Basement Insulation using Rigid Foam
Keep your Finished Basement Warm by installing Rigid Foam Insulation
By: Mark J. Donovan
When planning to finish a
basement, it is important to consider the installation of basement
insulation. One of the best types of basement insulation to install is rigid
foam insulation. Rigid foam insulation will help reduce the heat conduction
from the warm basement living area to the cold foundation walls. Depending
upon the brand, rigid foam insulation has an R-value between R-4 and R-8 per
inch of thickness.
|Rigid foam insulation is made from
extruded polystyrene, polyisocyanurate and polyurethane. It is ideal for a
variety of applications including the insulation of basement walls. It can be
used on both the interior and exterior of basement foundation walls. Rigid foam
insulation comes in a variety of widths, heights and depths. It is particular
ideal for basement insulation projects due to the fact that it is waterproof.
The only real down side of rigid foam insulation is that it is subject to insect
infestation and damage. Thus a homeowner needs to be on the alert for carpenter
ants or termites in the home.
Rigid Foam Insulation in Basement
Rigid foam insulation is easy to
install in the basement. Typically it is cut to size with a carpenter’s knife or
a saw and squeezed into place between the furring strips. It can also be glued
onto the basement foundation walls if it was loose-fit cut.
Before installing rigid foam
insulation it is important to make sure your basement walls do not have a
moisture problem. It is also a good idea to use a water sealer on the inside
basement walls prior to installing the furring strips and insulation.
Note that furring
strips are typically used in finishing basements. The furring strips are
fastened to the basement foundation walls so that drywall can be hung on them.
Rigid foam insulation can then be installed in-between these furring strips
prior to hanging the drywall. Usually the furring strips are attached to the
concrete basement foundation walls on 16” or 24” centers.
After the rigid
foam insulation has been installed between furring strips, a sheet of 6 mil
polyethylene plastic should be stapled over top of it. The plastic forms a
vapor barrier for the insulation. Once the vapor barrier has been attached to
the furring strips you can then proceed to install drywall or paneling.
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insulation can also be used on the exterior basement walls; however it is more
susceptible to insects when used this way. Insects won’t eat the foam, however
they can bore tunnels through it and as a result it may become a conduit for
insect home infestation.
Also, never use
rigid foam insulation around furnace areas or other hot areas without using a
fire barrier over it. Rigid foam is flammable and can emit toxic gases if
ignited. Before installing rigid foam insulation around furnace areas, you may
want to check with your local building inspector. In addition, after you
complete the basement insulation phase of your basement remodeling project, you
will need to get an inspection.
For more help on Finishing
Basements, see HomeAdditionPlus.com's
Basement Remodeling Bid sheet. The
Basement Remodeling Bid Sheet will help
ensure that your hire the right contractor so that your basement remodeling
project is done
correctly and you get the project finished on time and budget.
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