Improving Home Foundation Insulation


Insulating your home’s foundation not only saves you money on heating bills, but it can also protect against moisture problems, insect infestation and radon infiltration.

No matter if your home has a concrete slab foundation or pier and beam foundation, insulation of the walls is highly recommended. Not only does this reduce energy loss, improve comfort levels and protect your home’s structural integrity, it can also protect it against potential future disasters.

1. Add Insulation to Your Slab

Insulating your slab can improve the energy efficiency of your home and lower heating costs, saving you money on monthly bills while increasing comfort in the house – an invaluable trait that could potentially increase its resale value.

Add insulation to your slab by installing a vapor barrier under it and then laying down insulating foam boards over it. Doing so will keep your home warmer during wintertime and cooler during summertime.

For certain climates, you may want to add more than one layer of insulation. You can choose to add R-value between 6 and 10 inches thick on your concrete slab depending on which insulation material is chosen.

It is essential to select an insulating material with high R-value. The higher the R-value, the better it will insulate your home and save money on heating bills.

If you are building a new home or remodeling an older one, your initial step should be determining how many layers of insulation are necessary. Your energy model should tell you exactly how many layers are necessary to meet the insulating R-value required by your code.

A high insulation R-value will enable your home to achieve the highest level of energy efficiency possible, as well as prevent air leaks and heat loss that may cause cold or hot spots in your residence.

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When selecting insulation for your slab, it’s essential to select a product that works well with the soil beneath it. Doing this will prevent moisture and radon from seeping into your foundation.

Most builders opt for extruded polystyrene (XPS) or expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation when working below grade. These materials boast strong compressive strengths and can withstand the soil beneath them.

Another option is using spray-foam insulation product. This type of foam is waterproof and boasts a high Rvalue.

Additionally, it has an impressive resistance to mold and mildew growth, making it a great choice for foundations.

For top-quality insulation, consult an industry expert. You can locate a qualified insulation contractor by asking around in your neighborhood or searching online.

2. Add Insulation to Your Crawl Space

Insulating your crawl space can make a world of difference in how warm and cozy your home feels during wintertime. Not only does it save you money on heating bills, but it also improves air quality for healthier air circulation.

Before installing insulation in your crawl space, there are a few steps you should take to prepare it. Doing this helps avoid mistakes and guarantees the insulation is installed correctly.

Begin by clearing away any clutter from the crawl space to provide easy access. Then, measure all walls and floors within your crawl space using a tape measure; take note of both height and length for each wall.

When selecting insulation for crawl spaces, you should take into account the type. Fiberglass batts are ideal as they offer both thermal and moisture protection.

If you’re not sure how much insulation your crawl space requires, contact an insulation contractor for a measurement. They can determine the correct amount of insulation for your space and cut in new vents if required.

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Another option for insulateng your crawl space is closed-cell spray foam. This material works great in small spaces, corners and other hard to reach places that fiberglass batts cannot cover. Unfortunately, it’s costly and requires professional installation by a technician.

Before you begin installing insulation in the crawl space, be sure to clear away all debris and dirt. Doing this will prevent damage or mold from developing during installation.

Once all your tools, materials, and supplies are prepared, you can begin the insulation installation process. Be aware that this job could be messy and potentially hazardous so wear gloves and knee pads while working in your crawl space.

When installing insulation, be mindful not to contaminate it with mold and mildew. Therefore, following manufacturer’s instructions is key for successful completion.

Additionally, it is essential to caulk all holes for electrical wiring and plumbing with spray foam insulation. Not only does this protect against moisture, but it also lowers the likelihood of mold or mildew growth in your crawl space.

3. Add Insulation to Your Basement

Many homeowners don’t realize it, but their basements can be used to improve home foundation insulation. Not only does a well-insulated basement reduce heating costs and boost energy efficiency in your house by storing heat better, it also enhances security by keeping out inclement weather conditions.

Uninsulated basements can be chilly and damp in the wintertime, making it hard to stay warm and comfortable. Insulating your basement also keeps the space dry and prevents mold or mildew growth.

One of the initial steps you should take when inspecting for moisture penetration is to tape a sheet of plastic to the wall and leave it there for at least 48 hours. If there’s condensation inside, that means water has seeped into your insulation, potentially leading to its loss in effectiveness.

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Once the walls have no moisture issues, insulation can be installed. You have several options for choosing which type of insulation best meets your requirements.

Exterior basement walls may benefit from exterior foundation insulation, typically composed of extruded or expanded polystyrene foam. This type of material is applied directly onto the outer surface of concrete or stone basement walls for added protection and sound abatement.

The disadvantage to this approach is that it can deteriorate with age and provide an entry point for subterranean termites and carpenter ants. Furthermore, poor exterior perimeter drainage can allow basement insulation to become saturated with moisture, rendering it ineffective.

Another option is using spray foam insulation system. This requires specialized equipment, but it’s an efficient way to insulate your basement walls and ceilings.

When using spray foam, it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions. Doing so will guarantee your system is installed correctly and that it lasts for an extended period of time.

Additionally, sealing foam boards with canned foam before applying them to walls is a wise idea. Not only will this save you money in the long run but also make the project more efficient.

Another alternative to sprayed foam insulation is rigid foam board insulation, which can also be used for insulate basement walls. These boards come in sheets that make measurement, cutting and installation a breeze. Although more costly than fiberglass batts, rigid foam board insulation offers superior moisture resistance and is straightforward to apply.