Create a comfortable basement environment
that is free of moisture problems and easy to condition
The primary foundations in the United States are slab-on-grade,
crawlspace, and basement. Basements can be a good choice for sites
that slope steeply and in climates having cold winters with deep
frost penetration. Although deeper excavation is required for
structural reasons, the additional cost can result in a comfortable
and habitable space.
Basements are notorious for problems with water intrusion, cold
temperatures, humidity, mold, and uncomfortable, if not unhealthy,
living conditions. A properly sealed, insulated, and moisture-protected
basement will increase comfort, save on energy costs, improve
durability, and reduce entry of moisture, soil gases, and other
potential irritants or pollutants into the home. However, basement
walls are one of the most controversial areas of a home to insulate
and seal. Many builders, even in far northern states, feel that
insulating basement walls is too expensive and does not provide
a reasonable payback. Also, builders of daylight or walkout basements
often only insulate the framed section of the basement. Yet energy
codes typically require a thermal boundary between the house and
unconditioned basement or between a conditioned basement and the
outside air and earth.
KEYS TO AN EFFECTIVE BASEMENT
Moisture control – using a water-managed
foundation system to drain rainwater and groundwater away from
Airtight construction – sealing all air
leaks between the conditioned space and the outside prior to insulation
Complete insulation coverage – properly
installing the correct insulation levels, making sure the insulation
coverage is continuous and complete, and aligning the insulation
barrier with the air barrier.
ANNUAL SAVINGS WITH BASEMENT WALL INSULATION
The energy savings of basement wall insulation vary depending
on the local climate, type of heating system, cost of energy,
and lifestyle of the occupant. Typical annual savings are provided
in the table for a standard, 1,500 square-foot home with a conditioned
basement that is heated by natural gas ($0.72/therm).
The difference is more than you think, or maybe not!
Carpet is best!
There is nothing like walking barefoot on great carpet
for Hardwood is easier than you think.
Just vacuum and you are done.