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December 18, 2019
As a home performance contractor, we talk to many homeowners throughout Southern Maine and the Midcoast who want to know which home performance upgrades will make the biggest difference. With each home presenting its own challenges, and with so many upgrades to choose from, it can feel overwhelming to comb through the retrofits that will increase your home comfort and energy efficiency the most. But we hear it time and time again: Insulation for the basement and basement encapsulation makes the biggest difference for Maine homes! Here’s why.
Why Basement Insulation Works for Maine Homes
By trusting a local basement insulation contractor to insulate the area under your house, you are turning your basement into a conditioned space. The role of insulation is to prevent the transfer of heat between your home’s exterior surfaces -- like the foundation -- and the outdoors. Once air sealed and insulated, your basement will no longer be at the whim of Maine’s sub-freezing winter temperatures and stuffy, humid summers. The more stable the temperatures are in the basement, the more stable the temperatures will be throughout your home! Some of the benefits of basement insulation include:
No more cold floors in the winter
Greater indoor temperature stability
Reduced “stack effect”
Lower heating & cooling costs
Fewer indoor drafts
The Best Way To Insulate a Basement
Some insulation contractors may tell you that insulating the basement ceiling is all you’ll need to do to insulate your basement — false! Insulating the ceiling may keep your floors less cold, but it will not do much for the actual temperature of your home, and could lead to frozen water pipes and cold heating system distribution networks (air ducts or hot water piping). We find that the best way is to insulate the basement walls. Why, you ask? Your basement walls are where your home is most vulnerable to the unpredictable New England weather, including moisture intrusion, cold air drafts, and the conduction of cold temperatures through your foundation’s stone, brick, or concrete wall surfaces.
By insulating the walls of your basement, you are preventing those unwanted temperatures from entering your living space in the first place, instead of just preventing them from reaching the floors of your home.
Spray Foam vs Rigid Foam Insulation? It Depends.
The second aspect of properly insulating a basement is sealing up any air leaks. For older homes with stone or brick foundations, utilizing an expanding spray foam insulation product, air seals and insulates all at once. And for newer homes with uniform concrete basement walls, taped and sealed rigid foam panels can be a great solution. These treatments are particularly beneficial for Midcoast Maine homes that experience basement air moisture throughout all four seasons. The less moisture in your home, the lower your risk of mold growth.
Read how properly insulating the basement of a 19th Century Deering Center home helped reduce annual heating and hot water bills by $3,300, and how Evergreen helped this family save with Efficiency Maine Rebates!
Evergreen: Your Maine Basement Encapsulation and Insulation Experts
If you’ve got questions about your insulation needs — whether it’s an environmentally friendly insulation for an unfinished basement, insulation for sills in your basement, insulation for the basement floor, or whether or not you should insulate your exposed pipes, we are here to make sure you get the answers you need. By scheduling an energy audit with Evergreen Home Performance, we can help you reduce your heat loss in the winter and stop the summer winds from blowing into your living space. From Belfast down to Cape Elizabeth, trust Evergreen with all of your home performance needs!