Basement insulation helps to reduce heat loss through the basement walls and floors, making your home more energy efficient and comfortable. In addition, it can help to prevent moisture from seeping into your home and causing damage. If you haven’t considered your home’s basement insulation, then it’s a good idea to do so sooner, rather than later.
What is Basement Insulation?
Basement insulation refers to the process of creating a barrier in the walls, floors, and ceilings of a basement to prevent heat loss and reduce energy consumption. This thermal barrier has multiple functions, including keeping the basement warm in the winter and cool in the summer, making it more comfortable and energy-efficient.
Insulation Types for Basements
There are three main types of insulation used in basements.
Fiberglass batts are the most commonly used type of insulation and are typically installed between the wall studs. It’s quick and easy to install, however, it holds onto moisture so it is prone to mould and mildew. Fiberglass also poses the risk of letting particles into the air if it’s disturbed. Those particles can be inhaled and can even make your skin itchy if it’s touched with bare hands. Because it’s installed in between wood studs, it doesn’t prevent air around the wood, which can lead to moisture issues with humid air.
Spray foam insulation is applied as a liquid and expands to fill any gaps or crevices in the walls or floors. It doesn’t hold onto moisture, which means that it prevents mould and mildew. It’s also really good at providing a dampening effect for sound, which is great if you want to keep sounds from travelling from your basement to the rest of the house or visa versa. If it’s applied incorrectly, there can be gaps where air can still leak through.
Foam board insulation is a more expensive option but provides excellent insulation value. It’s water resistant, which can help to limit mould and mildew risks. A properly installed foam board can also provide an air barrier. It also lasts longer and some types of foam board don’t need to be replaced over time. Foam board does need to be cut exactly, however, and if cut improperly then air can leak through.
Signs That Your Basement Insulation Needs To Be Upgraded
If you notice any of these signs, it may be time to consider upgrading your basement insulation. Not only can it help improve energy efficiency and indoor air quality, but it can also protect your home from potential damage caused by moisture, pests, and mould.
- Higher than usual energy bills
- Cold drafts or uneven temperatures in your home
- Water damage or moisture buildup in the basement
- Pest infestations in the basement
- Musty odours or visible mould growth
- Cracks or gaps in the basement walls or floors
By reducing heat loss through your basement walls and floors, your home can stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer without relying on excessive heating or cooling.
Tips For Homeowners
Are you considering upgrading your basement insulation? Here are a couple of tips that can help.
- Your home has specific needs: Factors like the age and condition of your home, the climate in your area, and the cost of the insulation itself should all be taken into account when considering basement insulation upgrades.
- Don’t wait: The sooner you make your basement airtight, the better it is for your bank account, your home comfort, and the planet.
- Take advantage of government-offered rebates: You can get a rebate of up to $10,000 for making energy efficiency upgrades to your home, including basement insulation, through Home Efficiency Rebate Plus (HER+).
Benefits of Basement Insulation
- Energy efficiency: Reducing heat loss through your basement can keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. This makes your entire home more energy efficient and reduces your carbon footprint.
- Saves money: When you don’t have heat or cooling loss through your walls and floors your heating and cooling costs are lessened greatly!
- Prevents moisture issues: Basement insulation aids in preventing moisture and dampness from entering the basement, which can lead to mould growth and other issues.
- Keeps pipes from freezing: Properly insulating a basement can also reduce the risk of frozen pipes and other water-related problems by maintaining a comfortable temperature even on the coldest winter days.
- Air quality: Upgraded basement insulation can improve indoor air quality by preventing the infiltration of outdoor pollutants and allergens.