Insulating Your Foundation: Expert Advice to Get You Through

Posted on: 2 August 2017

When setting up a building for residential or commercial purposes, pay lots of attention to the foundation. It has a huge role to play in the comfort levels of the rooms in the basement, ground and even first floors in some cases. Therefore, you should consider insulating the foundation to maximise comfort for the occupants. Failure to do will encourage the growth of mould, moisture condensation on the walls, insect infestation and infiltration by radon. With the following expert advice, you will gain better insight on insulating your foundation:

Slab-on-Grade Foundations

Basically a slab-on-grade foundation refers to an engineering practice of setting a concrete slab, which is meant to be the foundation, from a footing installed in the ground. The concrete then lies on the mould such that there is no gap between the structure and the ground. When insulating such a foundation, there are two approaches you can go for. The first one involves putting the insulation on the outside of the slab edge or mould. The second allows you to put the insulation between the slab and the mould. Ideally, you should go for the first option because it limits the loss of heat from the slab and the foundation. It also gives you the freedom to add a board extending for a few metres beyond the foundation to protect against freezing.

Exterior Walls

Another way of insulating the foundation is by using its exterior walls. It is the most preferable technique in places where the basement is in a wet location and there is a high likelihood that water will find its way into the basement by seeping through the concrete. Preferably, you should use rigid fibreglass if you decide to insulate the exterior walls of your foundation. It is effective for reducing heat loss and thermal bridging that occurs through the foundation. Besides, insulating the exterior walls eliminates condensation and acts as a capillary barrier to the seepage of moisture into the foundation.

Modern Techniques

Modern techniques for insulating foundations are also available for use alongside those that have been in the market for some time. A good example of such techniques is the use of insulating concrete form systems. They come as stiff foam boards that can be installed in between concrete walls that make the foundation. Preferably, you should fill up the spaces with high-pressure foam for optimal results. It is as effective as any other insulation material available in the market with an added advantage of being easy to install.