Many people in the Groveport, Ohio area don’t insulate their basement walls because they mistakenly believe that the soil outside does the insulating for them. Did you know soil is not a good insulator and heat loss from your basement can account for more than 33 percent of the total heat loss from your home.
Done properly, basement insulation will not only reduce heat loss, but it will make your basement warmer, drier and much more comfortable year-round. In the summer, your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to remove humidity from the air.
There are two main methods to insulate your basement — interior insulation and exterior insulation.
For interior basement insulation, you can use any of the main types of home interior insulation, including fibreglass batts, rigid foam board and spray foam. Installing metal or wood studs will help support the insulation and give you a place to attach drywall or panelling to cover the insulation. To save space, you can use 1×2 dimensional lumber installed flat. This works particularly well with rigid foam panels.
You should finish the bare wall with a moisture-proof paint, then install a moisture barrier over the bare wall after the paint dries and before adding the stud frame and insulation. Also, add another vapor barrier over the installed stud frame and insulation before adding drywall and panelling. Clear polyethylene plastic sheeting works really well as a vapor barrier.
For exterior basement insulation, you must excavate the soil around your home so you can get to the outside surfaces of your basement walls. Cover the entire surface of the wall with a layer of waterproofing material before adding rigid insulation. Metal flashing and a protective cover must be installed over the insulation to make sure moisture does not get between the insulation and the basement wall. This is often completed on new construction as part of the build, but this is best left to a professional basement waterproofing company on an existing home. Check Angie’s List for recommendations if you need this service.
You must repair any cracks, leaks or other moisture problems before installing any kind of basement insulation. Moisture can seriously damage your finished basement and the problem is far more difficult and expensive to fix after a basement is finished. In addition, sealing a basement wall may cause moisture to collect and generate fungus in the walls. Your basement must be absolutely dry.
On the inside, moisture and vapor barriers will help reduce condensation, but they do not prevent water leaking through wall cracks. A basement waterproofing system is the best way to make sure you do not have moisture problems from any source.
On the outside, install a drainage system when insulating the wall. Most modern homes are required to have drain tile and a sump pump system installed to drain water away from the home’s foundation. Again, simply waterproofing your basement will not protect you from water damage.
Once your basement is properly waterproofed and insulated, you should see a drop in your energy usage. More importantly, you will feel the difference in the comfort level of your Groveport home.
If a damp basement is causing your air conditioning equipment to work overtime, get in touch with Pickerington Heating & Cooling to have your equipment checked out. Call us at 614.837.4026.