Basement Wall Insulation

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Insulation Types, Materials & R Values for Basements, Crawl Spaces & Attics

Before insulating your basement, crawl space, attic or any other interior wall, you should have a basic understanding of the different types of insulation solutions available. Emily Patterson from Ehow contributed the following great piece:

Insulation and air sealing in the basement reduces energy use and lowers heating and cooling costs. Insulation’s R-value is the resistance to heat flow through the insulation. Higher R-values indicate a higher resistance to heat flow (and thus higher energy savings). According to the U.S. Department of Energy, insulating the basement of a home can save $250 to $390 a year, depending on the location and R-value of the insulation used.

Blanket Insulation

Blanket insulation, also called batt and roll insulation, is the most common insulation used in basements. The product can be made with fiberglass, natural fibers, mineral wool or plastic fibers. The rolls are protected with a variety of coverings. Some products have a heavy paper covering on only one side, some are available with a paper cover on both sides. Plastic, foil and fire-rated products are also available—local building codes may require the use of certain types of insulation for basement installation.

Foam Board Insulation

Foam board insulation is a newer product on the market. The foam boards are made from polyisocyanurate, polystyrene or polyurethane. The foam board is installed between studs or can be glued into position and the seams taped before the installation of studs or wall finishes. It is important to maintain moisture control with foam board insulation, as pores in the foam can absorb water and allow mold growth. Local ordinances often require a fire barrier between flammable foam board insulation and the interior of the house. Check your local building codes to find out the requirements for your town if you use foam board for basement insulation.

Loose Fill Insulation

Loose fill insulation is blown into cavities and is a good choice for basements that are already finished. The fill is made from fiberglass, rock wool or cellulose. Fiberglass is suitable for most finished basement applications. However, rock wool and cellulose should not be considered for areas where the studs are located 24 inches apart. Over time, loose fill insulation can settle, reducing the insulation’s R-value. Additional insulation can be added to fill voids when settling has occurred.

Sprayed Foam Insulation

Sprayed foam insulation is installed using a foaming agent combined with liquid foam insulation. This type of insulation requires certification to install properly. However, the R-value of spray foam insulation is often much higher than the more commonly used and less expensive blanket insulation. Special equipment is also required for proper installation. In most locations, building codes require another barrier, such as drywall, to cover all sprayed foam insulation. A vapor barrier may also be required. Check with your local building codes for all statutes regarding sprayed foam insulation in basements.


Air sealing is just as important as insulation for finished basements. Air movement in and out of the house around pipes, vents and electrical lines exchange air from outside to the inside, raising heating bills and reducing the savings of installing insulation. Use expanding foam spray to seal the space between all breaks in the walls between inside and outside the basement for a properly insulated and air-sealed basement. Insulate cold water pipes to reduce moisture caused by the pipes sweating in a properly insulated basement.


Control water issues such as leaks and seepage before installing insulation in the basement. Prevent future problems or correct existing problems by having the soil graded properly away from the house. The slope for effective drainage is at least 1 inch per 8 feet; increase the grade as much as possible. Keep gutters and down spouts clean so water can drain freely from the gutter system. Downspouts should direct rainwater at least 8 feet from the foundation.

What is R value?

R value insulation ratings are used to measure insulations ability to resist heat flow. The higher the R value, the more effective it is. House Insulation should be purchased based on its R value, not thickness or weight.

Facts About R value

Some quick facts about R value are:

  • One type of insulation maybe thicker or thinner, but if the R value is the same they should insulate equally.
  • R value performance testing is done in a 70 F environment with no air movement. Ironically enough, when you need insulation the most you’re generally not in these ideal temperatures or conditions. This can result in the rated house insulation R value being higher than the actual effective R value.
  • The average recommended R value of insulating material for basement insulation in North America is R-12.
  • The R value in house insulation is substantially lowered when there’s any air or water/moisture leaks.
  • The standard R value for house insulation varies based on climate and temperature
  • 1 inch of insulation is = to 30 inches of concrete.

