With Basement Insulation, it's Important to do it Right the First Time
March 20, 2016
Basements usually account for a significant amount of heat loss, particularly when the space has been poorly insulated. It's because basement walls are expansive, and often un-insulated above and below grade. Worse, there's undesirable air leakage, whether it's through basement windows or through gaps and cracks in the foundation. The good news is that there's plenty of room for improvement. In many situations, basement insulation can be combined with general repairs and renovations, or waterproofing the outside of the home, or when finishing the basement itself. Any good insulation professional will recommend a proper assessment of the basement prior to doing any insulating work. Water leaks, for example, must absolutely be corrected. Whether minor or major, water leaks must be addressed and remedied in order to prevent future calamity. Dampness is also a concern - high levels of interior moisture can easily compromise the integrity of installed insulation. Cracks and crevices in the foundation may seem innocuous, but they allow air and moisture into the building structure - both of these make trouble for an insulated space. With basements, there is always debate about insulating the outside or inside. Here again, a good contractor can advise what's best, based on the conditions, and the project budget. Clearly, in an existing home, there are advantages to insulating from the inside. Work can be done regardless of weather, the final install can be part of a bigger basement renovation, and for the most part, the installation can be uninterrupted. What's most important is to do it right the first time, preferably with a professional, using a high quality insulation product, and expediting a quality installation. Taking into consideration the issues and concerns of a basement, the important consideration is what product to use. Many professionals are recommending Spray Polyurethane Foam as the all-purpose product and installation. They are opting for SPF because it can achieve so much with one application, and in the basement, this is particularly relevant. SPF creates a space that is completely airtight. It stops both air movement and air leakage. And finally, it installs the highest R-Value rating per installed inch. In short, it delivers far more benefits than other products. Spray Polyurethane Foam is widely regarded as premium insulation. It's a costly install, and may not always suit a homeowner's project budget. As an alternative, Great Northern Insulation has customized a "hybrid installation" that delivers excellent results while remaining cost-effective. It's an installation that combines Spray Polyurethane Foam with an additional insulation product in one application. The SPF provides the sealing and insulation essential for the basement, while the additional insulation product provides added insulation and a cost-effective component. The results achieved with the "hybrid installation" allow for measurable cost savings on winter and summer utilities. And with a well-insulated basement, the long-term annual savings make for a reasonable "payback" period. It all makes for an original project investment that is worthwhile, and that will suit most homeowner budgets.