Basement Insulation

CNY Green Energy Solutions is Central New York’s Basement Insulation Contractor

Insulation Services in Syracuse, Solvay, Manlius, Camillus, Baldwinsville, Cicero, Brewerton and all of Onondaga and surrounding counties



After your Attic has been properly insulated the next area to address is your basement. Your homes’ basement is where the majority of cold air sneaks in.  The most common area for air infiltration is where the house sits on the foundation, known as the rim joist. Usually there is a significant gap between the foundation and the home.  Also there are several penetrations for pipes and exhausts.

Usually there is little to no insulation in this area. If there, is it’s usually fiberglass just stuffed in, which might provide some r-value but it doesn’t actually seal the sill plate and allows air to enter, creating cold floors above and dust that usually forms cobwebs along the basement walls. The best way to seal and insulate this area is using 2-part polyurethane spray foam. These can purchased in kits with all needed hoses attached. It is advised that spray foaming the rim joist should be done by a professional who is BPI certified and understands the risks associated with the job. 

When applying the foam it is important to go at least 2″ thick to provide enough r-value. Also make sure to overlap the foundation and to completely seal around any penetrations or gaps. Small voids can weaken the whole system and degrade overall r-value.

Rim Joist (before)

Rim Joist (after)

After the rim joist has been sealed, the next area to consider is the basement walls. Whether your walls are poured concrete, stone or cinder blocked you’ll need to have an R-value of at least 19, obviously greater if you’re in Northern regions.


Exposed walls that are straight and smooth made up of cinder block or poured foundation are the easiest to insulate. The best way to do this is by using board insulation, such as tuff-R. Attach the board insulation directly to the walls using heavy duty anchors and washers. Seal all seams including where wall insulation meets rim joist insulation, be sure to overlap!

This method works fine, but what if your home sits on an old stone foundation? Since these wall are anything but smooth and straight, you will have to do one of two things. If you want to use board or batt insulation you’ll have to frame out the insulation to make sure everything turns out plum and level.

The other option would be to use what’s known as “diaper insulation”. Made up of fiberglass it has a vinyl face that acts as a vapor barrier. Using hooks that are attached to the foundation, the wrap simply hangs snug to the wall. It should also be sealed at the rim joist using spray foam.

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