Insulating Your Basement Walls
Insulating basement walls can potentially decrease your home heating and cooling costs, and you can complete the project in a weekend. If your basement is “conditioned” (heated or cooled by a furnace or air conditioning unit), only the walls need to be insulated.
What’s your R-value?
Below are the U.S. Department of Energy recommended minimum R-values for your climate zone.
Your Climate Zone: 4
|Attics||2x4 Walls||2x6 Walls||Floors||Crawlspaces|
|Zone||4||R38 to R60||R13 to R15||R19 to R21||R25 to R30||R25 to R30|
Choosing the Right Insulation
Fiberglass insulation is sold in roll and batt form; both are available with or without kraft paper facing. Use the guide below to select the best insulation for your project.
Continuous rolls are easy to transport and can be cut to length; great for large areas.
Batts come in pre-cut lengths for faster installation and each package contains more square feet than rolls; ideal for framed cavities.
Faced insulation uses kraft paper vapor barriers to control moisture transmission between walls and floors.
Unfaced insulation does not have a vapor barrier; can be used over existing insulation in the attic, or where moisture control is not needed.
To calculate how much you need:
Before EcoTouch® insulation can be installed, a 2" x 4" stud wall, usually 16" on-center*, must be built.
- Measure the height and the length of each of your basement walls. Don’t forget to measure the width of the space between the wall studs, so you’re sure which products to choose.
- Multiply the wall’s height by the wall’s length.
Calculate Your Square Footage
The following products are recommended for use in basements. Add items to your list, and you’ll be able to view, print or email your checklist when you’re done.
- Either faced or unfaced insulation can be used in basement walls. Faced insulation should be placed between the studs with the vapor retarder facing the interior of the room in heating climates. In this example, we’re using R-13 insulation, which has a kraft-facing vapor retarder. The insulation batt can be friction fit or the flange on the facing can be stapled to the inside or face of the stud. For an alternative product option and ease of installation, select Owens Corning PROPINK FastBatt® for your interior basement wall project. PROPINK FastBatt® is a fiberglass insulation batt with a flangeless kraft facing. This product is designed for a friction fit application, requiring no stapling to hold the batt in the cavity. It should be installed so that the cavity is completely filled, fitting snugly at the sides and ends. In addition, the kraft facing provides a vapor retarder membrane required by most building codes.
- For the band joist, use unfaced cut-to-fit pieces of EcoTouch™ PINK® insulation and place them snugly into the space.
- With either faced or unfaced insulation, an interior finish material such as drywall should be installed as soon as the insulation is in place.
NOTE: Do not leave faced insulation exposed. The facings on kraft-faced insulation will burn and must be installed in substantial contact with an approved interior finish as soon as the insulation has been installed. Facing must be installed in substantial contact with an approved ceiling, floor or wall material. Keep open flame and other heat sources away from facing. See package for warnings, fire hazard and instructions, or call 1-800-GET-PINK®.
Check your local building codes for requirements in your area.
- Tape measure
- Utility knife
- Straightedge or 2 x 4 (for cutting insulation)
- Lightweight, squeeze-type stapler
- Work gloves
- Loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirt
- OSHA-approved safety glasses
- Disposable dust mask
- Portable work light
Before you begin any insulation project make sure you:
- Seal any open penetrations
- Gather the necessary tools and wear protective gear listed above
- Always use a portable work light to ensure you have enough light in your work environment
- Leave EcoTouch™ PINK® insulation in its wrapper until you are ready to use it
- Packaged insulation is highly compressed and expands greatly when the wrapper is opened
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