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The Home Depot

Ins and Outs of Basement Insulation

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Basement > Ins and Outs of Basement Insulation
Ins and Outs of Basement Insulation

It seems as though basement insulation should be like any other type of insulation but it is not. First, you have to decide whether you want to put insulation on the inside or the outside of the walls. Outside insulation can be placed to protect your basement from moisture and heat exchange but it offers up a different set of logistical and long term problems.


Energy Savers has a list of reasons and ways you can reduce your carbon footprint by insulating your basement. The US Department of Energy, specifically Office of Building and Technology has put forth a helpful fact sheet about basement insulation as well.


There are a few things to consider when you are starting to insulate your basement. By knowing your options, you can make the process run more smoothly.

    Basement insulation can save you tons of money on your heating and cooling costs even if you are not heating the basement area.
  1. 1.Better to Insulate the Walls than the Ceiling

    It can be tempting when looking at basement insulation to just insulate the ceiling as that is the part that directly touches the house. The problem is, you are still going to lose mass amounts of heat through the walls and it will drain your energy whether you want it to or not. The walls are often the better bet.

  2. 2.Might Cost More than You Think

    While the wall space might be less than the ceiling depending on the side, it can be more expensive than standard insulation. This is especially true if you are using outside insulation rather than indoor insulation.

  3. 3.Suspect to Insect Infestation

    Outside wall insulation can become infested with bugs. In order to avoid this, insect repellents should be applied yearly around your home. While it is usually avoidable, once bugs get in, replacing the insulation can be an expensive process.

  5. 4.Need to Watch for Water

    Outdoor insulation can help protect your structure. It gives you another layer of protection against water finding a way in. If you insulate the inside, you need to inspect for water often as once it starts soaking into insulation it can cause dangerous mold growth and the insulation might hide the water from you for a long period of time.

  6. 5.You Can Insulate the Exterior or Interior

    While it is easier to insulate the exterior when the basement is being built it can still be done once the basement is complete. You should consider your pricing limitations before you decide on what type of insulation you plan to pursue.


    Basement insulation can save you tons of money on your heating and cooling costs even if you are not heating the basement area. The insulation protects you house from losing heat all winter when properly installed. This reduction in temperature movement allows you to keep a more comfortable temperature all while using less energy.

Related Guides: How to Finish a Basement

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