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The Basement: Spray Foam Fun

by - Sunday, March 25, 2012

It looks like Barney threw up on my basement walls doesn't it? We've had the three exterior walls covered with spray foam insulation. We debated going with batt insulation, but in the end, we felt the additional investment in spray foam would be worth it. Because spray foam can adhere to almost anything and expands to fill any crevice or irregular shape, it can provide a 100% air tight seal resulting in reduced HVAC costs.

As well, the 3" of foam applied acts both as an air barrier and a vapour barrier so there is no opportunity for wall condensation that can result in mould or mildew. Oh, and it is also more resistant to rodents and other creepy crawlies.  Did I tell you that we found a mouse in the basement last fall? YUCK - so rodent resistance is very high on my list :)

This is going to be one toasty warm basement. Since we had the walls open (see, there's that scope creep popping up again), we had AirForce Insulation also spray the first three feet under the kitchen exterior door. When we renovated the kitchen three years ago, we thought of adding in-floor heating under the floor tile but it was late in the game - we would have to bring the electrician back in and delay the drywall. So we decided not to do it, but since our galley kitchen opens to a pair of sliding doors at one end, we've been living with a cold tile floor every winter since. Now with the spray foam underneath, we could make it at least a little bit warmer.

It was a quick job and the spray guys were done in a few hours. We stayed out of the house most of the day to let the fumes air out but the basement was odorless and the foam was nice and tight by the time we got home after dinner. Now that this is done, our contractor can start the job of putting the basement back together.

Framing will start this week. We'll have walls very very soon! Yippee!

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  1. That is the best choice for below grade walls!  The moisture benefit alone is reason enough to use it.  HVAC wise it will help keep things warmer but the first few feet below grade is where most of the heat lose is.  The drastically reduced infiltration rates is where you receive most of the heating savings. 

  2. who knew insulation could be so exciting?? :) Glad to see it's progressing!

  3. Spray foam is the greatest, and I love how it feels.  Yes, I'm weird.

  4. Yay Progress!  Can't wait to see the walls go up!

  5. Awesome! I always see them use the spray foam on shows like Holmes on Homes. Finishing our basement is on our DIY list too.


  6. We had a similar issue with our foyer. When we tiled it, we opted to not install in-floor heat. To this day, I regret it. However, after we did an energy audit, we decided to spent a few dollars to have our crawl space (which is under the foyer) insulated with spray foam. This area was previously not insulated at all, so not only was the foyer floor freezing, but so was part of our basement. I think spraying the crawl space has warmed up the foyer quite a bit. Sure, the tile is still cold, but any tile is. At least it's not longer freezing cold. 

    You are making great progress on the basement! Can't wait to see what you end up doing with the space under the stairs!
    Michelle from

  7. Awesome!  We're doing this in the next few months on our basement renovation as well.  I can't wait for the warmth and peace of mind spray foam brings!

  8. MelissaMacGregor12:23 PM

    We did sprayfoam in our attic and it is AMAZING. Our attic used to be an oven on a 90 degree date (not rare in DC in the summer!), but now it's comfortable up there even on the hottest and coolest days. My xmas decorations thank me every time I go up there :)

  9. Pam @ Cherish Toronto12:23 PM

    Awesome!! You guys are making good progress!

  10. Woo Hoo!  Love insulation and all it can do!

  11. Artie Vanderpool12:23 PM

    I agree with maggie! Not glamorous - but important! So beautiful, I can't wait til you get in there and start decorating (I know that's a ways off!) but it'll be So chic. I'm trying to be better about commenting - but wanted to let you know I'm a follower and visit daily! xoxo, Artie
    Stop by sometime!

  12. Auntie "Mangler-of-Mice" Shan12:23 PM

    Oooo! Cool! IT comes in Purple, now?

    BTW, *IF* the Mice "want" to come IN, Barney-"phlem" won't be stopping them! -- Trust me! -- With 2 months of rain last Spring, *Every*one had rodent problems here in Ottawa! - I can add "Rodent-Ridder" to my Resume! ;-]  

    oh, and, for Those who *don't* know -- PEANUT BUTTER is like catnip to them! "Cheese" just ends up making your house smell like, well, Cheese! Also, Dogs will find them quicker than Cats do.

  13. Yay for progress. Love that you're taking the time to do these upgrades before the decorating! Your basement's going to be good to the environment, pretty to look at. ;)

  14. Woot! Woot! Hooray for insulation! It isn't glamourous but it's job is oh so important. Now the real progress can be made.

  15. modern_jane12:23 PM

    Yay for progress! Even the not so pretty stuff is fun when you are renovating!


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