Insulation plays an important role in your Northern Virginia basement remodeling project, creating a cozy and comfortable living space downstairs. But this component needs to be done right, with the proper materials installed in the correct way. Make sure your basement contractor follows these tips on insulating to get the most from your below-grade living area.
Repair Any Leaks
Be sure to have all leaks repaired and any excess water cleaned up before insulating the basement. Have a close look around the base of your walls and windows for any moisture. Caulking around wooden or plastic frames and applying concrete repair kits will help make this job quick and effective.
Inspect the Existing Wall
The steps to insulation depend on the make up of the existing wall. Rigid foam insulation is used in basements with cinder block walls, whereas fiberglass insulation can be installed between 2x4s on a standard studded wall. Vapor barrier is used in both cases, but the construction of the existing wall dictates which type of insulation to use.
Will you be hanging drywall in your finished basement? Your contractor must use furring strips or studs to hang that drywall, and insulation must be fitted behind the strips or between the studs. The idea is that insulation is installed close to the building envelope, with drywall acting as the inside layer.
Role of Vapor Barrier
This thick plastic sheet hangs between the insulation and outer wall, which tends to be either cinder block or concrete. Most foundation walls are porous, and the vapor barrier keeps excess moisture and condensation away from the insulation.
Without this important component in your basement remodeling project your insulation can become soggy and subject to mold and mildew. Although the plastic will not block heat, it does act as a preliminary barrier and is taped at the seams to create a solid obstruction for moisture.
Between the Joists
Insulating the walls of your Northern Virginia basement remodeling project is necessary, but you must also cover the space between the main floor joists in order to complete the task. It helps to do this portion before installing the main insulation—either just before or just after the vapor barrier goes up.
Fiberglass insulation tends to work best, as it can be cut to fit and slides easily into place. Remember not to compress the product, as insulation loses value when compressed.
Installing insulation in the ceiling cuts down on sound, as well as adding warmth to this space. Check out the different types of ceiling insulation, including products that work with drywall ceilings or drop ceilings.
Also consider insulating the pipes in your basement, improving the efficiency of your hot water system. Little things like this will come together to make your finished basement a more integral part of your home, enhancing your lifestyle.
Your contractor will invest a decent amount of time insulating the basement. Be sure that each step is well taken care of during your Northern Virginia basement remodeling project and you can expect a more comfortable, livable space downstairs.