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Basement Insulation in Oshawa

It’s only recently that basements have become livable spaces. Years ago, basements were primarily for laundry, for the furnace, and for the water heater. The rest of the basement was left for general storage. Sometimes, there was room for a workshop. The basement walls were bare brick, and rarely was there any kind of insulation. The basement was musty, cold, and damp – it was hardly a livable, space. In Oshawa, basement insulation has turned the basement into a functional, livable space.

Today’s homes have basements that are totally livable – there’s often another bedroom; sometimes a home-office; and many times a self-contained guest suite. It’s a space that has become both habitable and comfortable, with the comfort component usually coming from good insulation. The basement that is well insulated allows for a comfortable space throughout the year, while providing energy efficiencies during summer and winter. And energy efficiencies means savings on utilities.

Today’s typical homeowner doesn’t quite understand how important it is to insulate the basement. It’s a misguided notion because the basement needs to be insulated as well or better than other areas of the house. Indeed, insulation professionals maintain that properly insulating the basement could be more important. When it comes to home improvement projects, basement insulation is actually one of the better investments, because utility savings will pay off the project cost over the long term. 

Simply put, insulating the basement with a quality product and an expert installation has outstanding benefits for the home: the flow of outdoor/indoor air is constrained; thermal resistance (the actual insulation value) is enhanced; and moisture buildup is restricted. Overall, energy is conserved from season to season because both furnace and air conditioner are working more efficiently. It all turns into significant cost savings on utility bills, particularly in those regions where weather is extreme.

How worthwhile is basement insulation?
Bottom line, basement insulation is probably one of the best home improvements that can be made. A good install will noticeably reduce utility bills every season. Both heating costs and cooling costs will be lowered annually, and the savings will serve to significantly pay down the project cost.

What ‘s best for insulating the basement?
The benefits that result from good basement insulation are based on the amount of R-Value. In other words, with higher R-Value, the insulation value is enhanced, and the results are better. But it’s important to note that results will vary with basement size, insulation product, and install method.

What would be the expected cost savings?
With a top-of-the-line insulation product, and an expert installation, the savings on utilities (summer and winter) will be quantifiable. But not to forget, the actual annual savings will depend directly on the size of the basement size, the insulation product that is installed, and the final R-Value installed.

Are there any installation specifications?
In different parts of the country, building code requirements will vary.  A good insulation contractor will understand building specs, and will recommend the optimal insulation product and install for the job.  Needless to say, the specifications will differ for new construction, renovations, and retrofits.

Before any insulating, is there preparation?
Most important before doing any insulating is checking for water entry issues. A water entry issue, regardless of severity, should be fixed immediately. In situations where the water entry is serious, fixing may be a substantial project. Nevertheless, it’s a problem that must be remediated.

What about all those hard-to-reach spaces?
Every basement will have awkward areas that are hard-to-reach. These are very difficult to properly insulate, and the best solution is the spray foam product. No other insulating product can penetrate as well, and a good application will seal and insulate every hole, crack and crevice in one effort.

Basement insulation in Oshawa is best expedited with professional advice from a reliable contractor. An experienced insulation professional can suggest the right product and right installation for the situation. Today, many of them are choosing to install spray foam. It’s their product-of-choice and delivers many benefits in one application: it provides an insulation envelope; it serves as an air barrier and vapor barrier; and it brings the highest R-Value rating of any comparable product.

For an ultimate installation, the professionals advise insulating the basement floor. Here, a spray foam layer is applied, and then covered over with a layer of concrete. It’s truly the ultimate in sealing and insulation, and delivers the very best results. However, it’s an insulation application that is not for all budgets. Apart from the floor, the basement walls need the best possible insulation. Here the idea is to create an envelope that is airtight, so that both airflow and moisture buildup is controlled.

The bottom line with basement insulation is energy conservation, and that should translate into cost reductions for the homeowner. For optimum results, a quality product like spray foam is best. Spray foam can achieve a lot in one application: a good install will create an airtight basement; it will be a combined air and vapor barrier; and it will provide insulation with an R-Value that is higher than any other insulation product available today. Spray foam is a multipurpose install with the most benefits.

As it is, the spray foam product is a premium option, and might not be right for every project budget. But there’s an excellent alternative – it’s more of a “hybrid” installation - a combination of spray foam plus fiberglass “batts”. With this installation, spray foam is applied to a given space, and topped up with fiberglass “batts”. It’s a combination that delivers outstanding results and is affordable for practically every budget. It makes the total project cost worthwhile, and provides value for years.

Regardless of project size, basement insulation should be handled properly - the best is to do it right the first time. And while the spray foam option is highly touted by the experts, the “hybrid” option can deliver outstanding results: great insulation; excellent dollar value, and long-term benefits for basements of all sizes.

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Milton, Ontario

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