Basement insulation plays a key role in any project. It helps keep the heat inside and cold out, protect against mold and mildew growth, and lower the energy costs of your home. A basement is typically below ground level and can be far less than 50% heated than the rest of the house. This alone, makes insulating a basement ceiling worth.
Options for insulation
For the insulation itself, there are two options;
Blown fiberglass is by far the most efficient way to insulate a basement ceiling. The process involves blowing loose-fill insulation between studs that have been spaced 16 inches apart in your basement ceiling in order to provide optimum air flow.
Because this method of insulation doesn’t require any face work, you save in labor costs and time spent on the project plus it can be done in one day or less. Blown-in insulation is very effective for high-moisture areas such as basements because it resists mold growth better than other types of insulation.
Fastest installation compared to all forms of insulation. It can be done in one day using just one person -Creates a seamless barrier that reduces noise -Blown insulation is resistant to mold growth.
Requires more labor compared to other types of insulation. It can be messy if you don’t use the proper protective gear.
If blown-in insulation isn’t up your alley, batt fiberglass can be used as an alternative. Batt insulation involves cutting strips of sheet-type insulation to fit between your ceiling joists or studs and taping them together with special tape which would typically already come with the batt kit before installation.
This method is not ideal for basements because it requires face work on either side of the joists or from inside the studs themselves before being installed so it will take more time and labor to complete the project. However, it is a very effective method of insulation because you can fit it tight against your studs for maximum coverage with minimal waste.
It is effective in reducing sound transmission. It fits tightly against studs for maximum coverage.
It requires more work than blown-in insulation. It is not as efficient as fiberglass insulation used in blown-in installation methods.
Foam insulation panel
The final option is foam insulation panels which are typically composed of polystyrene or polyurethane. Foam panels are installed using adhesive on one side of each panel then pressed together before being pushed into place between ceiling joists or studs to form a continuous barrier along the underside of drywall. These are the most efficient form of basement insulation available but are also the priciest.
Most effective in keeping out moisture. It creates a tight seal along studs and joists for maximum thermal barrier.
It is typically more expensive than other forms of insulation for your basement ceiling. There is not necessarily one best method of insulating your basement ceiling; it all depends on the size, shape, and location of your space as well as which materials you feel more comfortable working with. Understanding each type will help you make an educated decision about which would be best to use in your home.
How to insulate a basement ceiling?
If you live in a cold climate, insulating your basement ceiling can keep your heating bills down. Basement insulation of the ceiling is an important consideration for all cold climates because of the dramatic temperature drops that occur at night.
When insulating a basement ceiling, pay attention to these tips to get the most R-value per inch of thickness, which will save you money on heating costs throughout winter months. You can use blown-in fiberglass insulation or closed-cell spray foam.
- If finishing your basement, do not put insulation between joists over unconditioned space. This prevents moisture build up and can result in mold growth.
- When considering insulation for a basement you need to replace your siding with hardboard or vinyl, add insulation in between the studs and have a moisture barrier on top of that.
It makes sense to insulate both the ceiling and walls of any crawlspace or basement. A well-insulated house is a more comfortable, healthier place to live and is less expensive to heat and cool because there are no “cold spots” or areas that lose heat faster than others.
There will be less humidity from cold surfaces dampening the room temperature too. In colder climates, heating costs can be reduced by up to 30% with increased insulation values in exterior walls, this means even greater savings if you’re planning on installing a new furnace anyway. In warmer climates, your un-insulated home can actually cool down and you’ll find it’s easier to cool the indoor living space and keep the basement at a more constant temperature.
Advantages of insulation
Besides saving energy savings and making your home more comfortable, there are significant health benefits as well. Basement insulation is especially important for those with allergy sensitivities or asthma, as it keeps down humidity that can contribute to mold growth. Additionally, adding insulation in between the studs makes for better air quality throughout the rest of your house since there are less “cold spots” where allergens can collect.
When insulating any crawlspace or basement ceiling, make sure to use only water resistant materials like closed cell spray foam or XPS foam board. Fiberglass batting insulation, though inexpensive and readily available, will eventually trap moisture and contribute to mold growth.
When insulating a basement ceiling, it’s best to continue the same insulation into the walls as well this not only makes your home more comfortable but also saves you money by keeping conditioned air in better. Doing so allows you to turn down your furnace thermostat a few degrees in winter months without noticing a drop in comfort levels.
In addition to insulating your basement ceiling or crawlspace walls, always install a moisture barrier on top of insulation before installing any siding materials. A layer of building paper or roofing felt is essential for keeping water out so that no moisture can gain access to the studs underneath where it would have an opportunity to cause damage.
Use of building paper
Building paper presents an added benefit of also increasing the fire rating of your home a must-have requirement in most states. For maximum benefits, follow up by upgrading your insulation with high R-value paneling or rigid foam insulation boards on top. Not only will you be rewarded with additional energy savings, but you’ll also gain added protection against condensation on cold surfaces so common after basement floods.
It’s best to stop moisture at its source before it has a chance to get into the walls. This is easily done by creating a continuous barrier where dirt ends and wood begins this prevents all water infiltration that would otherwise cause problems down the road. Asbestos siding is often used for creating this barrier because it ensures no toxins will be released into the environment, but it has the downside of releasing fibers into the air that can cause health problems.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is it good idea to insulate the basement?
Yes, it is quite good idea to insulate your basement. It also saves energy.
- What does it cost to insulate the basement ceiling?
The average cost to insulate the basement ceiling is $0.095 per square foot.