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Should I insulate when I remodel my basement?

Jason from Livonia asks:
“Do I need to insulate my basement?”

Thank you for that question Jason. The answer is, “Yes… you should!”. Many people will argue that basement insulation is not important because the foundation temp stays a constant 55 degrees and the wind does not blow 8 feet underground. I still believe you should insulate when you finish your basement.

Here is why:
• Most new building codes require a R-11 insulation or better in your walls when you remodel the basement, including Michigan.
• It will make a difference in how warm your basement stays, but be warned, MOST cold basements are due to lack of heat supply not heat loss.
• The insulation can be used as an effective fire block (per building code R302.11), which saves you a lot of money instead of trying to build drywall fire-stop.
• Don’t forget that insulation also helps block sound and reduce noise.

A few tips regarding insulation when basement finishing:
• Use un-faced fiberglass insulation because it breaths so moisture will not be trapped against the wall, and there is no paper that will mold over time.
• Pack it very tight against the top plate all the way between the joist to floor above. This will act as a very effective fire block as well as block any cold that may make its way in above the foundation wall.
• DO NOT USE the Styrofoam insulation board. Not only is it hard to seal but it can also be a fire hazard. This type of board is made to be placed outside the foundation wall before it is back filled.

This is a picture of the inside of our Impressive Basement Finishing System. Notice the metal studs that won’t mold, rot or burn. Notice the un-faced fiberglass insulation packed very tight. After this we install our 1-inch thick high density fiberglass panel, which is covered with beautiful, self healing acoustical fabric. The final result is an R-18 and a 85% noise reduction coefficient or NRC.

Hope this helps Jason,
Doug Hull