Homeowners in Western Canada are increasingly recognizing the advantages of using Quik-Therm CIS (interior concrete insulation system) for insulating basement walls. However, as the story below shows, the benefits of using Quik-Therm CIS for basement insulation are also being realized by those who live in Canada’s warmer regions.
This past spring and summer, a homeowner in the Halifax Regional Municipality (H.R.M.) built a Kent Homes’ modular home with a full concrete basement. The home was designed, installed and finished by Grandview Homes Inc. Grandview and Kent Homes both promote the building of warm and energy efficient homes. After hearing about the air-tightness and insulating qualities of Quik-Therm CIS, including its prevention of thermal bridging, they and the homeowner wanted to use it. We are pleased to report that after the basement was finished, infra-red imaging proved Quik-Therm CIS performed as advertised.
One small twist to the story was the involvement of an H.R.M. building inspector. As Quik-Therm CIS is a newer basement insulation product, the building inspector questioned whether its use would comply with the H.R.M.’s current building code. After reading technical and engineering reports for Quik-Therm CIS, the building inspector quickly approved its use in the home.
Tour our website and learn more about why the 6 in 1 Quik-Therm CIS insulation and wall framing system is an effective and economical way for finishing a basement no matter where you live.
by: Scott Kidd
By Ted Cullen, President
Quik-Therm Insulation Solutions Inc.
Fiberglass insulation is no longer code compliant in flood prone areas of Alberta. This trend is gaining momentum and with upcoming stricter building codes, it may soon be enforced throughout Canada. If fiberglass doesn’t work in Alberta basements, why would it work elsewhere? Basements, no matter where you live are subject to wetting. Besides flooding; sewer backups, water pipe leaks and toilet over flow are other ways your basement can get soaked with water. Even if none of these events happens, without the proper insulation system, a conventionally insulated basement is generally a damp, cool, uncomfortable, unhealthy and inefficient living environment.
Up until now, fiberglass has been the most traditional method of insulating basements. The batt and stud method has been used for decades but it has one serious issue – it absorbs moisture and promotes mold growth. Just like a blotter, fiberglass insulation soaks up moisture which gets trapped behind the vapor barrier. Moisture that enters the foundation from the outside also contributes to the problem. As the concrete dries it releases a great deal of moisture directly into the fiberglass insulation. Consequently, as the fiberglass saturates it loses its R-value. The wetter it gets the worse it performs. Mold will grow in and on fiberglass insulation as well as the surrounding surfaces. Over time, this causes studs, floor joists and drywall to rot. Mold and rot combined, guarantee a stinky and unhealthy basement.
So what’s the best way to insulate basement walls? Exterior insulation is not practical due to the high cost and difficulty of protecting the insulation from damage. Exterior basement insulation saves energy dollars; however the inside of the concrete wall is still cool to the touch. If you plan to use your basement for added living space, you want warm interior walls. Because of its lower cost, superior performance and ease of installation the most common method of insulating basements walls will continue to be – insulation on the inside.
Since fiberglass insulation is not an option, what’s the best technology for insulating the inside of concrete basement walls? A better question might be; what inherent qualities are required for an insulation system to be suitable for basements? First off, basement insulation must not absorb moisture. Therefore basement insulation needs to contain an accepted code compliant material that performs as a vapour barrier. Secondly, we don’t want warm air to escape or cold air to infiltrate into the basement through cracks and crevices. That means the insulation system should also include an approved air barrier. Thirdly, the insulation must be a high performance insulator that has been proven to work in below grade applications. And lastly, the framing system should be impervious to moisture. If the insulation system you are considering doesn’t meet these specifications it should not be installed in your basement.
In conclusion, it is important to look at all levels of a home when trying to maximize its energy efficiency. The days of cold, dark, and damp basements are in the past; today’s homes utilize every square inch of space, including the basement. Protect your investment and your family by choosing the best method of insulation that is long-lasting, safe, easy to install and environmentally responsible. The best and most cost effective insulation system for basement walls can be found at quik-therm.com.
by: Ted Cullen
On April 15, 2013 Mike Holmes posted a great article in the Regina Leader Post that explains why proper basement insulation is so important. Here are a few highlights from that article:
“when it comes to finishing a basement the most important thing is to make sure it’s properly insulated. Otherwise, you’re just going to create the perfect environment for mold and mildew. Breathing in mold spores can lead to serious health problems, like respiratory issues.”
“If your basement is insulated the same way as an above-grade wall – with wood studs against the wall, batt insulation in between and vapor barrier over that – you will have air movement, which can lead to condensation and mold problems.”
“Can you imagine trying to fix a mold and moisture issue after the basement is finished? There goes about $20,000, plus the cost of fixing and replacing everything.”
“All rigid foam insulation is mold and mildew resistant. It won’t hold moisture, even if you had a flood in your basement. Another great thing about rigid foam is that it comes ship-lapped, like tongue and groove, so each piece fits tightly against the next without any gaps.”
“Insulating the basement this way creates a thermal break between the air inside your basement and the air outside. It gets rid of any air movement behind the walls, which we know leads to condensation. It’s like a beer cooler, which has rigid foam insulation too.”
To read the entire article on the Regina Leader Post website, please click the link below.