Consider blown insulation for your basement. When coupled with a vapor barrier, it will provide a sealed, dry environment. Blown insulation is forced into wall cavities with a blower. It is preferable to other types of insulation because it fills every void in your basement’s walls boards. Although blown insulation is ideal for use in basement walls, it isn't perfect for attic spaces because if it becomes crushed it will lose it's R value and not be as good an insulator.
Step 1 - Choosing the Type of Insulation
Blown insulation is very popular because it can easily and quickly be installed to any wall cavity without much work. There are a few different types of blown insulation which are popular.
The most popular types of blown-in insulation include fiberglass and cellulose. Fiberglass insulation is manufactured from silica. The silica is melted and spun into a very fine fiber which looks like wool. Cellulose insulation is mostly made from recycled paper and either ammonium sulfate or boric acid, which make the material fire proof. These fibers are then blown into the wall cavities to provide insulation.
A vapor barrier can be blown in at the same time. They are also made from several different materials. They are thin plastic sheets or other materials which prevent water from penetrating the barrier. There are also some barriers which can be painted onto the surface. They are ideal for installing over finished walls.
Step 2 - Calculating Amount of Insulation
Before buying the insulation, you need to determine how much insulation is required to fill the voids in your walls. Take advantage of the many insulation calculators available on manufacturer's websites. Allow 20% more filling than you need because blown-in insulation can settle over time, which creates inefficient results.
Step 3 - Preparation
Cut a hole in the cavity wall to allow access and fit cardboard baffles all the way around the hole to prevent the filling from from protruding. A loose fill insulation machine will be required to complete the project. They run on electricity and are available for rent. Read the manual to understand exactly how to use the loose fill insulation machine so that you don't waste any time or money.
Step 4 - Filling the Hole
Fill the cavity using the loose blown insulation by loading the machine with the loose fill insulation, then switching the machine on. Every insulation machine works slightly differently, so read your user manual to find out how to use it. Most will have trigger controls, which make it easy to control the flow of blown insulation.