss your insulation needs with you. We are your partner in intelligent residential, commercial, or industrial insulation. Contact us today to get started.