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Basement Insulation in Vaughan

Decades ago, the basement was almost entirely allotted for the laundry room, the furnace room, and the hot water heater. It was also a dumping ground for “stuff”. Hardly any basements were fully finished and they were hardly used for living. The walls were either brick or cement. There was no insulation, and no drywall. The basement was known to be cold, damp, and musty. However, over the years, the basement has become a valuable living space, and is now being used in countless ways.

Today, most basements are livable - there may be a living room - an office space - a bedroom - even an “in-law suite”. And livable means comfortable, which is why basement insulation is so important. Beyond comfort, a properly insulated basement also saves energy throughout the seasons, and with ever-rising heating and cooling costs, this too is important. The well-insulated basement can be a major contributor in reducing utility costs, and especially during those seasonal weather extremes.

Homeowners don’t pay enough attention to basement insulation. This is totally counter-productive because basements should be as well insulated as the rest of the house. In fact, insulation experts will attest that the basement is even more important. The basement space is unique, and therefore requires sealing, insulating and ventilating – just like the rest of the house. When considering basement insulation in Vaughan, the benefits will include comfort, as well as reduced utility costs.

When properly executed, the benefits of basement insulation are long lasting. Thermal resistance is dramatically enhanced; indoor/outdoor air movement is constrained; and moisture is prevented from accumulating. A well-insulated basement allows heating and air conditioning to operate more efficiently. There is also improved energy conservation during the winter and summer. And finally, there are significant utility savings throughout the year. The benefits are substantial and long lasting.

Is insulating the basement walls a worthwhile project?

Without doubt, insulating basement walls is a worthwhile home improvement project. It will reduce the heating bill in the winter and the cooling bill in the summer. And in the geographic regions where climate and weather are extreme, the cost savings on utilities will be even more substantial.

What are experts recommending for basement walls?

Insulation research shows that the best results for basement insulation are derived when R-Values are enhanced – in other words, the higher the installed R-Value, the better the results. Specific results will differ, depending on the basement layout; the insulation product; and the installation method.

Are there sizable savings with basement insulation?

Savings on seasonal utility bills are dependent on several things: the product installed; the R-Value installed; the size of basement; and the geographic locale. However, there is little doubt that with a high quality insulation product, professionally installed, sizable savings are all but guaranteed.

Are there any install specifications for the basement?

There are some regions in the country where the building code might have certain requirements for insulating the basement walls. In general, a reliable insulation contractor will be able to recommend the best approach for both product and installation. New construction might have different specs.

Should basements be insulated from inside or outside?

Although every contractor may have a different opinion, all would agree that physical conditions will determine the approach. Each scenario has pluses and minuses, so it’s best to rely on the expertise of the contactor to suggest an approach. In so many cases, the project budget will dictate the approach.

Does the basement require preparation before insulating?

Basement insulation should be done right the first time. It’s a uniquely different space, and it’s very important to establish if there are water-entry problems. A professional insulation contractor will address any water issues, then have them resolved where required, and then proceed to insulate.

How do you go about insulating the “hard-to-reach” spots?

Basements are known to have “hard-to-reach” spots, and these can be difficult to insulate properly. These spaces are best handled with a spray foam product. Nothing can seal and insulate like spray foam, and those “hard-to-reach” spots are covered totally, completely, and effectively.

For homeowners doing basement insulation in Vaughan, the fundamental idea (regardless of product choice) is to make the space airtight. On this, all contractors will agree, and a reliable installer will suggest the product and installation that best suits the space. Ideally, basement floors should be as well insulated as other areas, and here, the best option is a spray foam base, which is then covered with concrete. Where a project budget allows, this approach will deliver the best results overall.

When it comes to the basement walls, it’s also essential to create an airtight space. Clearly, this will inhibit the movement of air, but it’s also important to avert moisture buildup. Fiberglass “batts” are a viable option, but perform far better when combined with a spray foam application.  The spray foam serves as an air barrier, a vapor barrier, and an insulating layer, while the “batts” further insulate the space. This combination approach makes for an effective and affordable insulation solution.

Insulating the basement, like any part of the house, is about conserving energy and the expectation of saving money on utility bills. Overall, the best insulation product on the market is spray foam, and many more contractors are recommending this install. But for some, spray foam is a costly approach, and the combination install with fiberglass “batts” and spray foam is an excellent alternative. Long-term benefits are significant and annual savings make the total project cost well worthwhile.

A properly insulated basement will deliver results for years to come. And the combination approach (“batts” PLUS spray foam) will do the job perfectly - providing an airtight space; an air/moisture barrier; and a spray foam envelope with the highest R-Value on the market. Best of all, by preventing heating loss in the winter, and cooling loss in the summer, energy savings are noticeable. For a typical homeowner, the yearly savings will add up, and ensure a reasonable pay back period.

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