Practical Basement Insulation Tips For The DIY Beginner

By: Casey Torren


Basement insulation usually comes to mind when dealing with the problems of moisture, dampness and flooding. These are the general and common problems among basements. If your house has a basement with a heating system, you may think of insulating the foundation walls to save more energy. However, insulating and finishing a basement, particularly if it is constructed in damp ground, is not really a good idea. Several homes have to deal with mold and mildew because of their wet basements. If the basement walls are not insulated and finished, it is simpler to maintain a dry basement and to prevent damage from moisture.
Constructing a framed wall, loading it with fiberglass batts and concealing it with drywall is the most common way to apply basement insulation. Unluckily this generates a cavity that is hard to air seal and to dry in the case that the basement wall will become wet.
Another material for insulation is polystyrene insulation. Compared to other options, this is better since it is already with embedded wood fastening strips. Also since humid air cant flow through behind the insulation as it can with the stud wall, water is sure to dry fast if water goes through the foundation wall. Foundations can also be insulated on the exteriors throughout assembly by utilizing water resistant insulation such as extruded polystyrene sheets.
The key is to eliminate any origin of foundation dampness issues. For instance, you could employ gutters or angling the ground away from the house prior to insulating the basement. If you cant eliminate the supply of water, its best not to insulate! If you line your foundation wall with insulation, you should do the same with the rim joist.
While fiberglass is widely employed to insulate the rim joist, foam is recommended since moisture at times travels behind the fiberglass and condenses on the cold rim joist, resulting in damage from rot or mold. It is therefore important to apply polyurethane foam in the rim joist portion to prevent this kind of damage.
Your Options
When it comes to basement insulation, there are various options available. Old wood-framed windows can weaken from humidity. Fissures can happen in the sill and sashes and between the sash and cement foundation. These should be substituted with a vinyl material and a window appropriately installed to ward off moisture. You should caulk newly applied windows.
Moreover, you should refurbish the weather-stripping between the jam and door as well as rec-caulk all door jams with foam. Foam pipe inserts are simple to apply and will ward off heat from dispersing from the pipe and taking it from the hot water tank. When the hot air is freed from the plenum in the furnace it has to insulate the metal duct around it. Duct sleeves stores this heat inside the system and prevents it from cooling. If your budget does not allow for insulation of flooring, its a good idea to incorporate carpeting. This will prevent the heat from reaching the cement.
In any case, book to insulate all exposed cement walls with foam sheets or stud frames and fiberglass. You may want to use closed cell foam insulation is this closes up everything. Working in your basement insulation could be uncomfortable, especially if you are planning on working in your basement for a prolonged time. A tips is to have a spray container around, containing cold water to spray on yourself.

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Is your basement suffering from the damaging effects of basement leaks? Learn practical tips and solutions in dealing with basement flooring and basement insulation problems.

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