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What is Basement Insulation?

Article Details
  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 29 September 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Basement insulation is a broad term applied to any type of material that is used to fill the walls and ceiling of a basement. The purpose of basement insulation is to create an environment where the home can remain cooler during the summer months and warmer during the winter months. Insulation helps to keep outside weather from influencing the temperature and level of humidity that is maintained inside the building. At the same time, basement insulation helps to conserve energy.

One of the advantages of basement insulation is that it not only helps to keep the basement comfortable and dry, but also makes it easier to keep the upper floors at a comfortable temperature. For example, insulation helps to keep out the warmer air found outside during the summer. Since heat will naturally rise, this means an uninsulated basement may absorb a fair amount of heat that in turn will rise to the ceiling of the area. From there, the heat reaches the upper floors by seeping through tiny crevices and joints in the flooring of those upper levels. As a result, it is harder to keep the home cool during hot weather.

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There are several different types of insulation that may be used to insulate the basement. Foam insulation is commonly used in both attics and basements. However, there are some drawbacks. This type of insulation can be flammable and may also emit fumes over time. Thus, it is not the best option for basement insulation, even though it is very effective at blocking outside weather conditions.

Cellulose is an example of insulation that works well as part of basement insulation systems. The product is made up of a mixture of glass fiber, perlite, and rock wool and can be blow or dumped loose into the walls. This basement insulation solution has the advantage of being ideal for insulating areas with odd nooks and crannies.

Silicate compounds are another option for basement insulation. Composed of a blend of sand and glass, silicate compounds do not emit any type of toxic fumes and will also not burn. The bags are somewhat lightweight, making it easy for the home insulator to use this option in a manner similar to the cellulose.

Rolls of fiberglass insulation are also a viable option for basement insulation. The rolls will fit into walls, floors, and ceilings with ease. The insulation can be cut to fit around joints, beams, and wall studs with ease. Considered by many to be the easiest way to insulate a space, fiberglass rolls are an ideal option for weekend do-it-yourself homeowners.

Choosing the right basement insulation can be tricky. One local resource may be the local power or natural gas company. In many cases, they can provide general guidelines for insulation types that are best suited for your climate and location.

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