There are different types of house insulation materials, each having a different R value.
Some of the best insulation materials are:

  • House Insulation R value of Blown in Cellulose Insulation is 3.70 per inch
  • House Insulation R value of Fiberglass Insulation is 3.14 per inch
  • House Insulation R value of Expanded Polystyrene is 4.00 per inch

Table of R Value

Some quick facts about R value are:

R value for house insulation standards

table of r value for house
insulation standards

The house insulation r value of insulating boards are:

Expanded polystyrene 4.00 per inch
Extruded polystyrene 5.00 per inch
Polyisocyanurate &
6-7 per inch

In most regions of North America an R Value of 11 is sufficient in a basement. If it is a Crawl Space you will want an R Value of 19, and for attics you will want much higher, around 50. The house insulation r value of insulating boards are:

Type R/Inch
Blown Pink or Yellow Fiberglass 2.2
Blown White Fiberglass
(certainteed Insulsafe)
Blown Rockwool 2.8
Blown Cellulose 3.7
Batt Fiberglass 3.1
Batt Rockwool 3.2
Polystyrene (extruded) 5.0
Polystyrene (molded) 4.0
Polyurethane (unfaced) 6.0
Polyisocyanurate (unfaced) 6.0
Polyurethane (skin faced) 7.1
Polyisocyanurate (skin faced) 7.1
Loose Fill Vermiculite 2.4
Loose Fill Perlite 2.8

Common basement waterproofing problems

The most common problem that every household have is the over leaking or flowing of water that is coming out in the basement walls or ceiling during water usage or rain. This causes the paint of the wall to be soggy and relieves a pungent odor if not cleaned right away. The common problems of basement leakage start when the fittings of the pipes are not well screwed and covered or have holes that are created by rodents. Rodents are capable of eating and making holes in PVC pipes where it wants to pass through, or cracks that are created by the natural source of heat and cold which can damage the PVC or other such tubing materials in your house.

To help you identify the cause of the leaks, you should remember to take note of the tools that you need if you would be fixing the drain pipe or tubes, yourself. You should also know the age of your house, take for example the houses that were built 20-30 years ago with weak foundations. Improper cementation of the house may cause cracks on the wall which is the number one source of basement leaks. Another common problem occurs during rainy seasons where if your basement has a window well, you should check if the rain is overflowing. For such problems, the only solution to have a better result is to hire a professional waterproofing contractor to work on the leak source for faster and better result where they can apply special water resealants or any agents that may block the water from coming inside your basement or repair the entire water passage completely.

This is to ensure that the new water pipes will not damage your basement walls for a long time thus saving a lot more money than just covering up the holes or the cracks.

Different Types of Wall Materials for your Basement Wall Insulation Project

Careful planning for the perfect wall to install in your newly build house is highly encouraged because once you found the defect after installing it would be hard to repair again and it will let you spent more. In installing for your wall it is important to plan first for the type of weather you have in your place. In the countries who are experiencing winter and snow are not allowed to just install ordinary wall but in tropical countries they can install anything because they don’t need to block the snow.

There are different kinds of wall that can help block the cold weather to enter inside the house. There is insulation boards that are thick and thin and some are made out of fiberglass materials, wood and other materials and they are formed in different sizes. Those walls are made to help you save your heating cost because those walls can help block cold weather outside. Aside from that, there are also wall that is soundproof and it will help ease stress especially for the person under recovery who want to take a rest. Electrical fireplace heaters have been produce to produce heat in your room to avoid unwanted smoke and mess in the form of wall style and can be used for decoration. It is important to know the proper installing of your house wall and to look for the experts to install is highly advisable unless you are skilled in this kind of job.

Choosing for your basement wall will depend on your place and on your choice. The weather condition should always consider and it depends on your design and building needs. To avoid stress and stay calm, sound proof wall should be installed and to block and avoid fire, fire wall should be use.

