Insulation is designed to promote a comfortable indoor environment while reducing the amount of energy required to maintain your ideal temperature. If your home has a basement, you may not think much about how this area contributes to the temperature inside your home. However, basements can become significant energy drains if not properly insulated against external influence—in fact, your basement can represent up to one quarter of your home’s energy budget. Keep reading to learn more about the basics of basement insulation and how choosing the right insulation solution for your basement can help you maintain indoor comfort and save money on your utility bills.
Adding versus Retrofitting Basement Insulation
If you are building a new home, the best time to add insulation to your basement is during the construction process. Especially if you plan to finish your basement, putting insulation in place before walls and other features are built is the easiest and most cost-effective solution. If you live in an older home, however, your basement may or may not already have insulation in place. Even if your basement is already insulated, your insulation may be insufficient or even damaged due to moisture and other factors. It is never too late to add insulation or upgrade the insulation in your basement, so don’t be afraid to consider retrofitting your basement with insulation—or higher-quality insulation—at any time. If you do choose to add insulation to an existing basement or retrofit your insulation, make sure your basement has no existing water issues; if you have problems with a wet basement, address these first before installing insulation.
Placement of Basement Insulation
Insulating your basement serves two major purposes: it maintains a more stable indoor temperature, while also blocking out moisture. In most cases, the most beneficial place to install insulation in your basement is along the walls. If your basement serves as a living space, you may also want to consider adding insulation beneath any flooring you install for greater comfort. While insulating your basement ceiling does have some benefits, you’ll gain the greatest rewards from insulating your basement walls. During new construction, insulation can be added to the exterior of your basement walls to conserve space and improve efficiency. If you are retrofitting your basement insulation, you’ll need to add insulation to the interior space, which is effective but may reduce your usable space by a few inches. Additionally, interior basement insulation may require additional sealing to prevent moisture from affecting your insulation over time.
Basement Insulation Types
When insulating your basement, it’s important to select the right product for the job. Typically, rigid or spray foam insulation is recommended for basement applications because of foam’s ability to resist both moisture and temperature differentials. Other common types of insulation, such as fiberglass and mineral wool batting or cellulose insulation, are not recommended for basements. These types of insulation allow air to circulate, which can lead to moisture buildup on the concrete walls beneath them, eventually causing mold or rot. Regardless of the type of insulation you choose for your basement, make sure it is properly rated for fire to ensure safety in case of an unexpected emergency.
Whether you are constructing a new home or retrofitting the insulation in your existing residence, discussing your options with an insulation expert will ensure you make the right choice for your budget and your needs. Click through our website to find out more about the insulation and weatherproofing solutions we offer, including spray foam installation and green insulation options.