Insulating your basement consists of a combination of three areas – the basement walls, the basement ceiling, and the rim joist. Whether you’re transforming your basement into a rec room or an extra bedroom, creating an air seal will make the space more comfortable, quieter, and save you money on monthly energy bills.
RetroFoam of Michigan has more than 15 years of experience insulating homes across the lower peninsula with spray and injection foam insulation. We know using spray foam insulation is the best way to create the air seal you need for your basement.
How Much Does it Cost to Insulate a Basement with Spray Foam?
The average cost to insulate a basement with spray foam insulation can run anywhere between $2,000 and $8,000.
This rough estimate includes the walls, ceiling, and rim joist, but doesn’t include any discounts or rebates you may be eligible for.
What Factors Determine Basement Insulation Cost?
The size of the basement is the top factor when determining the cost to insulate the space.
Another factor in determining cost is the material used in the installation process. In most cases, spray foam insulation will be used in the basement walls unless the drywall has already been put up. While not as common, in that case injection foam would be used instead.
The reason for this recommendation is that some contractors believe that because closed cell spray foam is an absolute vapor barrier, doesn’t let moisture move through it, and is resistant to bulk water.
In Michigan’s climate zone, we can be more prone to moisture issues and that’s why contractors will suggest closed cell spray foam. An experienced contractor won’t recommend closed cell spray foam to fix any moisture problems in the basement. It’s better to address that problem than to put a layer of closed cell foam on top of it in hopes of fixing.
Both closed and open cell foam will provide the needed air seal at an application of 2-inches and 3-inches, respectively.
Most homeowners are unaware that open cell spray foam insulation won’t absorb water, so if the basement leaks it will show the homeowner where the leak is so it can be fixed before causing further damage. Because of this and open cell foam’s superior sound dampening abilities, more and more homeowners are choosing open cell spray foam to insulate their basement.
What is the Process for Installing Foam Insulation in a Basement?
Insulating the entire basement – walls, rim joist, and ceiling usually takes about four to six hours.
The process of installation involves spraying the open cavity of the walls, the rim joist, and the ceiling. If the drywall is already up, then injection foam would be used in the wall cavity.
A good contractor will suggest the basement wall studs are furred out about a quarter of an inch to a half inch. This is recommended so when the concrete walls are sprayed, the foam can get behind the stud to prevent any thermal bridging.
Thermal bridging, also called a cold bridge or heat bridge, is an area of a building which has a significantly higher heat transfer than the surrounding materials resulting in an overall reduction in thermal insulation of the building.
Thermal bridging is most commonly found on the studs of exterior walls, attics, and roof structures.
Much like the process of insulating a rim joist, items in the basement need to be moved away from the walls and covered.
The day of the install, the crew will run a hose into the basement that they will use to spray the foam onto the ceiling, rim joist, and exposed walls. Once the foam is sprayed, if there is any excess in the wall cavity it will be cut so the drywall or paneling can be placed with no problem.
If the walls are already enclosed, the process is similar except that holes will be drilled into the drywall so foam can be injected into the cavity. Once the foam is installed, a crew member will put a Styrofoam plug into the drilled holes, tape it, and then place a rough patch of drywall mud over it.
What Services Should be Included When Insulating a Basement?
A good insulation contractor should offer a number of services that start with your call for a free in-home estimate and end with a more comfortable basement.
Some of the service that should be offered include:
Free concierge program.
Help with applying for financing1for the project. 1 With approved credit. Call for details, 866-900-3626.
Cleanup preparation for insulation job.
Cleanup once the job is complete
Rebates filed with your energy provider.
A lifetime warranty that is connected to the house.
Other Ways to Conquer High Energy Bills, Cold Floors, and Drafts
A cold and uncomfortable basement and a rim joist letting air into your home can contribute to high monthly energy bills, but they aren’t the only culprits.
Amanda previously has worked as a breaking news and crime reporter, TV news producer, and editor in Flint and Detroit. Throughout her career as a journalist, she has won several awards from the Detroit Chapter of Society of Professional Journalists and the Michigan Press Association.
As part of the RetroFoam of Michigan family, Amanda uses her experience as a journalist to write content that will help educate homeowners on the benefits of foam insulation.
When Amanda isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her husband and rescued huskies. She also loves knitting, making art, cooking, and hosting dinner and a movie night for friends and family.