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Basement Ceiling Insulation Pros And Cons

Basement Ceiling Insulation Pros And Cons

Basements are often already in existence in your home, and are currently used for purposes of storage – this can seem like a waste of good space, and it can seem that just a small change of purpose of the room will give you so much more space

Basement Ceiling Insulation Pros and Cons

Whether you are renovating your existing basement, or digging out an entirely new one, you are joining the huge numbers of people who are choosing to head downwards, rather than upwards, when it comes to creating new space in their homes.

Adding space to our home can improve its value and lead to a more harmonious family space. It is also cheaper than moving to a larger home in many cases.

But what about insulating this space, and, in particular, the basement ceiling. Is it necessary to insulate the ceiling, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of doing so? It’s time to find out…

Basement Conversions: A Growing Trend

A study carried out by Halifax Insurance in 2017 has found that there has been a 183% increase over the last five years in planning applications for basement conversions or builds, compared to just 43% of loft conversions.

People who want conservatories that require planning consent appears to have dropped by 3%. So it seems that basements are a more popular choice than ever.

The reasons for this are many. One is that the basements are often already in existence in your home, and are currently used for purposes of storage – this can seem like a waste of good space, and it can seem that just a small change of purpose of the room will give you so much more space.

Another reason is the your basement is closer to the rest of the home than the loft, for example. Consequently, it can be used as a living space, entertainment room or even a kitchen if you so desire.

Conservatories can also suffer from fluctuating temperatures, whereas a well insulated basement is likely to retain an even temperature year-round.

Basement Ceiling Insulation Pros And Cons

The ceiling of your loft is also the floor of the upper room, meaning that the insulation should provide both a barrier to air passing through, but also a reduction in the noise that passes from one part of the house to the other

Why Insulate Your Basement?

Insulating your basement correctly is hugely important. As the space is underground, it is prone to issues with damp, and the walls must be both tanked and well insulated.

This usually means building a multilayered wall that includes layers of waterproof render and channels to divert water away from the building.

This is often insulated with spray foam insulation or insulation boards, to create a warm and damp free room. Insulating your basement is a job that should almost always be carried out by a professional, and, therefore, it is not a cheaper insulating job, like insulating your loft.

The ceiling, however, is a little different. The ceiling of your loft is also the floor of the upper room, meaning that the insulation should provide both a barrier to air passing through, but also a reduction in the noise that passes from one part of the house to the other.

If the basement is used as a bedroom or living space, this is even more important.

Basement Ceiling Insulation: The Benefits

● Insulating your basement ceiling will ensure that any heat produced in the basement room will not pass through the insulation, and into the rooms above (thus leaving the basement feeling cold). Heat rises, therefore, heat loss from basements is a particular problem. If you choose not to insulate the ceiling of your basement, you will have real problems keeping the heat in the room, leading to increased energy bills for heating.
● Insulation will provide an excellent sound barrier between the upper and lower levels of your home. Walking noise from upstairs can be very disruptive, and if you are using the basement as an entertainment space, it can be very noisy for anyone upstairs.
● The basement room will feel cosier and warmer, and will maintain an even temperature if it is well insulated. This includes the ceiling, as this provides a way to keep the heat from rising and leaving the space.
● Insulating the ceiling of your basement can aid in the structural integrity of the floor above – giving it more solidity.

Basement Ceiling Insulation Pros And Cons

Basement Ceiling Insulation: The Drawbacks

● Adding enough insulation to the ceiling of your basement to provide the right amount of warmth retention and the reduction of noise could mean that you lose some head-height. This is the case if you use fibre type insulation, but spray foam means you can choose a reduced thickness that could fix this issue.
● By insulating the ceiling, you are creating a room that is entirely cut off from the rest of the house – this means that airflow can be reduced. This can lead to damp and condensation, so it makes sense to add some form of ventilation to ensure that there is no buildup of damp that could lead to mould issues. A simple open window or extractor fan could be all that is needed. Open cell spray foam is a great option for ceilings as it allows airflow.
● If you choose a type of insulation that loses its effectiveness if it becomes wet could be a wrong choice. Fibreglass insulation is prone to damp and moisture, and if it becomes wet, it really cannot dry out easily. In this case, the only option is to replace it.

Basement Ceiling Insulation Pros And Cons

When you are insulating your basement, there are all kinds of things you need to bear in mind. The choice of insulation will certainly affect the outcome, and if you wish, you can choose not to insulate the ceiling at all

Basement Ceiling Insulation: Why Spray Foam Does It Better

One of the best options for basement ceiling insulation is spray foam, and, in particular, open cell foam, as it has plenty of air bubbles within its structure.

These air bubbles allow for a small amount of air flow between the upper and lower rooms, but still slows down the travel of noise. It is also able to offer fantastic R-values, but with a thinner layer than other insulation types. In a room where head height is already an issue, this can be an important factor.

Spray foam insulation is perfect for difficult to reach spaces, and can add to the solidity of the structure. In a ceiling that also acts as a floor, this is extremely helpful.

You can also use solid insulation panels, as this offer an easy way to get a flat ceiling for decorating. These panels may not offer quite the same level of noise protection that you expect, however, they are a suitable option for reducing the loss of heat in your home.

Mineral or fibreglass wool insulation is also a cheaper option that will offer some protection. This form of insulation tends not to provide a full barrier, as it is very hard to have no gaps, however it is cheaper. But if it is affected by damp, it will need replacing, and in a basement, this is a real concern.

When you are insulating your basement, there are all kinds of things you need to bear in mind. The choice of insulation will certainly affect the outcome, and if you wish, you can choose not to insulate the ceiling at all.

However, our list of benefits and disadvantages have hopefully allowed you to make a more informed decision.

Take the first step to transform your basement into a cosy and comfortable room today, by calling 0800 1700 636, or by simply clicking the button below!