The way you insulate your basement will largely depend on whether or not your home is already built. If you are still in the middle of construction, it will be easier to add insulation to the exterior walls now than it would be to do it later. However, if this is not a possibility, then you can still insulate. This can be done on the inside of the walls with your choice of insulation and a possible moisture barrier. You may also want to insulate the basement floors and the ceiling, depending on your budget and energy goals.
What To Know About Insulating Areas of Your Basement
Each area of your basement has different needs, which means you may have to install several different types of insulation. The information below can help give you insight into which insulation material will be right for your walls, basement, and ceiling. However, if you have specific concerns or questions, our team at Action 1 Insulation always recommends speaking with a professional. Expert advice will ensure you avoid some of the most common mistakes with insulating this space.
You can use many types of insulation in your basement walls, including spray foam, foam board, fiberglass, cellulose, and rockwool. However, some homeowners choose to install more than one insulation to achieve the results they are looking for. When choosing your insulation, remember that spray foam will work best if your basement is made from stone and mortar walls. You may also need to have a vapor barrier installed if your basement has a lot of moisture, as traditional insulation will absorb this moisture and eventually grow mold.
In general, insulating your basement ceiling may not be necessary, as insulating the walls is generally sufficient for preventing air loss. If you still want to insulate this area to further mitigate heat loss, then you may want to consider using fiberglass batt insulation. You can talk to your contractor about whether or not this is the right choice for you, based on your needs and budget. If you do install this, it’s likely best to do it with a vapor barrier that will prevent moisture from being absorbed into the insulation.
As long as moisture is not a problem in your basement, you can insulate the floors to keep the space warmer. If you’re already done constructing this room, then you’ll need to install a sub-floor to make room for the insulation of your choice. Once the installation is done, this room will be more energy-efficient and can easily be used as a livable space. What’s even better is that the floors will remain warmer, which will make it more comfortable when walking around.
Best Material Types to Consider
Types of Basement Wall Insulation
Spray foam is one of the most expensive insulation options for your basement walls but is worth the price. Closed-cell spray foam is the preferred choice to help prevent moisture issues and create the most sound and air resistant barrier possible. Bubble foil is another insulation option that can reduce heat loss and even reduce dampness inside of this room. Rigid foam insulation is another popular choice for basement walls because it creates a tight seal that is water and fire-resistant. Batt/rolled is the last type of insulation you can use for basement walls. However, this must be installed with a vapor barrier to prevent moisture from being absorbed.
Types of Basement Ceiling Insulation
Spray foam and rigid foam board are two of the most popular insulation materials for a basement ceiling. If you are on a budget and want a lower-cost alternative, then fiberglass batts are an option. However, you must install these with a vapor barrier to prevent moisture from being absorbed into the fiberglass. If you have a bigger moisture problem, then it may be worth the added cost to use rigid foam board or spray foam instead. Once the insulation is done, it’s important to finish the job by having drywall installed.
Types of Basement Floor Insulation
If you have ample height available, then installing insulation on top of your basement’s concrete is a good decision. This should start with a thick layer of polyethylene and then a layer of rigid foam insulation. Once the seams are sealed, you can top with sub-flooring for a finished look. An alternative that doesn’t take as much space is insulated subflooring, which has rigid foam insulation placed in-between the subflooring and a vapor barrier. This comes in one piece and can be snapped together for easy installation. Pre-made flooring will require far less space than the alternative, making it a good choice for homes with short height available.
Why Air Sealing is Important in the Basement
Keeping your home temperature controlled can mean more than just comfort no matter what the weather outside is like. It can mean you’re reducing air loss in different parts of your home, which ultimately saves you money by reducing demand on your HVAC system. While there are many sources of air loss, your basement may be one of the biggest culprits. This is because the air from the outside gets drawn in through the basement and will eventually rise up into your floors and throughout the rest of your home. Warm air in your home can also be lost through your floors, making it difficult to keep the space at an even temperature.
In addition to installing insulation, it is important to seal areas of your basement that can increase air loss. This should begin with sealing cracks or gaps that are in rim joist cavities, as these can be large enough to cause major air loss throughout the year. If the gaps are larger than 1/4 of an inch, spray foam will be the best choice for adequately filling them. It’s also recommended to seal any holes for fires, the furnace flue, or water supply pipes. Doing so is a quick but effective way of further preventing air loss.
Why Hire a Professional Team for Basement Insulation
It can be stressful doing basement insulation on your own, especially if this is the first time you’ve done it. You’ll have a lot of questions and may not know what to do when you run into problems. When you work with a contractor, you can rely on someone to take control of your project. This can reduce your stress levels and make it much easier to complete your insulation project in a timely manner.
Find the Right Materials
After doing a thorough inspection, your contractor can tell you which insulation materials are right for your basement walls, ceiling, and floors. They can also give you custom advice as to which areas need to be insulated and which are not necessary to touch. By choosing the right material the first time, you’ll save both time and money.
Installing basement insulation improperly can cause you to lose materials and experience damage in this room. Unfortunately, the risk of this happening with DIY insulation is high, especially if it’s the first time you’ve done it. By working with a professional, you’ll have peace of mind that the insulation was installed properly. From doing the necessary preparation to having the tools that are necessary to keep the insulation in place, contractors know every step to take to do things the right way.
Working with Action 1 Insulation
Action 1 Insulation has made it a priority to help homeowners insulate their basements the right way. Whether you’ve lived in your home for a long time and want to finish it or you are building a new space, our contractors can help. From discussing your material options to helping you determine what you can insulate on a budget, their help can make this project much easier to complete. If you’re ready to properly insulate your basement to improve energy efficiency and comfort, give our team a call today.