If you are on the point of finishing your basement, you need to make sure that it is thermally insulated. It cannot be stated too frequently or emphasized how important proper basement insulation is. Crawlspaces are responsible for more than 20 % of the home’s heat loss, not to mention that they provide the perfect environment for mould and mildew. Even if your lower ground floor has some kind of covering, there is always potential for improvement. What you should do is take the time to understand these basic concepts as well as the fact that making small changes results into a more durable understructure. When it comes to advancing a surrounding system, it is advisable to make arrangements with experts in basement insulation in Orillia. Another option would be to handle the framing and the filling on your own, in which case you need some direction. It is worth following these steps to make sure that nothing goes wrong.
Before you begin, make an assessment
You should not start a basement insulation project without first making a plan. It is necessary to evaluate in what condition your crawlspace is. You need to focus your attention on issues such as water leaks, dampness and, last but not least, cracks. Undoubtedly, the biggest problem is the moisture present in the air. What happens is that the moisture penetrates the walls and, consequently, gets trapped. Naturally, condensation is formed and the surface deteriorates. In order to determine if the walls are humid, tape a sheet of plastic on the walls and see whether moisture accumulates on it. If you do have an issue with dampness, it must be addressed before you even get started. You need to apply some sort of moisture barrier, both on the interior and the exterior.
Main types of basement insulation
In Orillia, rooms on the lower floor of the building face serious challenges. To be more precise, they have to endure thermal shock, condensation, floods and many more. This means that basement insulation is not a luxury, but rather a necessity. The aforementioned issues can be managed with proper covering materials. The most popular products for reducing heat loss are batts, spray foam insulation and rigid foam insulation. What you should not use are fiberglass batts. Fiberglass batts create an attractive environment for mould, mildew and musty smells.
Put insulation on rim joists
People largely believe that basement isolating applies only to the walls. Walls are indeed at the center of the project, but rim joists are just as important. The reason why they should not be ignored is that they are major sources of heat loss. Concerning rim joists, you can use foam insulation products. Spray foam the framing, but make sure to use closed cell foam because it ensures better results. It is important to fill all the gaps as they favour air infiltration. This will take you some time, so you need to be patient. You cannot walk away from the unfinished basement.
Insulating basement walls
It may seem easier to simply install fiberglass batts, but you should think twice before doing such a thing. As mentioned before, fiberglass leads to moisture problems. The best choice for the foundation walls is polystyrene foam because it will make this crawlspace just as comfortable as any other room in your home. The real dilemma is where to start insulating. Many argue that it is best to start insulating outside. However, insulating inside is necessary as well to achieve optimal results. Interior basement insulation is advantageous because it ensures a continuity and it protects the exterior walls. The layer of protection needs to be applied to the concrete foundation. Before undertaking this task, you should carefully measure the lengths of each wall to have a clear picture of how much material you will need. Should the space allow it, you can set up the wall directly on the ground. After having secured the plate, you are done. If you do not want to go through the trouble of installing an XPS foam board, use spray foam.
Insulate under the floors
Insulating the floors of the foundation is not something that you should neglect. The ground too has a significant impact on heat loss, which is the reason why it is important to close off the concrete floors as well. Obviously, you can use a layer of foam board. In addition to energy efficiency advantages, foam insulation does not require any maintenance whatsoever. If you happen to live in a colder place, you should be using material with a R-20. Taking into account that moisture is a big concern it is advisable to add a moisture barrier. While it is true that for such an undertaking you will need to make a major investment, you will make considerable energy savings in the future, so it is worthwhile.
Avoid these basement insulation mistakes
It is needless to say that basement insulation which is not installed properly does not provide comfort. It cannot be stated enough that you should not use fiberglass. This is no secret, yet the vast majority of homeowners rely on this particular material. The reason why this material is largely used is that people do not have knowledge when it comes to vapor barriers. Rooms on lower floors of buildings abound in water vapors, which in turn leads to the formation of mould. Fiberglass is not such a good barrier, but spray foam is. If you want a higher R-value, you can use a combination of materials. No matter what choice you make, you should keep in mind that the layer of protection needs to be installed on the concrete foundation.
On the basis of what was presented above, it is clear that basement insulation is not child’s play. On the contrary, it is a professional undertaking and you should consequently let the pros handle the job for you. The result will be the one that you desired, namely a space that is at the same time convenient and free from dampness.