There are a few things you need to know and understand when it comes to basement wall insulation. The different types and methods will make your installation a failure if you lack the knowledge. So let’s take a look at the right way to get the job done so you’ll have a successful renovation.
Basement Wall Insulation
With the basement wall insulation, we are going to look at a few different steps that will take you from the beginning to the finished part of the exterior wall. Typically you would see the framing, electrical and plumbing before going into the insulation stage. The problem with doing the steps in that order is concrete walls or cinder blocks can not be treated in the same procedures as the main floor or second storey of a regular home. If you put batt insulation directly against concrete etc. the batts will absorb moisture that gets transferred between the cold surface of the concrete and insulation. This action will cause the pink batts to start producing a black mold growth inside the walls.
The problem with doing the steps in that order is concrete walls or cinder blocks can not be treated in the same procedures as the main floor or second storey of a regular home. If you put batt insulation directly against concrete etc. the batts will absorb moisture that gets transferred between the cold surface of the concrete and insulation. This action will cause the pink batts to start producing a black mold growth inside the walls.
To make sure this will not be a problem, you need to install a foam barrier between the concrete wall and the stud framing. The thickness you choose to use is entirely up to you just so long as the wood framing and pink batts do not come in contact creating future problems of rot and mold growth. You can take a few options on how you would like to do the insulation.
- You can insulate your perimeter with a thicker and denser foam product to the desired R factor and vapour barrier the wall and to be done with the basement wall insulation. Once that is done, you could have your framing done as per normal the same as partition walls and run any electrical, plumbing, etc. through them with no more concerns for insulating. Also, when you do this method, you can also incorporate a foil just before the framed wall to reflect the winters heat your paying for to minimize heat loss.
- The second method would be to line your concrete walls with foam as before then after the framing is done, add all electrical plumbing, etc. then insulate with the batts. When you have all the batts of insulation in place, you would then vapour barrier the walls and your now done the basement wall insulation for this method.
Now there are other approaches and variations to each and every method on how creative you can get by going green as well as how energy efficient you can get. Depending on your talents for doing home renovations and the budget you have to work with you could get quite creative with your imagination on what and how you would like to do your basement.
The video below is an excellent depiction of the second method that I have just mentioned that is affordable and widely done for most home renovation how to projects.
For the ones that understand and see the importance of a foil wrap for blocking the escaping heat, there are a few methods to incorporate the foil in the second method.
- If you’re using a 2×6 framed wall, you can install the foam, then have a perforated foil against the foam. Instead of using R20 pink batts for the second stage of insulation, use an R15 that is usually used for 2×4 construction to create an air pocket between the foil and batt insulation. For every inch of air pocket with foil is the same as 1-inch of regular pink batt insulation. This way the wall still has the same R-value, but foil will reflect 97% of the heat wave. It will cost less to heat with the foil in place.For those who truly understand the principles of foil, vapour barrier the foam, use perforated foil and skip the R15 batts and gyprock the walls. (If where you live, the codes allow it, you can just use the unperforated foil as your vapour barrier and carry on.)
- Do as they mention in the video for all the steps then add the foil as a vapour barrier if codes permit or add a perforated foil over the vapour barrier. Once you have that in place, your ready for a second wall which will handle all the wires, plumbing, etc. that you may require before drywalling. This method will cost more but is much easier than sealing a vapour barrier around all the electrical plugs, receptacles, etc. if they are behind the vapour barrier.