The basement is a great space to tuck away bulky or rarely used items like tools or seasonal decor. But in many homes, much of the space goes unused, often because it’s chilly, damp and uninviting.
Insulating the basement is an excellent way to make it more useful, but with Idaho’s unforgiving climate, doing it wrong can actually damage your home.
Here are some tips that can help you insulate your basement safely and properly.
Inspect Your Basement for Excess Moisture
Moisture is the number one concern when you’re considering insulating or finishing your basement. Concrete is very porous, and it can allow groundwater to seep through into your home from the surrounding soil.
Left alone, this moisture can cause humidity and condensation problems in the basement, leading to mold and mildew growth, along with health problems caused by some types.
To check for problems, examine the foundation inside and out, both on rainy days and dry days, to check for any signs of pooling water, dampness or moisture, especially near the base of the interior wall and the soil line.
Before insulating the basement, it’s essential to resolve any moisture problems. Sealing the basement walls is a good start, along with installing a perimeter drainage system and a sump pump, if necessary. Be sure the soil around the foundation slopes away from your home, as well.
Use the Best Insulation for Basements
Even if your basement doesn’t have any groundwater issues, it can still be a bit damp here and there due to temperature differences between the soil, the concrete and the interior of the basement.
That means picking the right insulation for the job is crucial. While fiberglass insulation is a cost-effective, energy-efficient option for most areas of the home, it’s usually not best for insulating the basement, as it’s somewhat absorbent.
For the best results, consider closed-cell spray foam. This option offers advantages for basements like:
- Ultimate efficiency: Spray foam offers one of the highest R-values available per inch of thickness,
- Superior protection: Closed-cell foam insulation seals tightly against adjoining surfaces to fill gaps and create a tight air barrier.
- Strong defense against damage: Spray foam is highly resistant to moisture, mold and pests.
All of these features make spray foam the ideal choice for insulating a basement in the Boise area, and while it may be slightly more expensive than fiberglass, it can offer significant savings on your energy bills due to its higher R-values.
Insulate Basement Exterior or Interior Walls
A basement may be insulated from the exterior or the interior, though exterior insulation is usually installed only during home construction, before the foundation is backfilled.
Insulating the interior walls is the easiest and most cost-effective option for most homeowners, and it can go a long way toward making the basement a comfortable, inviting space.
Contact Your Local Insulation Contractors for Basement Insulation
When you’re ready to make your basement more useful and comfortable, talk to our team at Big City Insulation of Idaho. We offer high-performance spray foam, fiberglass batts, rockwool, rigid foam insulation and more, and we can help you select the best products for your basement and the rest of your home.
We also offer complete installation services, and our friendly, experienced team will work hard to provide a tight outer envelope that helps you minimize your energy costs.
We offer superior service and quality, and as part of the Installed Building Products Family of Companies, we can provide resources and expertise that are simply unmatched in the Boise area.
Call 208-488-4962 today to request your free estimate for basement insulation in Boise or surrounding areas.