Should I leave my contractor grade insulation for my basement concrete walls or remove it?
I’ve been thinking about doing some basement remodeling, and one of the things I want to do is insulate my concrete walls. The code says that a minimum thickness of R-19 should be installed there but since I can’t see into those walls (and am not very comfortable with crawling around on the floor), how can I tell if they’re actually meeting code? If you want to find Attic Insulation Near Me Hopkins MN, then reach out to Century Insulation today!
There’s good news and bad news. Let’s start with the good, which is more prevalent
First, you should know that you can do this yourself. It’s not that difficult and it will save you money compared to hiring a professional.
Second, figure out what type of insulation you want, here are two options: 1) rigid foam board (R-13), which is sold in rolls and 2) fiberglass batts (R-15), which are more commonly used in basements and attics. If you have any of the latter remaining on your walls, remove it right away! It’s not worth the risk—it will be much harder for you to install new insulation properly if you leave the old material in place.
Third, when installing new insulation on basement walls made from concrete block (which is common), make sure that no air gaps exist between each individually stacked block or between blocks within panels formed by masonry units such as brick or stone veneer units (VMU). These air gaps allow cold air from outside into your home during winter months which wastes energy every time an appliance like an HVAC system kicks on again after being off for long periods of time; this kind of waste adds up over time so paying attention here can save money over time even if it doesn’t seem significant at first glance
Check your existing Insulation
The existing fiberglass or cellulose insulation in your walls will almost certainly be too thin to meet current code requirements for wall insulation R-value. Code requirements have been increasing over the years, and your existing insulation may not meet these new standards.
The R-value is a measure of how well insulation resists heat flow through it. The higher the number, the more effective it is at resisting heat flow. Most modern building codes require an R-value of at least 12 in exterior walls; some require 15 or even 20. If you’re considering removing your contractor grade insulation, it’s important to know whether your basement walls comply with this requirement before taking action—otherwise you might end up paying twice as much when you replace them later on!
This means that you’ll have to install new insulation anyway, so you can remove the old stuff and get a better view of any cracks or holes that should not be there
You’ll want to remove the old fiberglass, as it is not very good at letting you see what your wall looks like. You can’t tell if there are any cracks or holes if you leave it in place.
The same goes for cellulose insulation, although this tends to be better at letting light through than fiberglass. In fact, some people have even used this type of insulation to create walls from scratch (aka the “green” way). But if you’re going for a more traditional look in your basement, then removing this material first will be helpful.
Spray foam is much better at letting light through than either fiberglass or cellulose insulation—it actually lets more than half of all visible light pass through it! That’s because spray foam doesn’t have any gaps between particles like other types do; each particle bonds with another one right next door and they form a solid shell that keeps out heat while allowing light through just fine. This makes spray foam ideal for insulating basements where there isn’t enough sunlight coming down from above ground levels anyway (such as those found under homes with roofs above them).
Spray Foam Tips
If you’re installing the type of spray foam that comes in two parts and requires a mixing machine, it will be much easier to do this work without having to dodge through an existing layer of insulation. In addition, if you’re using spray foam with a fast-curing time (less than 20 minutes), then there’s no reason for you to wait for the previous layer of insulation to dry before getting started on your new layer.
If you’re going with another type of spray foam or if your basement walls are particularly large—100 sq ft or more—then it might make sense for you to leave at least some amount of existing insulation in place so that the overhang doesn’t get too heavy on top while curing. This will save yourself from having to make multiple trips up and down stairs carrying heavy equipment if at all possible!
Removing old insulation
If you do remove the old insulation, you’ll have to clean up all those little bits of glass or fluff that are now falling everywhere.
On the other hand, if you don’t remove it, then when someone starts drilling into your basement walls they’re likely to hit some of your insulation which will create a bunch of dust and mess up their equipment.
Maybe it’s a good idea to just leave it in place?
Maybe, but only if your walls are constructed with no studs and no wiring, and your contractor is sure he can install spray foam without hitting any studs or wires or pipes.
If you leave the existing insulation in place, it will make it easier for the contractor to spray foam around any pipes or wires. He may also be able to avoid hitting studs or other obstacles if he can see them. However, if your basement walls are constructed with no studs and no wiring, and your contractor is sure that he can install spray foam without hitting any studs or wires or pipes, then perhaps it’s a good idea to just leave your existing insulation in place.
If you’re only planning on installing new batts, then I would leave the old insulation in place. The cost of labor is a huge part of this equation and removing it will likely not be worth it since you won’t be able to see the difference once its covered again with new insulation.
If you are going to remove the existing insulation, make sure that you understand what’s involved in doing so. It can be very messy and time consuming so if there is any moisture present (and there often is), even small amounts can cause mold problems down the road.
So, should you leave the old insulation in place? If you’re going to install new fiberglass batts, then I think it’s probably worth doing so. I’d still recommend removing it if possible though, because there are just too many variables to consider when deciding whether or not this is an option that might work for your project. At Century Insulation, we’d be happy to help you with any of your home insulation projects. Our services include fiberglass insulation, cellulose insulation, spray foam insulation, attic insulation, waterproofing, and more– including energy insulation rebates! Protecting you and your home is what we do best, call us today if you have any questions.