Keeping your home warm during the winter months is a priority for homeowners. With basements accounting for roughly 20% of a home’s total heat loss in many cases, proper basement insulation can save you a lot of money.
Heat tends to escape through basement windows, cracks in the walls, and in the sill area at the top of the foundation wall. If you have an older home with a basement that has not been renovated, there is a high chance that your basement is not well-insulated. And now is a great time to consider improving your basement’s insulation while you renovate your basement.
Before You Insulate Basement Walls
The first thing you want to do when considering basement insulation is have your basement assessed. You need to know what problem areas are and the overall state of your basement. If there is a problem in the walls or foundation, you will notice the following signs of damage:
- Water leaks. Basement foundation leaks that are consistent when it rains are a sign that your basement needs a vapour barrier to keep moisture out. Solutions include foundation crack repair, excavating, damp-proofing or waterproofing the basement and insulating the basement from the exterior.
- Signs of dampness. Moisture in the basement can cause problems like mould, mildew, peeling paint, efflorescence and cracks.
If you see any sign of moisture in your basement, you can be sure you are losing heat through the same cracks.
Types of Basement Insulation
Insulating a basement from the inside involves using an energy-efficient insulation board and drywall or a wood-frame wall and insulation. The method you choose is dependent on whether you have moisture problems and need to use vapour barriers, your budget and how you intend to use the space in your basement.
Batt Fibreglass Insulation
Also known as “blanket” insulation, batt insulation uses fiberglass and comes in rolls. This type of insulation is the most common because it is cost-effective.
A disadvantage to fibre insulation is that it is recommended only in larger basement because it requires space to install. In addition, installing batt insulation is not the quickest option, usually taking up to a few days to finish.
Spray Foam Insulation
Foam insulation is sprayed onto the walls, ceilings, and staircases. As it dries down, it expands up to 100x its original size. Spray foam is perfect for smaller basements because installing it doesn’t take up much space. It is also done much faster than batt insulation; typically a one-day job.
However, because spray foam is so efficient to apply, it’s generally a lot more expensive than fiberglass insulation.
Understanding the different types of basement insulation will help you determine the most suitable type for your home. The factors that affect your decision are your budget, the size of your basement, and how urgent the basement project is.
Moreover, homeowners should bear in mind that R20 is the highest-quality grade of insulation. To learn more about insulation R-value, reach out to a professional to have your questions answered.
Hire a Basement Professional
It’s clear that basement insulation benefits far outweigh the trouble that comes with the procedure. If you’re considering renovating or remodelling your basement, consider contacting a skilled basement contractor. Kill two birds with one stone and take advantage of the time, money, and effort you’ll put into your basement during renovation; you might as well get it professionally insulated, too!