Baby It’s Cold Outside.
I think Mr. Heatherland and I are the only two yahoos that thought it was a good idea to have a “Wintertime Project” with this basement renovation of ours. Now that we’ve just had an epic blizzard, the idea of lugging tools through the snow is not sounding so fabulous right about now.
Anywhoo, Mr. Heatherland is passionate about many things, but I’m noticing that he seems to be exceptionally passionate these days about keeping our home heating costs down. And a big part of that effort can be credited to insulating our basement.
With heating costs on the rise, adding additional insulation to our basement has helped keep us from freezing… and after yesterday, it was totally worth it. So in case you have questions about buttoning up your basement (or other leaky areas), here’s what we did:
#1 Find and Seal the Cracks
If there are any cracks in the concrete, now is the time to seal them. A good tool for the job is Sika Crack Fix where the walls meet the floor. We also used that for a few very large cracks in the wall, then those cracks in the wall got a layer of Hydraulic Cement over them.
Once the foundation walls are free of cracks, scrub the whole thing down making sure it is free of dust, dirt, grime, mildew, mold, cat hair (yes, our walls were covered in cat hair… no, we don’t have cats). When you have a clean, dry surface paint all the concrete will a couple healthy coats of Drylok to seal the walls and make them waterproof.
When the Drylok has cured, now you can start insulating the walls with rigid foam board. We used Foamular because it will provide a good amount of insulation and act as a moisture barrier. They are very easy to cut to size, and glue to the wall with Foam Board Adhesive. The tricky part is screwing them to the wall while the glue dries. We used a hammer drill, tapcons, and washers. Two screws in each board.
#4 Spray foam
This was my favorite part. I love any excuse to get all gussied up in a Tyvek suit. We used a few different types of spray foam insulation, but the best one was Foam it Green.
Foam It Green is a two part spray foam, Part A is Blue, Part B is Yellow- when you pull the trigger they mix and you get Green foam.
We sprayed it in every conceivable crack, and surface as a last step to our insulation process. We have a rim joist that was leaking cold air, and the Foam It Green was a perfect solution for that. It goes on fast and easy, it dries quickly, and a little goes a long way (translation:we have a lot left over)!
And that’s it, its 18 degrees outside right now and our unheated basement has remained at 65 degrees throughout all of this.
Check out my moves: