Replacing Basement Insulation

Often replacing basement insulation is one of the best ways to ensure that your basement is free of moisture which causes mold and mildew.  Replacing old insulation with new basement insulation will allow you to inspect the foundation walls, make minor repairs, and ensure that your family has a healthy place to call home. 

You Will Need:

  • Utility Knife
  • Caulking Gun
  • Caulking
  • Waterproof Paint
  • Polyurethane Foam Sealant
  • Tape Measure
  • Fiberglass Insulation
  • Staple Gun
  • Vapour Barrier
  • Duct Tape
  • Gloves

Step 1. Removing the Existing Insulation

By properly insulating your basement you will be able to heat your family’s home more efficiently and cost effectively. A properly insulated basement keeps moisture out of your basement, which in turn, prevents mildews and molds. First, remove any existing insulation. Once you have removed the existing insulation, do a complete basement inspection.

Step 2. Repairing Cracks and Sealing Openings

After you have noted the defects in your foundation walls, it is a good time to take your polyurethane foam sealant and fill the cracks. Once the foam has dried, using your utility knife, cut off any excess foam bulging from the cracks. Next, use your caulking to fill any holes that are open to the outside of your structure where wires, vents, pipes, and connectors run through. After this step, painting your walls with a waterproof paint adds one more layer of leakage protection.

Step 3. Purchasing and Preparing your Basement Insulation

Measure the width and height of your walls to get the wall space area. Fiberglass basement insulation comes in batts, or large rolls, which can be cut down to the required size using a utility knife. Before purchasing insulation, determine the R-value. The higher the R-value, the better the heat wil be retained.

Step 4. Installing the Fiberglass Basement Insulation

Before handling your insulation, put on a pair of work gloves for protection against the prickly fiberglass filling. Next, measure the space between your wall studs and then cut the insulation to the length and width required. Don't breathe in the fiberglass as it can be quite harmful. Go around the room and push the fiberglass pieces into the spaces between your wall studs. Any insulation that does not stay in place you can easily staple to the wall studs using your staple gun.

Step 5. Adding the Vapor Barrier

Next, add a layer of plastic vapour barrier, which comes in large rolls, over the top of your fiberglass insulation. To do this, simply unroll the plastic from the bolt and staple it first along the top rafters all the way around the basement. Once the top has been stapled, the remainder of the plastic will hang down over the fibreglass insulation and allow you to add more staples to tighten it to the studs and then finally, to the bottom of the studded walls. This added layer will cut down any wind blowing through the walls if there are small defects in your foundation and will also cut down on the amount of bugs, molds, and mildew you find in your basement. Once the plastic vapor barrier is secure, you simply need to go back over any area where there is a seam and apply a strip of duct tape, making your room air tight and warm throughout the coldest of winter months.