How Do You Insulate a Basement Ceiling?


Quick Answer

The standard method of insulating a basement ceiling is installing fiberglass batt insulation between basement ceiling joists, according to Dr. Energy Saver Home Services. Fiberglass batt insulation is commonly used because it is affordable, readily available and fairly easy to install.

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Full Answer

The first step is maneuvering batts of insulation around wires, pipes and cross bracing in the basement ceiling, explains general contractor Tom Silva of This Old House magazine. A person should hold the batts in place by stapling their paper-faced vapor retarders to the joists' lower edges. After buttoning up the ceiling, the next step is insulating the rim joist, which is the floor framing around the home's perimeter directly above the foundation wall.

Insulating makes a house more energy efficient and comfortable, notes Silva. However, the U.S. Department of Energy states that insulating a basement ceiling does not have many benefits. A homeowner should add more insulation in the attic, seal cracks, insulate the rim joist and add storm windows.

Dr. Energy Saver states that the basement is likely going to be cold during winter months once the ceiling is insulated. Hot water lines and ductwork in the basement are also going to be subjected to cold temperature, decreasing the efficiency of HVAC and hot water systems. Silva recommends insulating ductwork and hot water pipes below the ceiling, weather-stripping the basement door and wrapping a thick fiberglass layer around the water-heater tank.

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