Traditional basements are a primary foundation in most parts of Canada and in many parts of the northern United States. Needless to say, regional climates in those parts present very cold winters and serious bouts of frost. The truth is, whether its winter or summer, basements are at the forefront of problems. Water entry is often problematic. Hot temperatures, cold temperatures, and high humidity are also problematic. And in worst case scenarios, mold can be the source of poor air quality and unhealthy living conditions.
Renovating the basement should not only be about cosmetics. A proper renovation should efficiently seal the space – provide effective moisture-protection – and install quality insulation. The finished space should provide added home comfort, reduced energy costs, and much improved indoor air quality. And in terms of project budget, insulating the basement should deliver a reasonable “payback” period on the initial project investment. Renovating or retrofitting, basement insulation should be handled professionally.
Finishing the basement without properly insulating is just short-sighted. A well insulated basement will keep warm in the winter and cool in summer. And it’s a space that should be as well insulated as other parts of the home. A professional installation, with a high quality product, will bring both short term and long term benefits to the entire house. R-Values will be dramatically improved. Airflow and air leakage will be prevented. And importantly, moisture collection will be averted. Overall, the home will be energy efficient.
When a basement is energy efficient, the entire home benefits. Energy consumption is moderated; heating and cooling bills are reduced; and annual savings help to pay off the original project cost. In general, the savings will depend on the amount of work performed, on the quality of the insulation product, and on the installation method. And while every basement is physically different, a professional install is highly recommended – its the best way to assure product performance and to derive the longest lifespan for the project.
Even before insulating, a basement renovation should ensure that there is no water intrusion. Water entry is something that requires proper restoration and resolution prior to insulating. As well, renovating and insulating should be according to the building code, and in most cases, a good insulation contractor will insist. Indeed, with a good contractor on board, much better decisions can be made about the right product and right installation for the home. Spray Polyurethane Foam, for example, has proven itself ideal for the basement.
Today, many expert installers are recommending Spray Polyurethane Foam for basement insulation. It’s an application does more with one install than any other insulation product. It makes the space totally airtight space. It doesn’t allow for unwanted moisture to collect. And it will insulate with the highest R-Value. It is, however, a premium product, and might not suit all budgets. But SPF can be effectively combined with other insulation products and can deliver excellent results and cost effectiveness.
Like any home improvement project, basement renovation along with basement insulation is worth doing right the first time – and the results will bear fruit.