The Advantages and Disadvantages of Basement Wall Insulation
Basement wall insulation conserves energy, saves money, and increases your living comfort indoors. You can have your basement walls insulated from either the exterior, or the interior. Each option has a proper purpose; both share major advantages.
Reduces Energy Consumption
Insulating your basement walls provides a protective cover which shields your home from temperature fluctuations in extreme climates. Basement wall insulation aids in temperature regulation, keeping your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. You will reduce the your energy bills by operating the heater or air conditioner at lower intensities.
Lowers Moisture Content
Inadequate insulation in the basement leads to moisture accumulation, condensation, and a phenomenon known as “weeping walls.” These problems lead to the growth of mold, mildew, and fungi in the basement over time. The structure of your home can eventually be badly degraded and destabilized. Mold and mildew also cause serious health problems for the inhabitants of a household. Insulating your basement walls lower your risks of encountering these issues.
Increases Indoor Comfort
By insulating your basement walls, you can greatly increase your comfort level indoors. The insulation is highly effective at preventing heat loss during the winter. It also works well to retain cool air during the summer months. You can prevent the temperature inconsistencies that are common in homes with poor insulation. With basement wall insulation, indoor temperatures tend to be consistent throughout the home.
Protects Water Pipes From Freezing
In colder climates, water pipes in the basement are prone to freezing. Freezing damages the pipes and necessitates costly repairs. Basements which are insulated properly do not have this problem.
Protects Foundation From Water Accumulation
Basement wall insulation that is applied on the exterior of the building is effective at protecting the structure from water on the outside. Freeze and thaw cycles in colder climates can have damaging effects on the foundation as well. By acting as a buffer against the structure and the surrounding soil, external basement wall insulation effectively protects the structure from moisture problems.
Available in Many Varieties
There are several types of basement wall insulation available, ranging from concrete and foam board to blanket insulation for unfinished basements. Finished basements can use foam spray insulation, which is easier to apply to existing structures.
The main drawback of basement wall insulation is that it is a costly process for existing buildings. You have the choice of insulating your basement from the exterior or interior. Exterior wall insulation requires extensive work on the outside, as well as alteration of the surrounding foundation and soil.
It is costlier than interior insulation, but provides better protection. It prevents moisture absorption on the outside, condensation, and moisture problems. Interior basement wall insulation is cheaper and requires less work, but it does not protect the exterior of the building from moisture. It also results in a reduction of the living space in the basement, because the insulation consumes space along the walls.