Basements can be comfortable living spaces. Many homeowners turned theirs into man caves, home offices, recreation rooms, and guest bedrooms. With proper insulation, these can stay warm and dry throughout the year. Unfortunately, many homes use inferior insulation that degrades over time. Their basement may also be under insulation, where it fails to protect the walls and leave the occupants vulnerable to the elements. When this happens, it’s time to replace the basement insulation. In this article, we discuss some of the most common basement insulation problems that homeowners face.
Top 5 Basement Insulation Issues That Colorado Homes Experience
Keep your eyes peeled for the following signs:
Mold thrives in wet environments. Some insulation, including fiberglass, can hold moisture and give mold an ideal place to grow. If you don’t address the situation, the interiors will soon fill up with spores that trigger allergies and respiratory ailments. Do not underestimate this health risk. Consult an insulation specialist to figure out your next move. If the insulation absorbs water, you may need to replace it in favor of a material that repels moisture.
Remember that the basement is located underground, surrounded by wet soil on all sides. Moisture and condensation will try to seep in any chance it gets. Aside from waterproofing the walls, you should also get waterproof insulation like spray foam to keep the interiors dry. It is an advanced form of non-absorbent plastic. Mold will have a harder time growing in a clean and dry basement. You will have fewer worries about indoor air quality. You won’t have to deal with unsightly black and green patches on the walls either.
Can you walk on the floor with bare feet? Does it get too cold for comfort? If this is happening in your basement, you may be dealing with a flaw in the rim joist. It is not enough to have this part covered in insulation. It should also have a tight air seal to prevent cold air from moving into the basement through the gaps. Otherwise, you will always have to deal with drafts and cold floors.
The existing insulation may be a loose material that allows cold air to pass through. In that case, you should replace it with a solid material that can block air completely. Spray foam shines in this regard. It hardens and expands into a formidable barrier. It can cover entire surfaces, ensuring that air from the outdoors has nowhere to go. You will feel a difference immediately after professional installation.
In many homes, water pipes run through the basement, where plumbers can get access whenever necessary. Adequate insulation is crucial in preventing these pipes from freezing over. Since water expands as it freezes, the change of state can force the pipes to crack or burst. It is a big headache for homeowners. Water can flood the area and require a major cleanup. Plumbers will also need to replace the damaged pipes, and the cost of this project is not trivial.
Do not ignore frost on the pipes. Prevent them from bursting by acting quickly to improve basement insulation. If you have an old house, the existing insulation may no longer be providing adequate protection. It is time to remove it from the walls and make way for new material. Consult an expert about the selection and installation. You can also cover the pipes directly if you want to keep them from freezing.
Cold Air from Ductwork
The ductwork carries conditioned air around the house. In the winter, it pushes hot air from the furnace down to different rooms, including the basement. If the ducts are exposed to cold air, heat will dissipate before reaching the destinations. People will feel cold and crank up the thermostat, making the furnace work harder and burning more fuel in the process. If you don’t want your energy bills to soar, you need to address this right away.
It is a common problem with a readily available solution: duct insulation wrap. Most hardware stores have it. An insulation specialist can also give you additional options based on your unique situation. For example, you may opt for a material that offers both insulation and air sealing to ensure that the ducts can operate without interference from the environment. The initial cost may be higher, but it prevents you from having to pay high energy bills for many years.
Perform a thorough inspection of your basement. Do you see any signs of water damage? Due to its location, leaks from above are likely to end up in the basement. Cracked pipes in the vicinity can also cause floods. The water can persist for a long time and interact with wall insulation. Many insulating materials lose their ability to repel heat when wet. For example, fiberglass insulation becomes useless after absorbing water.
If your basement sustains water damage, you need to consider the removal of the nonfunctional insulation. Prevent this in the future by choosing a replacement that can shrug off the water. You wouldn’t want another flood, but you won’t have to worry as much about your wall insulation in case it happens again. Just make sure that experts handle the installation for great results. They will pick the right material for the job.
You spent a lot of money renovating your basement. Now you have a nice space for your favorite activities. Keep it comfortable so you can spend countless hours there without worries. If you notice any of the signs mentioned above, take it seriously. What seems like a trivial issue can worsen over time. Perhaps you can solve them through air sealing, weather stripping, or spot insulation. If you are facing extensive damage, you may need to install a new installation. Lean on the knowledge and expertise of insulation specialists to maximize basement comfort and energy efficiency.
Basement Insulation Problems Fort Collins CO
When creating an airtight seal to improve the thermal envelope of your home, working with a professional insulation company is a great strategy. They can consider all of the necessary factors that will improve efficiency, comfort, and more.
Ascend Construction specializes in insulation removal and installation, energy conservation, energy audits, whole house fan installations, and more in Fort Collins, Colorado, and the neighboring areas.
Contact Ascend Construction for a free consultation today. We can provide you with practical solutions to address the problem areas in your Fort Collins home. All of our services are affordable, and our work is guaranteed. Click here to contact us, or click the button below to give Ascend Construction a call. We offer free, no-obligation, in-home consultations.