Basement wall insulation is one of your main concerns when you finally decide to increase your home performance and efficiency. Apart from the walls, basements and attics are the first things to consider in the process. Believe it or not, basement walls are responsible for up to 25% of heat loss during the wintertime. Most homeowners are unable to see the importance of basement insulation until they actually do it. Their energy bills simply go down overnight. As a direct consequence, your living space becomes more comfortable, while the entire process will pay for itself in the long run.
Although you can always seek professional help for basement wall insulation, the truth is that plenty of homeowners choose to do it themselves. It is not such a complicated project, yet it asks for a little education and a few tips. Doing your homework upfront will prevent unexpected situations.
Consider the local codes and regulations
This is the first step in the process. Do it before even analyzing materials or spending any money. Get in touch with a house inspector and figure the building codes. Do you require any materials? Are there any special techniques? Are you obliged to hire a professional? In most situations, there are no restrictions regarding the insulation. However, this is not a general rule. You might be asked to cover the insulation with a wall for fire safety though. Skipping this step might lead to serious expenses, especially if you do something wrong.
Plan according to the climate
Every basement wall insulation material is recommended to particular climates and environments. From this point of view, a DIY basement insulation requires a vapor barrier on the heated wall if you live in a cold environment. On the other hand, if the weather tends to get excessively hot, you should use the same barrier on the outside surface. Vapor barriers may also be subject to local codes. Other than that, the insulation also depends on the level of humidity in the surrounding soils, which can be quite high if you live in a rainy area or close to a water.
Fiberglass – great for tight areas
A basement wall insulation goes farther than the actual walls. Instead, joints and tight places require the same level of protection. Small holes where walls, floors and ceilings meet must be tackled accordingly. According to most specialists, fiberglass is excellent. You can place the batting in there, but avoid compressing it too badly. Working with fiberglass asks for some protection. It is, indeed, the best material for tight seals, yet it requires some gloves, a face mask and perhaps protective clothing.
In the end, the basement wall insulation project is usually easier than other parts of your home. DIY basement insulation is not as demanding as exterior wall insulation. You have more freedom, but also more possibilities regarding the design. A few interesting tips may also take you even farther:
• Maintain a decent distance between recessed lighting and fiberglass insulation
• Seal all cracks and leaks before engaging into the insulation project
• Respect manufacturer’s recommendations regarding protective clothing