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Basement Insulation in Scarborough

It’s only been recently that the basement has morphed into a living space. Not that long ago, the basement was being used for laundry and perhaps for a workshop area.  There was plenty of room leftover for the furnace equipment and for the hot water tank. For many of us, the rest of the space was for left for storage. Basement walls were unfinished, and there was absolutely no insulation - it was cold and damp and musty - hardly a livable space. In Scarborough, basement insulation has turned the basement space into an area that is functional, comfortable, and livable areas of the house.

Today, basements are completely usable. There is often an additional bedroom; a home-based office space; even a guest suite with all of the amenities. The space is comfortable around the year, with the comfort level being enhanced by the good insulation. Beyond the comfort, good insulation allows for better energy efficiency in winter and summer, and results in reduced utility bills around the year. Truth is, a typical homeowner doesn’t really appreciate all the benefits of good basement insulation. And this is wrong because the basement space needs proper insulation just like the rest of the house.

The professionals in the industry believe that proper basement insulation is essential to every home. And in a long list of home improvement projects, it should really be near the top – this is actually one of the best investments a homeowner can make, simply because the annual savings on heating and cooling will pay down the initial project cost quite quickly. Installing a quality insulation product will benefit the home in several ways: indoor and outdoor airflow will be inhibited; thermal resistance (insulating value) will be augmented; and moisture accumulation will be better controlled.

Overall, basement insulation allows for energy conservation throughout the year, mainly because the HVAC system is working much more efficiently. For the homeowner, the cost savings are meaningful and will be particularly noticeable in regions of the country where summer and winter are extreme. In Scarborough, basement insulation can bring seasonal comfort and seasonal savings combined. 

Is insulating the basement area worthwhile?

According to the experts, basement insulation is one of the better home improvement projects. A good installation can reduce utility bills noticeably. In winter and summer, heating and cooling costs will be reduced, and the annual savings will reasonably pay down the initial cost of the project.

What’s the best approach for the basement?

Whatever the approach, insulation outcomes are relative to the R-Value installed in the basement. It means that the higher the R-Value, the better the outcome. However, it’s also important to know that outcomes will vary with each project (basement layout, product choice, and installation method).

What sorts of cost savings are to be expected?

The best cost savings are derived with a quality insulation product and a professional install. Utility savings (for summer and winter) will be measureable. However, annual savings are going to depend on the scope of the project (including the basement size, the product used, and the total R-Value).

What are the specific installation requisites?

Building codes and insulation pre-requisites vary by region.  A reliable contractor will know the ins and outs and will understand building specifications. Recommendations will be made specific to the project needs.  Clearly, specifications are going to vary for renovations, retrofits or new builds.

Is any preparation required before insulating?

Before insulating, it’s absolutely essential to check for water entry problems in the basement. Severe or not, water entry problems must be fixed before insulating. The fix may well be a big project on its own, but regardless, it has to be remedied, and well before any insulation is installed.

How do the hard-to-reach spots get insulated?

All basements have awkward, hard-to-reach spots. As such, they are difficult to insulate. The best option here is to use spray foam. There is no other comparable product that can penetrate, seal, and insulate like spray foam. A good application will cover every little crack and crevice in one shot.

In Scarborough, basement insulation is best handled with professional guidance from a reputable insulation contractor. It’s the experienced professional who can suggest product and installation that suits the project. And today, many are choosing spray foam as their product-of-choice. It delivers a host of benefits with a single application: it serves as an insulation blanket; it provides a combination air and vapor barrier; and it allows for the highest level of R-Value compared to other products.

For the ultimate in insulation, many professionals recommend insulating the floor of the basement. In this application, spray foam is installed first, and then covered with a concrete layer. This is the ultimate insulation approach, and one that will deliver the best outcomes. But it’s also an installation that may be right for every budget. Above and beyond the floor, it’s the basement walls that need to be insulated properly, and the idea is to create a space where airflow and moisture are constrained.

With basement insulation, energy conservation is the main objective. For the best results, a product like spray foam comes very highly recommended. It accomplishes a lot in a single application: it will result in a basement that is airtight; it will provide an air barrier and vapor barrier in one; and it will bring a level of R-Value that is the highest of any insulation product on the market. However, as a premium product, spray foam insulation may not be the right fit for every homeowner’s budget.

As an alternative to spray foam, the “hybrid” approach is an excellent option. It’s simply a combined application of spray foam and fiberglass “batts”. Here, the spray foam is installed into a space first, then “topped up” with the traditional fiberglass “batts”. The combination delivers excellent insulation value, and affordability to every project budget. In the end, a basement insulation project should be expedited properly from the start – and ideally with a quality product and a professional installation.

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