Don't Underestimate the Importance of Insulating the Basement
March 17, 2015
Years ago, the basement was a leftover space for the furnace and water heater; for storing suitcases; and for dumping everything we didn't want upstairs. But today, things are different. Basement space is valuable - and finishing that space can add a substantial amount of living room to the home. At the same time, the space has to be comfortable. The big question is how to make it comfortable. Most people don't give it much thought, but basements should be as well insulated as any other part of the house. And the fundamentals are the same - it's a space that should be well sealed, well insulated and well ventilated. A well-insulated basement will reduce the costs of heating and cooling; will balance out heating/cooling levels throughout the house; and will almost certainly prevent mold from forming. In recent years, spray foam insulation has gained a lot of popularity as an insulating product. It has become a product-of-choice for the attic, the roof, and even the walls inside the house. As it turns out, it's an excellent option for the basement as well. Basements have unique challenges, and a spray foam application provides effective solutions - in fact, better than any other product available on the market. In one application, spray foam does it all - it impedes the accumulation of moisture; it restricts the movement of air; and it provides better thermal insulation (R-Value) than any other insulation product. Spray foam also seals a space better than any other application - it therefore prevents heat loss, contributes to higher efficiency of the HVAC unit, and at the end of the day, significantly reduces the cost of energy. Effectively insulating the basement also means effectively sealing up the space. It's all about making the space completely airtight, and no other application does this more efficiently than spray foam. With an expert installation, spray foam seals up a space completely - every little hole, gap and crack is sealed, including all of the hard-to-access spaces. There's no other insulation product that can accomplish this. Today, spray foam insulation is the "go-to" product for the professional insulation contractor. Quite simply, it is the best air barrier, the best moisture barrier, and the best insulator...all in one application. In fact, there is no need to install a separate vapor barrier. A professional spray foam install will also add structural strength to the walls of the basement - it's just another added benefit of the application. The beauty of spray foam insulation is that the benefits are noticeable. Overall air circulation is improved - the HVAC equipment operates better - indoor comfort is enhanced - and energy usage is better balanced. And when heating and cooling are better balanced, the cost savings are apparent. For a typical homeowner, the annual savings are probably enough reason to insulate with spray foam. Spray foam insulation is known to be more costly than other insulation products. However, the long-term benefits outweigh the initial cost. It's an application that lasts a lifetime, its maintenance free, and it doesn't need to be replenished.