Changing a Room with Electric Fireplaces

You don’t have to live in Northern New England to love the feel and ambiance of a fireplace. This being said, a wood fireplace or stove is not always the best option for your home. If you are renting or do not want to install a fireplace in your home, you might find electric fireplaces to be great options for you and your family. They are beautiful and keep the room warm with no mess and no materials to purchase. These cheap electric fireplaces are fairly inexpensive, come in an amazing array of styles and will fit easily in most rooms.

So many technological advances have produced electric fireplace heaters that are extremely realistic without the smoke and dust produced by the real thing. The wonderful warmth that these electric fireplaces produce is both romantic and functional. A great way to manage the winter nights, these fireplaces can be purchased to match any décor type from modern elegance to lodge style. They are available with beautiful mantels or can be mounted on a wall much like a picture.

Before deciding which of the electric fireplaces would fit the style of your room you will want to put some thought into the type of fireplace that would work the best. There are electric fireplaces that can be mounted into an existing fireplace shell or there are fireplaces that can be added to your room against a wall. Deciding where you want to put the fireplace will help you to decide which of the options will fit in your room physically. After this you will be free to choose the style and feel that you are looking for in the room. Keeping your budget in mind when looking over the options is an important part of getting the best of the electric fireplaces that you can.

Guidelines on How to Properly Insulate Your Basement

Adding insulation for your basement minimizes heat loss and will help the whole structure keep its heat?spending less when it comes to overall energy costs. Before installing insulation consider following your checklist on how to effectively insulate your basement. The first item you should examine should be the basement’s humidity. Talk to your contractor or professional, examine the spot around your home’s foundation and examine the basement walls for cracks and mold before they set up any insulation. Another important tip is to weatherize the windows in your basement. Insulating your basement windows reduces the temperature of your window panes to cool down the entire area.

The basement’s use tells the most effective type of insulation to setup, whether for safe-keeping, washing laundry or family space just by placing some insulation. There are three types of insulation used for basements: polyurethane foam, fiberglass rolls and poly foam board. Insulation that uses polyurethane foam also referred to as loose-fill insulation is called blown insulation. Installation involves spraying it onto a surface, which allows the foam to enter all of the cracks and crevices. It’s best to leave these types of insulation to pros who are experienced and possess the appropriate equipment needed to put in them. Another low-cost replacement for blown insulation are usually fiberglass batts or rolls and poly foam board. These types of insulation involve installing a fireproof covering, such as drywall. Just before applying drywall or other wall covering, it is advised to install a vapor barrier on the insulation in order to avoid moisture build-up or condensation from affecting the finished wall.

When correctly insulating the basement and remove that unpleasantly cold basement, never spend too much by leaving out ceiling insulation to your to do list. The actual heat transfer between the basement ceiling and the first floor is fairly gradual, when compared to the heat loss your walls experience.

Energy Efficient Technology That Electricians, Utilities and Consumers Use

For an electrician, one piece of equipment frequently used is a thermal temperature meter. This type of equipment does not take any infrared images, but it does give a very good indication of the temperature of an object. Anytime heat is created with metal demonstrates that there is a bad connection. Any type of diagnostic equipment that detects that type of heat can help an electrician fix the problem before it becomes more serious.

Another piece of equipment that is similar to the thermal temperature meter but quite a bit more expensive is a thermal magnetic imaging camera. As an electrician, I highly recommend this to customers who have big industrial or commercial businesses. The camera takes a thermal image and shows you any kind of a possible heat differential between what is normal and what is not. This is just a proactive step to help companies prevent any big electrical problems that can disrupt business for a long period of time.

One piece of technology that has added a lot of safety to the electrical repair industry is insulated tools. When I started as an electrician, tape was commonly used to insulate tools. The technology available now to an electrician has made the job safer than before.

For utilities, remote power meters and peak hour meters are becoming more widely used. Consumers get a break on their power bills if utilities, using these meters, can see their usage decrease during peak hours. Costs will eventually go down for everyone as utility companies can actually read the readings remotely over the internet, instead of sending a meter reader to read the results manually.

