This statement by the U.S. Department of Energy: “The basement is often a major source of energy loss in a home,” enforces the importance of installing basement insulation. If you plan on converting your unfinished basement (perhaps your utility or storage room) into a functional living space, you’ll need to make sure that it’s properly insulated. Here are some tips that will ensure a warm, comforting, and energy-efficient space that is just as inviting as any other room in the house.
Types of Basement Insulation Materials
Rigid foam insulation is one of the most effective types of insulation available. Rigid sheets or panels of polystyrene insulation is the best choice of material for many homes. One or two inches provides moisture-resistant and energy-efficient insulation. Most building codes require foam insulation to be protected by a layer of gypsum.
Foam-in-place insulation, or spray foam, can be sprayed into empty joint cavities to fill the entire space. Some building codes may require that you leave a 3-inch gap for inspection purposes. With a high R-value, closed-cell spray foam is widely considered the best way to insulate a basement wall, but it can also be quite pricy.
What is an R-value?
An R-value is the resistance of heat flow through a given thickness of material. High R-values provide the best thermal resistance. Your climate, home design, and other factors also play a key role in determining the best R-values for your home. The Department of Energy provides a tool for calculating appropriate R-values based on your zip code.
Basement Insulation Benefits
In addition to significant energy savings – an annual savings of more than $170* – an insulated basement can provide a dry and comfortable living space for your family to enjoy. Insulation will also aid in the prevention of insect infestation and radon infiltration as well as reduce noise pollution.
The aforementioned benefits are dependent, however, on ensuring proper installation. This is why it is a good idea to hire a professional insulation contractor who has a lot of experience with basement insulation (both wall and ceiling). With more than thirty-years’ experience, we at Carrig & Dancer, are committed to ensuring proper installation.
*Dependent on your geographical location.