Basement Insulation Tips for Michigan Homes

Congratulations on the new home remodeling project!!! We at Finished Basement Plus know that this is no small milestone. Whether you are a new homeowner or a seasoned homeowner looking to make some updates to your basement, we are here to offer you as much information as possible to get the basement you want in a safe, efficient, and with as little stress as possible.

Basement insulation, especially in Michigan, is one of the most important updates you can make to your home. It plays a large role in the state of your home year-round and not just in the winter, as many people would assume.

In addition to that, you get to invest in transforming a dark, dreary unfinished basement into a climate-controlled and elevated space! Or even a spare room could be a bedroom/suite for guests or even a woman or man cave.

The Importance of Basement Insulation

moldy fiberglass insulation in basement finishing

A true Michigan basement is a crawl space that has been dug out into a basement. Because of the location, they are known to have low ceilings and to be really damp. The basement was originally purposed as extra storage space; however, as time passed, basements are now becoming refinished and remodeled to allow other options.

These basements were known for having moisture problems due to the humidity and water leak.

There are also well known structural issues. Houses originally constructed basements with exposed dirt floors with stone, brick, or cinder block walls. Therefore, known for being moldy and unstable.

With basement insulation, you can eliminate frozen pipes, mold and mildew growth, contaminated air, and water infiltration. This makes your home more comfortable and healthy for you to live in.

In addition to the structural issues and health hazards, an unfinished basement of any sort will cause an elevation in energy costs.

How Much Energy is Conserved via Basement Insulation

With the urgency of climate change, there is a drastic need to conserve energy. Not to mention, excess energy usage is draining to a person’s bank account. Unfinished basements with a lack of insulation contribute to a major part of this energy problem within the homes.

Heating and cooling make up 35-40% of the energy used in most homes. For most families, that cost is around $700-$800 annually ($2000 is the average total energy cost spent by the typical American family per year.). A poorly insulated basement can cause a 25% heat loss in the fall and winter. That means that the typical family could lose between $175 and $200 per year due to lack of insulation! While remodeling your basement may seem like a large investment initially, the return on that investment is practically immediate.

In addition to that, investing in basement insulation boosts the market value of your home. Besides creating a healthier and more comfortable environment, buyers are more inclined to purchase more energy-efficient homes.

Basement insulation for Michigan homes has been known to lower energy bills by allowing for a more uniform temperature throughout your house. That means no more random drafts!

R-Value: What Is It, and What Do I Need in a Basement?

When you are deciding on the type of insulation you will need for your remodeling project; you’re going to hear the term R-Value. An R-Value is a measure of how well a barrier (wall, window, floor, ceiling, or insulation) resists the conductive flow of heat. It lets you know the effectiveness of an insulating product.

When deciding on the type of insulation you want, the higher the R-Value, the better the insulation. As a point of reference, a 1″ thick wall of sandstone/limestone has an R-value of about 0.08.

Below are some common insulation materials and their corresponding R-Values
Fiberglass batts – R-2.75 to R-5.25 per inch.
Cellulose – R-3.6 to R-3.8 per inch.
Cotton batts – R-3.4 per inch.
Polyurethane spray foam – R-3.6 per inch for low-density, open-cell foam to R-5.5 to R-6.5 per inch for high-density, closed-cell foam.
Rigid foam board – R-3.8 to R-8 per inch.

Basement Insulation Material Options

When looking for materials, you have to assess the space you are trying to insulate and determine which would be best for that space.

For example, in a basement, the traditional wood and fiberglass insulation would not be effective due to the high moisture levels. Wood absorbs water readily, leading to a nasty odor developing from molds, including wood rot and mildew. Also, the spores from the mold can be hazardous to your health. If the insulation gets wet, then it loses its effectiveness and leaking water can be hazardous to any electrical work you may decide to incorporate into your remodeling.

Basements Plus’ SilverGlo insulation is a special graphite-infused foam board that has a higher R-value than standard foam. It’s a product that takes into consideration all of the aspects of basement installation in Michigan weather conditions. It is moisture resistant, energy-efficient, and, most importantly, easy to install.

Before, during, and after basement insulation

How to Insulate My Basement with FBP

After deciding how you want to insulate your basement, it is time to put in the work. When using our product, we have to collect your measurements and cut our insulation materials to size.

After that, a special adhesive is used to attach the insulation to your concrete walls to eliminate potential air bubbles that cause unevenness in a finished wall.

To insulate your basement floors, you can use two methods. You can attach wood sleepers to the floor, fill the gaps with rigid-foam insulation, and then apply your finish flooring, or you can cover the slab with rigid-foam insulation, add two layers of plywood, and then add the finish flooring.

While a basement remodeling project may seem like a giant undertaking, we at Finished Basement are committed to making this as easy as possible. With a few measurements and some initial investments, you are well on your way to having effective basement insulation. When it comes to basement insulation, especially in Michigan, you want it done right when you remodel.

Look to the Basements Plus pros to help!

Check out our basement finishing service areas in Genesee, Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties throughout Michigan.

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