Basement Insulation, Heat Loss and Rodents

Traditionally, most basements have fiberglass insulation installed at the band joist (which is the top outside perimeter board) and in between the floor joist bays.  However, a new building trend is catching on with builders.  If you go into a brand new home what you’ll find is that the insulation is only at the band joist and it’s foam.  The reasons for this are actually quite simple:

 Top 5 reasons for installing foam insulation at the band joist area ONLY:

  1. Most if not all cold unconditioned air is coming from the band joist and cracks and crevices around it
  2. Rodent fecal matter and rodent nests are under the floor insulation ( if you don’t believe this go to your basement and pull down some insulation and see what falls out)
  3. Infiltration of cold air at the band joist is a major contributor to heat loss
  4. Traditional fiberglass is not an air barrier
  5. Some homes have no insulation at all at the band joist area at all (this is just insanity)

Experts all agree that outside cold air is being drawn into your home via the “stack effect.” The reason you don’t feel cold is that your furnace is working overtime to keep you warm.  This overtime is costing you money each and every month.

Solutions and how Envirocare goes one step further

We now offer a few different programs to prevent basement heat loss and interestingly enough these programs also can cut down on the number of rodents that enter your home.  Here’s how we do it.

First, we remove the basement insulation.  The reason for this is that over the years rodents will have undoubtedly nested in it.  These nests contain rodent droppings and fecal matter.  Once the insulation is removed we then clean and sanitize the area so that rodent fecal pathogens don’t end up in the main living area of your home.

Second, we use a spray foam insulation to close the band joist around the entire perimeter.  The foam we install will seal gaps, seams, and cavities.  Also, it won’t allow for air infiltration leaving your basement warmer and more energy efficient.

Third, we mechanically fasten 2.5″ thick termite resistant foam board to the walls, being sure to leave room for future termite inspections (optional, but strongly recommended especially before finishing a basement).  This foam board has a vapor barrier on it and will last a lifetime as it’s infused with naturally occurring borates.

This system is similar to our crawl space system, we’ve just adapted it to basements.  Connecticut is unique in that we have hot summers and long cold winters.  Do yourself a favor and update your basement insulation it will be the gift that keeps giving.

If you have a question about basement insulation, heat loss or rodents nesting in your basement insulation.  Please call us at 1-888-879-6481 or drop us a email. We’d by happy to answer all your questions.