How to Insulate a Basement?

October 3rd, 2012

Basements are must-haves in a typical house or building construction. A basement will house furnace, water heater, washing machines among other things. However, as most basements are constructed below ground level, they are naturally cool and damp and account for heat loss from a home. Hence, insulation becomes important as it makes basements more liveable and comfortable as it limits heat emission and keeps the moisture levels intact. Now the question is 'how to insulate a basement'? Most Canadians insulate the basement to safeguard the interior of the house from external temperature fluctuations during both summer and winter. You would need a few things before you start the insulation process – calk, insulation material, mechanical fasteners and a gypsum board. Before insulating, you may also want to decide on how you would want to insulate your basement. There are three standard methods to insulate – from outside, from the middle of the foundation and from the inside of the structure. Unless your house is still under construction, you have no option but to opt for insulating from inside the structure. Assessment Prior to insulating your basement, assess the basement for its environment and the local weather. Take in to notice any structural construction that is likely to affect the insulation installation process such as uneven ceiling heights. Ensure the completion of all minor household repairs before going ahead with the insulation. Material Once you complete assessing your basement, select the type of insulation material you intend on using. Your local hardware store will sell blanket insulation, plastic board insulation and polyurethane spray insulation. While the first two can be a DIY project, polyurethane spray insulation requires a professional because of its chemical properties. Once you have the material in place, crosscheck with your local provincial building authority and ensure that you are abiding by all the provincial government’s building codes. Process and Precautionary Measures Use the calk you kept aside earlier and prepare the basement walls for insulation by sealing all holes or openings. Give the calk enough time to dry before starting insulation. It is important that you understand proper insulation safety measures before insulating your basement. When insulating, keep any heat emitting objects such as a fireplace or heating duct far away from the insulation installation process. Bear in mind your home’s electrical system and any exposed wiring seen in the basement ceiling. Apply the insulation material. Remember to seek professional help and hire an insulation installation company, if you are insulating with polyurethane spray. However, if you are insulating using blanket insulation or plastic board insulation, use mechanical fasteners appropriate for your basement walls in order to secure the insulation material to the basement ceiling and walls. You are nearing completion of the insulation project. Finish up by using the finishing material. Ensure that all joists are sealed and the basement walls protected using the gypsum board to prevent and reduce potential fire hazards. Now that you’ve found the answer as well as the solution to your question 'how to insulate a basement', make the most of basement by keeping it clean and decorating it suitably.