Most of us know that a well-insulated home means energy savings, more comfortable temperatures in the rooms, better soundproofing, and a more climate-tolerant house in general. However, there is one area of our homes that we sometimes neglect that could be costing us more in energy bills than we realize. It’s an area of our homes that may not be regularly used or inhabited, but it’s still important to keep it insulated. And that important area is the basement.
Traditionally, if a basement has been insulated, it has been with fiberglass insulation. After years of weather and aging, the fiberglass begins to deteriorate, and moisture becomes a problem, as do the elements of heat and cold. Once that happens, the sheetrock can begin to develop mildew and mold, which can become a health hazard to your family. In addition, it can weaken your home and lead to structural problems.
One of the best ways to combat this problem is by using spray foam to insulate your basement walls. Because it is sprayed into the space and then expands, it creates a much better seal and fills all of the gaps and crevices more effectively. This means less air, less moisture, and better heat resistance. Mold and mildew have no place to hide and grow. The elements have to place to seep in and affect the temperature regulation of the house. And your sheet rock will not be vulnerable to breakdown.
Once you’ve decided to insulate your basement walls, your next question may be whether to insulate the exterior or interior. The benefits of exterior wall insulation are fairly easy to see because they are on closest contact with the elements and moisture. It keeps the concrete within the “thermal envelope,” provides more interior space, and some areas are easier to insulate and air-seal with this approach. However, insulating the interior walls has benefits as well. Interior insulation can work more smoothly and integrate more effectively with the construction schedule as well as providing better insulation continuity. Both approaches can be successful, so talk with your professional about the pros and cons of each.
Codes requires that any home built in Climate Zone 3 or higher have basement insulation. These requirements are as follows:
- Climate Zone 3 – R-5
- Climate Zone 4 (excluding Marine Zone 4) – R-10
- Marine Zone 4 and Climate Zones 5-8 – R-15
And what about energy savings? The US Department of Energy published a study in which it was indicated that a basement of a 1500 square foot home insulated with R-20 insulation could save the homeowner from $280 to $390 a year. That’s between $20 and $35 per month off your energy bill. So it makes sense for your home, your health, and your wallet to have your basement walls insulated with spray foam. And it makes sense to get the best people to do your spray foam insulation in Toronto. If you’d like to know more about protecting your home and saving on your energy bill by having your basement walls insulated, click below for more information about Airseal Insulators and the great options and services they provide.