For consumers, using compact fluorescent lights is an easy way to save money. Just compare using a recommended nine-watt compact fluorescent light instead of a 60-watt incandescent bulb in a few lamps around the house. Many people will start noticing the difference over time. There are also compact fluorescent bulbs that can be dimmed, which is also another energy and money saver. Installing a programmable thermostat and switching to energy saving technology will help consumers save even more in the long run.

As technology continues to evolve, it is important for electricians, utilities and consumers continue to use it to their advantage.

Reasons To Get rid of Asbestos In Your Home

Insulating your house is a vital task in northern places, and selecting the proper form of insulating material that suits all of your requirements can sometimes be tough. In the past most homes were insulated with Asbestos; the use of Asbestos has been banned in most developed countries globally because of the side effects. Lots of things are produced using asbestos, due to its many physical and chemical components. Asbestos is a group of six naturally sourced silicate materials, comprised of thin fibrous crystals, it is a very strong material resistant to fire and also heat, it has regular tensile strength and in addition it is resistant to chemical damage and doesn’t transmit electrical current, what’s more, it is effective as being a sound buffer, every one of these attributes make it the best choice for insulation uses and various other things like outdoor furniture, car braking systems, etc. The application of Asbestos for insulation shot to popularity in the late 19th century in bloom with the industrial revolution. Only until just a few decades ago, in the late 70’s more research was done around the health effects asbestos have on the human body and now we realized it really is such a significant threat.

The commonest means of coming in contact with asbestos is by being surrounded by these and shifting them or disturbing them, in this manner you breathe the air with flowing fibres. The fibers make their way to your lungs and after a few months, many years, decades irritating your throat and lungs in the end causing inflammation and scarring of the bronchioles or throat, which could subsequently result in serious respiratory system issues.

Asbestos is a categorized carcinogenic in numerous developed countries ever since the late 70’s. Research indicates that exposure to asbestos could potentially cause lung cancer and also a somewhat rare cancer inside the membranes that line the chest area and abdomen. Exposure to asbestos may possibly increase the chance of a condition named “Asbestosis”, that is an inflammatory condition affecting the lungs which can cause breathlessness, coughing and long term lung damage. All of these health conditions via asbestos particle direct exposure are very not likely, unless you are regularly subjected to asbestos fibres in the air. It’s considered recommended that you eliminate asbestos from your own home, but get it carried out by a professional. A specialist would have all the equipment necessary and is an authority who wouldn’t put at risk his/her own life or that of the individuals residing in your house.

Drown out the Noise: The Advantages of Soundproof Insulation

Ambient sounds are part of every last dwelling yet they are often relatively annoying and annoying in the end. For almost all house owners, it may add a good deal of comfort when outdoor noises are decreased through the utilization of adequate soundproofing components. When making properties less noisy, expert building contractors include these elements determined by certain factors such as different types of sounds concerned, scheduled renovations and the house’s layout.

Understanding the formula of sound propagation can be important so as to use the most effective way to impede or break down the noises. Efficient soundproofing may include combining methods, but the installation of soundproof insulation is considered the most effective process. In essence, a soundproof dwelling is much healthier for individuals who spend plenty of time in the area. For illustration, young children and senior citizens can unwind more efficiently and follow a better sleep pattern using this home improvement. Environmental noise, even in smaller amounts, can trigger tension in various ranges, so soundproofing can right assist someone with medical conditions, university students doing schoolwork or an author trying to focus on the undertaking at hand.

Additionally, the features of soundproof insulation do not end there. When you elect to include this enhancement, they manage to do two things at once, because the soundproof surfaces and ceilings can provide efficient temperature insulation for individuals dwelling inside. Consequently, property owners may spend less on heating bills by over 10% and will help the environment by cutting down the property’s carbon dioxide emission. It can also be a good choice for blocking out things that trigger allergies, if appropriately combined with a good ventilation framework.