Your home’s energy efficiency and comfort are affected to a great extent by the state of your basement. Whether you use the basement as a storage room or you have turned it into a living space, it would be a smart decision to insulate this part of the house, making it energy efficient. Most basements usually lack proper insulation or are not insulated at all. A basement that is not properly insulated will keep moisture within its walls, leading to condensation and mould growth, which in turn will compromise the walls’ structure.
There are two things you can do in order to improve the energy efficiency of your basement: air sealing and basement insulation upgrading. Sealing the air leaks around the perimeter of your basement foundations has a lot of effect on maintaining the energy of the building. If your basement design includes an exterior door, that should also be your main focus for air leakage sealing. At Eco Spray Insulation you will find the required support and expertise to address your basement air leakage and insulation needs. Contact Eco Spray Insulation, your trusted local dealer to have your home inspected and tested for basement insulation needs.
Choosing the Right Location for Basement Insulation Determines the Effectiveness
Depending on the place of the basement you choose to insulate, will determine the effectiveness and the result of your insulation. Many homeowners in the past used to put fiberglass batt insulation in-between the joists of the basement ceiling. But facts considered, this method of insulation does not focus on insulating the basement itself but the living space above it. Thus, if you choose to insulate the walls of the basement instead of the ceiling, then the basement section of the house would become part of the home’s building envelope. Being a part of the home’s building envelope means that the basement is part of the home’s conditioned space, turning it into a more comfortable place. A properly insulated basement will preserve the heat of the hot water lines and of the duct pipes of the HVAC system, which are vulnerable to the outside freezing cold temperatures of the winter.
What are the Best Insulation Materials for the Basement?
When insulating your basement, the focus should be on selecting materials that will block the heat transfer, will not accumulate moisture and will prevent mould growth. There are plenty of insulation materials you can choose from on the market, but they can be grouped into four main categories: Spray Foam Insulation, Fiberglass Insulation, Cellulose Insulation and Foam Board. Eco Spray Insulation has excessive experience and certified experts that will complete your home insulation project from the basement to the rooftop. If you are looking for a local contractor to insulate your basement and turn it into a warmer and more comfortable place, we got you covered with relevant expertise on the insulation methods and the best insulation materials on the market. We have been researching ourselves and now we want to share our expertise and inform our customers on what are the best insulation materials for the basement. Here below we will elaborate on the pros and cons for each group of insulation materials.
Basement Spray Foam Insulation
If there is one perfect place for using spray foam insulation, it would be the basement. This dense insulation material is designed to seal all the air leaks and block the heat transfer of your building. It will also serve as a vapour barrier which will seal the basement and stop cold air from outside getting inside. We have been using spray foam insulation over the years and we could say that it is the preferred insulation material to work with among homeowners and insulation contractors. Polyurethane spray foam is a dense material which unlike other insulation materials does not lose its shape over the years. It fills the cracks and holes and also adds to the structural strength of your building.
We have been using many insulation products and brands in the past, but we have gotten the best of results by using SOPRA-SPF 202 spray foam insulation, by SOPREMA. SOPRA-SPF 202 is closed cell polyurethane foam that is produced by blending two main components, one of the SOPRA-SPF 202 RESIN or SOPRA-SPF 202 LT with SOPRA-SPF ISO, with a 1:1 ratio. What’s even more exciting about this product is its eco-friendliness. It has a zero ODP (Ozone Depletion Potential) and the least of the Global Warming Effect, thanks to its HFO blowing agent. It is one of the few products to have earned the GREENGUARD GOLD certification. SOPREMA insulation materials are designed for each type of construction insulation, be it commercial or residential buildings. They can be applied in almost all types of surfaces and substrates such as wood, metal, concrete, masonry, etc. Our technicians have mastered the application process of these products, which require the substrates to be free of moisture, grease, and any other dirt prior to application. The benefits of using SOPRA-SPF-202 spray foam insulation include high thermal-resistance value, monolithic insulation, structural strength, and the highest coverage rate for the same quantity of product used.
Pros of Basement Spray Foam Insulation:
- Waterproofing qualities, it does not retain water so it is hostile towards mould or mildew growth.
- Spray foam insulation acts as a vapour barrier, preserving the warm air inside and keeping the cold air outside.
- Soundproofing qualities, it acts as a sound barrier dampening outdoor noises and sounds, creating a more comfortable home environment.
- Adds to the structural strength of the building thanks to its dense composition
Cons of Basement Spray Foam Insulation
- Polyurethane foam is relatively more expensive than the other options for basement insulation.
- It requires proper installation by certified technicians, otherwise, air leaks and moisture related problems will persist even after application.
Basement Fiberglass Insulation
Fiberglass Insulation can be found in the form of loose fill or batt insulation. Its main composition material is plastic which in turn is reinforced with glass fibres, as the name itself suggests. Fiberglass Insulation has been since long used to insulate walls, floors, attics, ceilings, and crawl spaces. It is found vastly used in older homes as the new constructions have switched to more modern and eco-friendly materials.
Pros of Basement Fiberglass Insulation:
- Fiberglass insulation is the cheapest option when you compare it to other options for basement insulation.
- If you are planning to carry yourself the works for the basement renovation, including the insulation process, then fiberglass insulation would be the Do It Yourself (DIY) project.
Cons of Basement Fiberglass Insulation:
- Fiberglass insulation lacks waterproofing properties and so is prone to moisture accumulation and mould growth.
- Fiberglass insulation has a low density and a low thermal-resistance value as a consequence thus does not make the most for blocking heat transfer and preserving the energy of the building.
- Fiberglass insulation is made of small plastic and glass particles which if disturbed can be released into the air, embedded in the human skin, or even inhaled.
Basement Foam Board Insulation
Foam board insulation comes in the form of ready-made solid foam boards, covered with a radiant barrier on one side and used to insulate almost every part of your home. The materials composition of foam boards varies between polyurethane, polystyrene and polyisocyanurate and it can be applied directly to the basement walls for sealing the space.
Pros of Basement Foam Board Insulation:
- Some types of foam board insulation have proved to be water-resistant, preventing moisture condensation and mould growth.
- When foam board insulation is fitted properly into the surface, it will serve as an air barrier.
- Foam board insulation needs little maintenance and can survive undamaged for long periods of time.
Cons of Basement Foam Board Insulation:
- If foam board sheets are not matched perfectly during the application process, it will not provide proper air sealing qualities.
- Some types of foam boards composed of expanded polystyrene can accumulate moisture inside the air bubbles, limiting the thermal-resistance value.
- Foamboard sheets need to be cut and fit into the exact shape of the surface to be insulated, otherwise, the air sealing properties will be compromised and the energy will be lost.
Choose the Best Insulation for your Basement Walls and Ceiling
Basements might be the most neglected areas when it comes to home insulation, but they need as much insulation as the rest of the house. They need to be included inside your home’s building envelope, so your entire home will feel warmer, cozier, and more comfortable in general. When your basement is insulated, it means that your home is protected from outside cold air and pollutants, preventing moisture accumulation and mould growth. If you are looking for a cheap option to insulate your basement this season, then fiberglass insulation and rigid foam boards are the ones to go. But if you are looking for quality insulation that will provide the highest thermal resistance value and air isolating properties, then we recommend spray foam insulation. If you want to experience the full benefits of SOPREMA’s new SOPRA-SPF 202 spray foam insulation product, then call us instantly at (416) 860-6664, at any given time of the day, or send us an email with your insulation requirements for a free of charge and no obligations estimate.