Many people don’t insulate their basement walls because they mistakenly believe that the soil outside does the insulating for them. Unfortunately, soil is not a good insulator and heat loss from your basement can account for over one third of the total heat loss from your home.
Done properly, basement insulation will not only reduce heat loss, but it will make your basement warmer, drier and much more comfortable. There are two main ways to insulate your basement – interior insulation and exterior insulation.
For interior basement insulation, you can use any of the main types of home interior insulation, including fibreglass batts, rigid foam board and spray foam. Having a metal or wood frame of studs will help support the insulation and give you a place to attach drywall or panelling.
You should install a moisture barrier over the bare wall before adding the stud frame and insulation. Also, add a vapour barrier over the installed stud frame and insulation before adding drywall and panelling.
For exterior basement insulation, you must excavate the soil around your home so you can get to the outside surfaces of your basement walls. Cover the entire surface of the wall with a layer of waterproofing material before adding rigid insulation. Metal flashing and a protective cover must be installed over the insulation to make sure moisture does not get between the insulation and the basement wall.
Before installing any kind of basement insulation, you need to fix any cracks, leaks or other moisture problems. Moisture can seriously damage your finished basement and the problem is far more difficult and expensive to fix after a basement is finished.
On the inside, moisture and vapour barriers will help reduce condensation, but they do not prevent water leaking through wall cracks. A basement waterproofing system is the best way to make sure you do not have moisture problems from any source.
On the outside, install a drainage system when insulating the wall. Again, waterproofing your basement will protect you from water damage.
The trained basement waterproofing professionals at Clarke Basement Systems know how to make your basement dry and get it ready for your basement insulation – inside and out.