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Basement Insulation in Owen Sound

Years ago, basements were not set up for living. This was a space for doing the laundry, for all of the furnace equipment, and for the (hot) water tank. And because the space was practically empty, there was lots of storage space. The basement walls were constructed of cement, and there was seldom any insulation installed. In most homes, basements were known to be cold, damp, and musty. As such, it’s only been in the more recent years that basement spaces have become usable and livable.

Today, most residential basements are fully functional, and space usage is wide-ranging. There may be an additional bedroom, an extra living room, a home-office space, even a self-contained apartment. The basement has become both functional and comfortable. And in most cases, the comfort is a result of good insulation. Good basement insulation provides the seasonal comfort around the year, while ensuring energy conservation during the wide temperature fluctuations of summer and winter.

When it comes to insulating basements in Owen Sound, the average residential homeowner doesn’t always recognize the importance of insulation. It’s a mistaken notion, because basements should be insulated as well as other parts of the residence. In fact, amongst the professionals, the consensus is that insulating the entirety of the basement is far more important. In terms of home improvement projects, insulating is actually one of the better ones - with measurable payoffs from season to season.

Properly insulating the basement, with a good insulation product, and an expert installation, is bound to deliver positive benefits. There is significant improvement in thermal resistance; there is better control of the overall air movement; and there is reduced moisture accumulation. In addition, when the basement is well insulated, the HVAC unit operates with much more efficiency, and energy usage is conserved. For the homeowner, there will be measurable utility savings during both winter and summer.

Is basement insulation a good home improvement project?

As a home improvement project, basement insulation is one that delivers noticeable savings. Well-insulated basements are known to reduce the overall cost of heating and air conditioning right around the year. The result:  annual savings that will more than makeup for the overall project costs.

Do the professionals suggest a certain insulation approach?

In general, professional insulation contractors agree that R-Value is the determining factor when insulating. Simply put, the higher the R-Value rating, the better the results. However, basement insulation results will depend on the layout of basement, the product, and the install method.

What kind of savings can be expected with basement insulation?

In an average home, with a professional install and a quality product, there should be significant utility savings during winter and summer. But again, utility savings are wholly dependent on the size of the basement space, the insulation product being used, and the R-Value rating that can be achieved.

What are the installation specifications for the basement space?

Depending on the location, there may well be some building code requirements when it comes to basement insulation. The professional contractor will know, and will suggest a product and install method to suit. New constructions, renovations, and retrofits may have different specifications.

Does the basement need special preparation before insulating?

Before insulating the basement, it’s most important to determine the presence and scope of any water entry issues. This can be a serious problem, and can cause additional problems, if not properly fixed. Before doing any insulation work, water entry issues must be addressed and repaired.

How do those “difficult-to-reach” spots get effectively insulated?

Every basement, regardless of the layout, has those “difficult-to-reach” spots. They are difficult to reach, and equally difficult to effectively insulate. But there is a solution - spray foam - it’s a product that can seal and insulate the “difficult-to-reach” spots in the most effective manner.

Homeowners thinking about insulating the basement in Owen Sound would do well with a professional contractor recommending both product and installation. Most recently, professionals have been opting for the spray foam product. In one comprehensive application, it surrounds the entire basement space, and serves several purposes:  it creates a secure air barrier; it creates an effective vapor barrier; and it provides excellent insulation at an R-Value rating that is superior to other insulation products.

The ultimate in basement insulation includes fully insulating the floor. In this type of application, spray foam is applied to the under-floor as an initial base application. On top, a concrete application is applied in the conventional way. This is truly the ultimate application, although not particularly well suited for all budgets. Apart from the floor, it’s the basement walls that need to be properly sealed and insulated.  When the walls are airtight, airflow is restricted, as is the accumulation of moisture.

The whole idea behind proper insulation is energy conservation. And that, of course, should translate into seasonal utility savings. For the professionals, the best results are derived from a spray foam install, and those results are proven time and time again. Spray foam requires a single application that serves several functions at the same time - it provides an airtight environment; it provides a good vapor barrier; and it insulates the space with an R-Value that is unparalleled.

Spray foam is the best product on the market. As a premium product it may not be suitable for every budget, but an excellent substitute is the so-called “hybrid” approach - a combination install that uses spray foam and fibreglass-batts in one application. The spray foam product is applied first, and then followed with an installation of fibreglass-batts.  These products work perfectly well together with excellent results. Indeed, for most project budgets, the “hybrid” installation is a appropriate option.

Insulating the basement is a major project, regardless of the scope. It’s clearly important that it be done right. Simply put, spray foam insulation is the best product for the job, and preferred by the experts. But for many, the “hybrid” approach is the ideal. The spray foam product will effectively seal and insulate, and the fibreglass-batts will serve to boost R-Values. Together, these two products provide exceptional dollar value, and excellent long-term results.

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