If you have a bare basement, think of it as a blank slate! So many options are available just make sure you start with energy efficiency features and your basement will turn into a true “Lower Level” that includes not only a great living space, but one that is quite comfortable. An economical way to add energy efficiency is to install foam board to your concrete foundation walls. There are different R-values (remember the higher the R-value, the more insulating value you have), but you really don’t need a ton of R-value on the foundation walls, so choose a ¾” – 1” foam board. Note if some of the walls are to remain unfinished (without drywall), you must install “DOW” blue foam board in the “unfinished” areas. It is always easier on the installer to get a “tongue and groove” type board as they clip together and make a much easier installation. To keep the foam board “glued” to the foundation wall, use Liquid Nails PL300 along with a Tyvek or foil type tape.
After the foam board is installed, spray foam insulation the optimum air sealing option. Did you know that the area between your foundation wall and your first floor is the leakiest part of your home? Spray foam in the band board area seals up this area and then as it is sprayed to cover the very top of the foam board adhered to the wall. This will give a pure air barrier from any leakage.
Do you have carpet on your first floor? If so, do you ever notice that the area where the carpet meets the baseboard stays dirty? Don’t think you are a bad house cleaner! This area is just leaky! Air is being sucked through that area (again the leakiest part of your house) and any dirt particles in your home are being brought to that area. So if you run your vacuum along that area and then a day or so later it doesn’t look clean – well your house is leaky my friend and sealing up your band boards will definitely help!
So, if your basement is unfinished this is the optimum way to go – I promise!