How to Install Foam Insulation Board on a Concrete Wall

What You'll Need
Utility knife or hacksaw
Concrete sealant and water protectant and an appropriate applicator
Liquid Nails or other suitable bonding agent
A suitable quantity of insulation boards to cover the desired area
Putty knife or popsicle stick to spread bonding agent
Tape measure

Concrete is a pretty good insulator, but the addition of foam insulation board increases the insulation value greatly. There are also energy and tax rebates available to people who install extra insulation in their homes. This article will list the easiest method for installing foam insulation board on a concrete wall.

Step 1 - Preparation of Concrete Wall

When applying foam insulation boards to a concrete wall, the wall should first be prepared by coating it with concrete sealant and water protectant. This will keep the concrete from absorbing too much water and disintegrating over time. Use at least 2 coats of sealant, applying the sealant liberally and allowing 30 minutes drying time between coats.

Step 2 - Apply glue and Hang Insulation Boards

Apply liberal quantities of Liquid Nails or other suitable bonding agent to the back of the foam insulation boards and spread over the whole board. Apply to 2 or 3 boards at a time. Press boards up against concrete wall and hold for a few minutes to allow bond to set. Move to next board and butt tight to previous board.

Step 3 - Cover Whole Wall

Continue around the wall until the whole area you wish to cover is covered. Make sure the boards are butted up tight against the previously installed boards to minimize thermal transfer and water seepage.

Step 4 - Measure and Cut Partial Pieces to Properly Finish

If there are areas that aren’t finished using whole boards, you will need to measure and cut panels to fill in. Use the measuring tape and carefully measure and mark the panels that require cutting in order to fit properly. Measure twice before cutting in order to minimize the number of boards or panels wasted by cutting incorrectly.

Step 5 - Fit in Cut Pieces

Fit end pieces and top pieces to provide full foam insulation board coverage. Again, be sure to butt new the boards as tightly as possible against the surrounding boards to minimize thermal loss and water seepage.

The method described above is 1 of a few methods that can be used. If you have the proper training, powder actuated fastening tools may be used. This will cut the time required to cover the whole wall significantly. Another option is to drill 6 to 8 holes in each panel, mark those holes in the wall and drill the wall. It will then be possible to install concrete inserts and bolt the foam insulation board to the sealed wall. If either of these methods are used, safety glasses should be worn.

Using the method described above, it should take approximately 2 to 3 hours to cover a 16 foot wall.