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Basement Insulation in Pickering

It’s only been in recent years that the basement has become more of a living space. Originally, basements were allocated for the two laundry machines, the furnace, and the (hot) water heater. The rest of the space was used for general storage. Basement walls were made of brick and mortar for the most part, and there was rarely insulation or drywall. Basements were known to be musty, cold, and damp - hardly a livable environment. But today, basements have become very functional and livable.

Today, in many homes, the basement space has become totally livable: a second living room; perhaps a home office space; even a self-contained bedroom for guests. The space has become comfortable and habitable. And comfort is a direct result of space that is properly insulated. The well-insulated basement provides comfort around the year and energy conservation during temperature extremes. For those doing basement insulation in Pickering it means seasonal cost savings year in and year out.

Today’s homeowner doesn’t really understand the significance of properly insulating the basement. This is misguided because basements should be just as well insulated as any other part of the home. In fact, insulation professionals are saying that basement insulation could be more important than other parts of the home. And in terms of home improvement projects, it might be the best investment of all. Indeed, just the savings on utility bills will make the project cost worthwhile over the long run. 

Insulating the basement with a top-quality product and a professional install will have excellent benefits for the entire house: outdoor/indoor airflow will be better controlled; thermal resistance (insulating value) will be boosted; and moisture buildup will be constrained. As well, energy will be conserved because the furnace and air conditioner will be working much more efficiently. Finally, the cost savings on winter and summer utility bills will be notable, especially in more extreme climes.

Is insulating the basement worthwhile?

Insulating the basement is one of the better home improvement projects. It’s a project that will bring utility costs down every season. Heating costs and cooling costs will both be reduced year after year. And in the long run, the total savings will pay down the initial project cost in a meaningful way.

What’s advised for basement insulation?

The benefits derived from basement insulation are relative to the R-Value that is installed – in other words, a high R-Value will deliver better insulation value, and consequently better results. However, results vary by the size of the basement, the product being used, and the installation approach.

What kind of savings are to be expected?

A high quality insulation product, along with an expert install, will deliver the best results. The cost savings during summer and winter utility usage are noticeable and quantifiable. But again, the actual savings will depend on the basement size, the insulation product, and on the installed R-Value.

What are the installation specifications?

Building code prerequisites are different in different parts of the country. A reliable contractor will know about the specifications, and will suggest an insulation product and installation to suit the job.  Clearly, there will be different prerequisites for new construction, for renovations and for retrofits.

Is preparation needed before insulating?

The most important thing to do prior to insulating is to check for water entry problems. Water entry is problematic in any measure, and should be fixed immediately and properly. In situations where water entry is on the serious side, the fix may be a big deal. Regardless, it must be remediated first.

How are hard-to-reach spots insulated?

Every single basement has spots that are hard to reach, and consequently hard to effectively insulate. Here, the best option is spray foam insulation. There’s no other product that can reach these spots so effectively – a spray foam application will seal and insulate every little nook and cranny in one shot.

Homeowners who are thinking about basement insulation in Pickering should rely on a contractor for the best advice. A reliable insulation professional will recommend the product and installation that would best suit the circumstances. Many contractors have been installing spray foam of late. It has become their product-of-choice because of the benefits – one application provides an insulation coating, an air barrier, a vapor barrier, and the best R-Value of any product available on the market.

For ultimate results, the professionals prefer to insulate underneath the basement floor. With this method, a spray foam layer is applied first, followed with a concrete layer that is applied right on top. This is the ultimate in sealing and insulating the basement. However, this method is not suitable for all budgets. Beyond the flooring, it’s the basement walls that need to be properly insulated. And here, the objective is airtightness, so that airflow is constrained and moisture accumulation controlled.

The whole purpose of basement insulation is to conserve energy. And this should translate into cost savings for every homeowner. The best results and outcomes will come with a quality product like spray foam. Spray foam does it all in one single application: it creates an airtight basement space; it serves as a combination air barrier/vapor barrier; and it provides quality insulation with R-Values that are measurably higher than any of the other insulation products that are on the market today.

Spray foam is a premium, high-end product, and one that may not be suitable for every budget. There is, however, an excellent alternative - the “hybrid” approach. This is a product combination that uses the spray foam product together with fiberglass “batts”. In this approach, the spray foam is applied initially, followed by the installation of fiberglass “batts”. The “hybrid” approach delivers excellent results, and is very cost effective, making the overall project cost worthwhile, short term and long.

Regardless of project scope, basement insulation should be expedited properly the first time around. And while spray foam is a highly touted option, the “hybrid” alternative will bring excellent results, great dollar value, and long-term benefits to any basement and every budget.

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