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Basement Insulation in Ajax

It’s only been in recent times that basements have become livable. Years ago, the basement was a place to do laundry and to be used for storage. There was room for the hot water tank, the furnace, and perhaps a workshop area for the man of the house. The basement walls were made from brick - there wasn’t any insulation to speak of - and the entire basement was cold and damp (and smelled musty). In Ajax, basement insulation has allowed for the space to become very much a living space.

For the most part, today’s basements are usable and multi-purpose - sometimes an extra bedroom; sometimes a home office space; sometimes a self-contained apartment.   It’s an area that has become comfortable and livable. And that comfort comes directly from having the space properly insulated. The basements that are well insulated provide comfort and livability, but even more. The home becomes energy efficient, and the energy efficiency quickly turns into reduced utility bills annually.

Many homeowners still don’t understand the importance of properly insulating the basement area. In fact, basements should be given the same amount of attention as the rest of the house. And the experts agree – most will argue that properly insulating the basement is as critical as any part of the home. Indeed, insulating the basement is truly one of the more important home projects, and it turns into an investment that is quickly paid down by the annual savings on heating and cooling bills.

There are a host of benefits derived from properly insulating the basement. And with a high quality insulation product doing the job, results are conspicuous.  Airflow (indoor/outdoor) is prevented; thermal resistance (R-Value) is enhanced; and the accumulation of moisture is thoroughly curtailed. Overall, energy efficiency is maximized, while the HVAC system is allowed to work at its peak. It all translates into seasonal savings that are significant, and utility bills that are noticeably lower.

Is basement insulation worth the expense?

As noted, basement insulation is one of the most beneficial projects for the home. When properly installed, insulation contributes to reducing both heating and cooling costs. And the yearly savings pay down the initial project cost, making the whole effort well worthwhile in a short time period.

How are the general benefits measured?

One of the primary benefits of basement insulation is enhanced R-Value. In short, the more R-Value that is installed, the better the insulating results. Needless to say, more R-Value also delivers better energy efficiency, although individual results will differ based on the scope of the project.

What cost savings should be expected?

It all depends on the quality of the product being installed and on the quality of the installation. But regardless, a quality product and quality install will bring measurable savings on winter heating and summer cooling.  Again, individual savings will depend directly on the size and scope of the project.

Are there installation specifications?

Building code prerequisites will often differ across the country.  A good contractor will be apprised of various rules and regulations, with a good understanding of building specifications. The contractor will therefore recommend the best installation approach.  New builds, retrofits, and renos will differ.

Is there prep-work before insulating?

Probably the most important before doing any insulation work is checking for any issues with water entry. Water entry is always problematic, regardless of severity. It requires proper fixing, and may become a big undertaking. Water entry has to be properly remediated without any compromise.

What about the hard-to-reach spots?

Hard-to-reach spots are prevalent in all basements. They are hard to access, hard to penetrate, and hard to insulate. The best approach is to use spray foam – it’s without doubt the best product to seal and insulate effectively. A good installation will completely seal every hole, gap, crack and crevice.

In Ajax, basement insulation is best handled by an insulation expert. With a good contractor on board viable recommendations can be made, and product suggestions can be offered. Today, many of the top experts are using spray foam as their so-called product-of-choice.  With one spray foam install, they can deliver a number of benefits to the homeowner:  they can provide excellent insulation; they can provide an effective air and vapor barrier; and they can assure the highest R-Value possible.

The very best approach to insulating the basement is one that includes insulating the floor. Here, the spray foam is installed first, as an initial layer. It’s then covered over with a conventional concrete layer. This approach will undoubtedly deliver the ultimate results. But it’s not suited for all project budgets. In addition to the floor, the basement walls are critical. Here, it’s most important to ensure that everything is airtight, so that moisture and airflow can be restrained to the maximum.

Not to forget, basement insulation is essentially about conserving energy, and here, the best product for the job is going to be spray foam. This is an insulation product that can do a lot in one application. A good install will make the basement airtight, and will ensure an installed R-Value that is better than any of the other insulation products available today. It’s an installation that is multi purpose, and with more benefits than other applications.

Spray foam is clearly a premium product, and does not fit into all home improvement projects. As an alternative, many experts suggest a “hybrid” approach, which effectively uses the spray foam product along with fiberglass “batts” in one install. The spray foam is installed first, and is “topped-up” with fiberglass “batts”. This product combination is a very cost effective approach, with excellent results. The overall project costs are quite worthwhile, and the payback period is reasonable.

Whatever the scope of the project, basement insulation is a home improvement project that is worth doing right the first time. And although the spray foam approach comes very highly recommended, the “hybrid” installation is one that provides great results, great value, and great benefits over the long term.

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