Most homeowners only install fiberglass batts between ceiling and basement joists. They often forget doing other important work.
Upon insulating basement walls, the lower part of the home is instantly upgraded in terms of enhanced energy efficiency. This translates to increased comfort in the home. It is not advisable to use fiberglass when insulating basement walls.
Advantages of Using Rigid Foams to Insulate Basement Walls
Always avoid using fiberglass in basements. Instead, go for rigid foam boards. Fiberglass is not recommended for insulation since it tends to lose its R-value quickly. Moreover, fiberglass absorbs moisture, thereby compressing easily and this makes it fall out of place. On the contrary, rigid foam boards offer better performance and do not have such shortcomings.
The standard and typical way of insulating basement walls with rigid foam board is making 24 wooden frame walls on the interior side of the foundation walls. Stud bays created by the studs are filled with some fiberglass batts. Some people do this with the belief that adding fiberglass batts will enhance the overall performance of the insulation. Top contractors and science on energy efficiency both agree that you should avoid adding fiberglass batts. Basements tend to have high levels of moisture, and fiberglass does not perform well in environments that have moisture. Fiberglass will eventually absorb moisture and with time, the wood will start rotting and mold will grow.
Why Rigid Foam is the Most Ideal Choice for Insulating Basement Walls
The best choice for insulating basement walls is rigid foam. By investing in high quality boards to insulate your basement, moisture will not be absorbed, thus molds cannot grow. This is because high quality rigid foam are water resistant. Moreover, rigid foam will not compress and its R-value will be maintained for many years to come.
Also, these boards keep cold air outside and warm air inside. It is also ideal to install rigid foam that have radiant barriers on one or either sides of the boards. Radiant barriers work by reducing heat loss during winter and heat gain during summer. The barriers come with highly reflective material that reflects radiant heat rather than absorbing it. This reduces cooling costs during summer and heating costs during winter. Hence, installing foam boards with radiant siding will enhance energy efficiency, thus more savings and comfort.
These boards are usually installed directly on foundation walls within the basement. Masonry adhesives and fasteners are used to secure them in place. By fitting them tightly, air infiltration is prevented. Some local building codes may require using fireproof material. Gypsum board is one of the best fireproof material for covering rigid foam.
Without sufficient insulation in the basement, you will often experience extreme temperatures in your home during summer and winter. Hence, it is advisable to install rigid foam board for insulating the basement to enhance the comfort in your home and make huge savings on energy costs. Although the initial cost of installation may be relatively high, the savings you will make in the long run will pay for the initial installation.