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Basement Insulation in Richmond Hill

Decades ago, basements were not set up as living spaces. The space was allocated for the laundry machines, the furnace equipment, and the hot water tank. There was also ample space for storage. For the most part, the walls were made of cement block, and there was rarely any insulation or any drywall. Most basements were cold and damp. In more recent years, however, basement spaces have become more functional and more livable. And today, most basements are being used to the fullest.

Basements are being used for numerous purposes: additional bedrooms, living rooms, home-based offices, and even “in-law suites”. The space has become practical, functional and comfortable. And the comfort comes from having the basement properly insulated. When well insulated, basements can be comfortable from season to season, and can provide energy conservation during the temperature extremes of summer and winter. This is especially important because of the increasing utility costs.

For basement insulation in Richmond Hill, many homeowners don’t realize the importance of basement insulation. It’s mistaken because the basement should actually be as well insulated as the rest of the house. In fact, many experts argue that insulating the basement might be more important than other parts of the house. Indeed, insulating the basement is an excellent home improvement project, with substantial payoffs. Beyond anything else, there are reduced utility bills from season to season.

Insulating the basement walls, using a good product and an expert install, will bring a good number of benefits: thermal resistance is improved; indoor and outdoor air transfer is restrained; and the accumulation of moisture is impeded. The truth is, when basements are well insulated, the HVAC equipment operates more efficiently, and energy conservation is optimized. There will be noticeable cost savings on winter and summer utilities, especially in regions with extreme temperature ranges.

Is it a worthwhile project to properly insulate the basement?

Insulating the basement, including the walls, is a home improvement project that is bound to deliver measurable cost savings. It’s the well-insulated basement that can reduce heating and cooling costs throughout the year. And those annual savings will substantiate the initial project cost outlay.

Do insulation experts recommend something for basements?

Insulation experts agree that the benefits derived from insulating the basement are relative to the R-Values installed. Clearly, higher R-Values will bring better results. However, results will depend on some variables:  the size of the basement; the insulation product used; and the installation method.

What are the typical savings after the basement is insulated?

Using a quality product, along with a professional installation, the average homeowner should realize measurable savings on both winter and summer utilities. But again, savings will depend on some variables: the basement size, the insulation product, and the specific volume of R-Value installed.

What are the installation specs for insulating the basement?

Depending on the geographic location, there could be building code requirements when insulating the basement. A good contractor will know, and will propose the appropriate product, installation and approach. For new home construction, there may more strict installation specifications.

Do the basement walls need preparation prior to insulating?

The most critical thing when insulating the basement is determining if there is a water entry issue. Water entry can be a major problem and will require a proper fix before commencing with insulation work. If the water entry issue is serious, the fix may well become a major project of its own.

How do those hard-to-reach spots get insulated properly?

Most every basement layout has some hard-to-reach spots, and they are always difficult to insulate. The very best product for hard-to-reach spots is spray foam insulation. No other product can seal or insulate as well. And with spray foam applied, sealing and insulating is done in one application.

For those considering basement insulation in Richmond Hill, a good insulation contractor will be able to suggest the product and installation that’s best suited. In recent years, the professionals have been using spray foam insulation as their “go to” product for basements. Spray foam envelops the entire basement and is a multi-purpose application: it creates an air barrier, vapor barrier, and insulator all in one. In addition, it delivers the highest R-Value rating of any comparative insulation product.

For the best insulation possible, the experts suggest insulating the basement floor. In this application, spray foam is applied to the floor as a base, with a conventional concrete application on top. This is the ultimate sealing and insulating application, but it’s not an approach suited for every budget. Beyond the flooring, the basement walls should be insulated so they are airtight. This will serve to restrict incoming/outgoing airflow, and will also restrict the collection of moisture.

Basement insulation is essentially about conserving energy, and that should translate into utility savings. By far, the best results come with a spray foam installation – it’s a quality product and an installation with proven results. A spray foam install does it all with one single application: it makes the basement airtight; it provides a combination air barrier/moisture barrier; and it insulates with an R-Value that is significantly higher than comparable insulation products on the market.

Spray foam insulation is a premium product, and may not suit every project budget. As an alternative approach, the “hybrid” method is excellent. It’s a combination of spray foam and fiberglass “batts”, where the spray foam is installed first, followed with an added install of fiberglass “batts”.  The two products work together to deliver excellent outcomes. And for most budgets, the “hybrid” install is very cost effective, with short term and long-term benefits that make the project cost worthwhile.

Regardless of scope, basement insulation is a big project. It’s therefore important to do it right. Bottom line, the spray foam product is the best on the market, but for many homeowners, the “hybrid” option is a great alternative. The spray foam seals and insulates like nothing else, and the fiberglass “batts” boost the R-Value considerably. Working together, spray foam and “batts” bring excellent dollar value to any basement insulation project.

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