Vapor Barriers and Basement Ceiling Insulation

Basement Insulation

Ceiling insulation is important in any basement as it is a location of the home where you lose the most heat. Adding a vapor barrier in the basement along with the insulation is a good and practical way to prevent heat loss. It will also prevent mold and mildew from becoming a potential threat by protecting the insulation. When you install ceiling insulation along with a vapor barrier you will need to do so in a certain way to make them be effective. The article that follows will share with you several tips and tricks and information how to properly install ceiling insulation along with a vapor barrier.

Attach the Insulation

Most ceiling insulation in basements is rolled fiberglass batting. These can be cut and stuffed between the floor joists. The vapor barrier can then be placed over the insulation. What many people fail to do is secure the insulation to the joists. This does not seem like much of an issue because the insulation is fairly light but it is hanging from a ceiling. The ceiling insulation can dislodge from the joists and come to rest on the vapor barrier. Though this is does not seem like much of a problem the weight from the batting could cause the vapor barrier to come loose and fall taking the insulation with it. Ceiling insulation is fiberglass sandwiched between two sheets of paper. Always staple the sides of the insulation to the joists prior to placing the vapor barrier.

Sizing Vapor Barriers

Installing a vapor barrier part of the ceiling insulation is important but you need to make sure the barrier is properly sized. It cannot be shorter than the length of the ceiling. It has to cover all of the ceiling insulation and not just a part of it. If your pieces are too short then you need to overlap several pieces to get the full benefit. The width of the vapor barrier should be such that it covers the half one of joist to the half of another joist. They can span more than one floor joist if your vapor barrier is large enough.

Proper Stapling

When you install vapor barriers over ceiling insulation in the basement you need to use the right kind of stapler and staples. Using a normal stapler that you would use for paper could rip the plastic. Any tear in the vapor barrier can cause the barrier to fail. Use an automatic stapler, such as a pneumatic stapler, to do the job. You also want to use t-50 staples as they are large enough and sturdy enough to hold the vapor barrier in place for years.

Gaps and Seams

Any type of space can cause ceiling insulation to not properly do its job. When you install the batting make sure that it is flat and even against the subfloor. If there are any gaps along the sides of the insulation then cut pieces to fill these gaps. The same applies to the vapor barrier. Make sure it is flat and that each sheets overlaps the one next to it.