Why Add Insulation to Basement Walls?
One of the biggest renovation jobs in a home is to finish or redo the basement - adding it as livable space for an extra bedroom, kids to play in, or even just as extra storage or office space, can add a ton of value to your home. While finishing to renovate a basement, one of the most important steps is to ensure it is properly insulated. Proper insulation doesn't only ensure your own comfort, but also so that moisture and mold don’t wreak havoc on your new rooms. Choosing to add insulation to basement walls will not only save you trouble down the road, but also give your basement renovation a professional touch and make it a safe and comfortable space to relax in.
When it comes to insulating your home, the experts at EcoStar Insulation have nearly a decade of experience installing spray foam insulation, as well as consulting and recommending the best solutions for residential, commercial, and agricultural buildings looking to add insulation to basement walls.
The best option for basement insulation is spray foam
There are two schools of thought if you are thinking to add insulation to basement walls - adding insulation on the outside or adding insulation on the inside. Both have distinct advantages and situations in which they are preferable. At EcoStar Insulation, our preference is for interior basement insulation, for which spray foam insulation works exceptionally well. Not only is spray foam perfect for retrofits, but it’s easier to provide insulation continuity (no interruptions due to shifted footings or building settlement), it makes it simpler to protect existing above-grade exterior insulation, and it allows flexibility if you’re thinking of installing brick veneer or any other exterior finishings to your home.
Unlike traditional materials such as fibreglass or blown in insulation, spray foam insulation creates a smooth barrier around the walls of your home. Acting as a moisture barrier and insulation all in one product, it gives your basement superior protection against dampness and water, and its high R-Value provides superior insulating capabilities to any space. An important number to consider when you’re re-insulating a basement is R- Value- it refers to a material’s ability to resist heat flow, and the higher the R-Value, the greater the resistance.
Keep warm air in and cool air out
When a basement is improperly insulated, warm air can come into contact with unprotected foundation walls, which are naturally cooler due to the temperature of the soil on the other side. This warm air will start to condense when it touches the colder foundation walls, and that condensation can build up behind drywall or framing and start giving mold a perfect climate to grow in. Choosing to add insulation to basement walls will help ameliorate this problem by protecting those cooler outer walls from the warmer air within.
At EcoStar Insulation, we never recommend materials like fibreglass or mineral wool as basement insulation, because as air-permeable materials, they are prone to allow moisture to condense and collect, which leads to mold and rot within your walls - which certainly does not help keep you warm! If you have an older home, it could be that your walls contain this kind of insulation, and it could lead to hot or cold spots, drafts, or funny smells. At EcoStar Insulation, our qualified technicians can help you assess your basement space and figure out what types of insulation may be lurking within your walls, and what, if any, renovations need to be made to remove or improve your basement’s insulation. By choosing to add insulation to basement walls with spray foam insulation, you can ensure this problem is nipped in the bud.
Most basements are 90% underground and many contractors only install insulation to four feet below the outside grade - leaving another few feet unprotected. Whether your home is new or old, it’s worth checking to see how your basement is insulated, and what you can do to improve or replace it if necessary. At EcoStar Insulation, we choose to add insulation to basement walls with spray foam insulation, because it is one of the least invasive and cost-effective ways of improving basement environments. When working with unfinished basements, we generally frame the space with a gap of 1-2 inches between the back of the studs and the foundation wall. This space gives spray foam somewhere to expand into as it is applied between the studs, and the nearly impermeable barrier it creates around your walls makes it an excellent choice if you’re thinking to add insulation to basement walls.
A Canadian winter – calls for a well-insulated basement
In Ontario and Canada, you can greatly improve the comfort of your whole home by choosing to add insulation to basement walls. Living with the wide range of temperature fluctuations over the course of a year means that your basement needs different kinds of support at different times of the year. In the depths of winter’s deep freeze, you can lose a lot of heat through heat transfer with improperly insulated basement walls. In the summer time, moisture and humidity can build up from hot air becoming trapped down below. New insulation can make a big difference in your home, and help reduce those problems as well as save you money on your monthly energy bills - an improperly insulated basement can be a huge drain on your home’s energy efficiency as well as cause problems for overtaxed furnaces and air conditioning units. If you add insulation to basement walls, you not only improve underground rooms, but also boost the comfort of your entire home.
Renovating your basement, whether it is to make an in-law suite, playroom, or storage is a smart decision for any homeowner. Make sure you do it right and add insulation to basement walls to protect your investment and ensure your new basement is comfortable and safe for you and your family. If you are curious about EcoStar Insulation or about using spray foam insulation in your basement, give us a call at 1-866-789-1536, and we’d be happy to help you find an option right for your home.