Basement Insulation: What You Need to Know

Basement insulation has become a norm in most of the houses in the country. Not only does it keep the cold air outside in winter but also it helps keep the cold air inside your home in the summer. Not only that it helps in maintaining an acceptable temperature, it also prevents mold and other moisture related problems.

Insulating your basement decreases the burden of your heating system, and so you can even enjoy a reduction in your heating and cooling bills. Basement insulation can either be installed within the walls or ceiling depending on your budget and needs.

Before discussing the types of basement insulation, the concept of R – value must be mentioned. R-value is a measure of thermal resistance of any material. The higher this value is, the more the resistant will be and the better will the material serve as insulation. With this being said, let’s take a look at the most common basement insulation materials and their R-values.

fiberglass insulationFiberglass

R – value: 3.6 to 5 per inch – Just as the name implies, fiberglass insulation is made of very thin fibers of glass, the material is basically silica, which is mixed with glass strands until a desirable consistency is achieved. Fiberglass insulation is available in several different forms such as blankets and batts. Batt is the name used for fiberglass strips that fit within a framed wall, whereas blankets are just fiberglass sheets. Fiberglass is also present in the form of rigid boards, which is used, for insulating foundation walls.

sprayfoam insulationSpray Foam

R – value: 3.6 per inch – Spray foam insulation is a good choice if your basement is already built and does not require any renovation. The material, which is usually polyisocyanurate or polyurethane, is sprayed onto the wall after being mixed with appropriate foaming agents. The foam then expands and fills the cavity.

Spray foam can be divided into main categories: open cell or low density and closed cell or high density. The low-density spray foam is water permeable and acts like a sponge, absorbing water wherever it is present. On the other hand, closed cell is not permeable to water, and no water can pass through this sort of insulation. An intermediary type, referred to as medium density spray foam, is also available.

rockwool insulationRockwool

R – Value: 3 to 3.85 per inch – Rockwall basement insulation is made from basalt rock and slag, which are mixed together and shaped as fibers. The final appearance is very similar to wool, hence the name. Rockwool does not absorb moisture in the air, and is mold resistant as well.

Though the R – value of Rockwool is almost the same as fiberglass, the former is a better choice because it is made in an environment friendly way, and the prices are also not that high. Also Rockwall insulation is fire proof as well.

Now that you are aware of the different types of basement insulation and their advantages, maybe it is time to improve the insulation in your home. During the cold winter days, you would love the heat in your house and the lower heating bills as well.