Obviously, every home has a foundation and every new home has a requirement that the foundation / basement be insulated. With that in mind, today let’s look at what should be done and what is just plain stupid!
REQUIRED - the Vermont Energy Code says that every new foundation must be insulated:
- Continuous insulation – this would be something like foam or any other product that does NOT have framing, this continuous insulation must be a minimum of R-15. Typically, the most common form of this is one of several rigid insulating panels such as a 2’x8’ piece of foam or a 4’x8’ piece of foam. There are numerous ways to attach the “foam” to the concrete but it must be at least R-15.
- Inside – should you attach the foam on the inside of the foundation?
- Outside – or, should you attach the foam on the outside of the foundation?
- Our Opinion – we strongly suggest you place insulating panels/foam on The Inside. Next time we will go into this question in greater depth.
- Cavity Insulation – if you are apt to be finishing off the basement then you might want to install framing lumber along the perimeter of the foundation which will hold the sheetrock. When using a framing situation where you create a cavity then the R-Value must be a minimum of R-20. The type of insulation that you use will vary widely.
S_T_U_P_I_D – I know it is hard to imagine but there are people that do STUPID things. And foundation insulation seems to attract folks that are not particularly clever! Here is probably one of the dumbest things possible:
- Continuous Insulation – People go out and spend a lot of money to buy rigid foam, normally either a pink or blue, and then it is installed on the outside of the foundation. Up to this point we are ok. But, now comes the dumb part……
- Dumb – after the foundation is backfilled with dirt some folks will go all the way around the foundation and cut off the expensive rigid foam that protrudes above ground. Now that portion of the concrete foundation that is completely exposed to winter’s severe weather has NO INSULATION what so ever.
- Why do people do this?
- We can offer no good reason! NONE, other than to say they are less than clever.
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