What R Rating Should You Put in a Basement?

Most of the time the R rating for basements used is R 12. The higher the number, the more heat is kept in the area. But there are actually several things you need to consider before putting one in place.

Why Insulation is Necessary

Activities in the basement can reduce the moisture level. By putting in insulation, this problem will be averted. Before you apply any, be certain there aren’t any cracks. The insulation won’t work as well if there are wall fissures. Patch them up first.

Putting insulation in place isn’t an easy task. If you don’t know how to do it, hire a qualified person to do so.
Numbers Rather than Weight

Don’t choose R rating for basements based on its weight or thickness. Some pieces are thicker than others, but it’s the number that matters. They also come in different colors. Pink is the standard but some are white. These are not as important as the numbers.

Area Codes

Some would suggest going for the standard rating. Others would go for the highest rating possible. It is up to you. There are however, some things you need to consider.

The first is that different areas may have different insulation codes. Just to be sure, go to the local building permit office. Ask for the insulation codes being used. You just won’t get the R rating for basements, but also other information about it.

You should also consider the climate. How cold does it get in your area? The R 12 may be standard for most. But assess the situation carefully. You might need something a little higher.

Note: if you install the pieces and you don’t have a permit, you could void the insurance in case of an accident. Unless you know exactly what you’re doing, getting professional help is necessary.

Material to Use

Besides the rating, the material itself is important. Fiberglass is quite common. But it’s better if you choose rigid polystyrene or Styrofoam. Another good choice is polyurethane.

While the R rating for basements is crucial, the material is too. Unlike fiberglass there’s less chance of water seeping through. It also doesn’t take up much space. Most important, those materials lock better than fiberglass.

If you want to use fiberglass, get an R 11 rating. Also remember that the thicker the insulation, the thicker wall needed. This could eat up a lot of space in the basement. For an R 13 a 2 x 4 is needed. For R 19, 2 x 6 is permissible. If you will use foam, go with the sprayed type. While it’s costly, it is long lasting.

Price Considerations

Obviously, price will be a factor. But think of the long term situation. If you’re going to buy a cheap one, you’ll just end up paying more for it later on. It’s better to get a sturdy insulation piece now.

It’s essential you consider all these factors to know the right R rating for basements. By taking stock of your environment, you’ll get the one that best suits your needs.

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