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INSULATION LOCATION for BASEMENT FLOORS - CONTENTS: Here we answer the question: do I need to insulate under my basement floor or below the basement slab? Basement insulation guide for floors, walls, ceilings: this article discusses the question of insulating under a basement floor slab, and just where is the optimum placement of basement insulation. This article explains that the location of building insulation is as important as its quantity.
The question-and-answer article below about Under-Basement Insulation , quotes-from, updates, and comments an original article from Solar Age Magazine and written by Steven Bliss.
I know that it is important to insulate basement walls, but how important is it to insulate basement floors?
Researchers at the University of Minnesota's Underground Space Center suggest that it is generally not economical to insulate under a full basement unless one edge of the slab is close to the finish grade, as in a walk-out basement - or if the floor is to be heated (our photo at left).
This is particularly true in climates with significant cooling loads, where the conductive losses through the basement floor slab will be appreciated during summer months. The material of choice for insulating a slab would be high density, closed-cell rigid foam board insulation, such as extruded polystyrene. If you are installing a radiant heat basement floor system, insulation under the floor slab and the location of the heating tubing are critical - see RADIANT HEAT FLOOR MISTAKES. Our photograph (left) shows sytrofoam insulating foam board used on the inside of a basement foundation wall.

We prefer to use solid foam insulation in any below-grade location that is at risk of period high moisture, because our field and lab work have shown up frequent hidden toxic mold reservoirs in fiberglass insulation that has been used in those locations. Continue reading at INSULATION LOCATION for BASEMENT WALLS or select a topic from the More Reading links or topic ARTICLE INDEX shown below. Try the search box below or CONTACT US by email if you cannot find the answer you need at InspectApedia. Our recommended books about building & mechanical systems design, inspection, problem diagnosis, and repair, and about indoor environment and IAQ testing, diagnosis, and cleanup are at the InspectAPedia Bookstore.
The Illustrated Home illustrates construction details and building components, a reference for owners & inspectors. Virtually un-detectable from the outside our fully operable sidelight gear incorporate a stainless steel locking mechanism with a Rosette Thumb-turn operation on the inside. Includes: Multipoint Sidelight Gear, Rosette, Lock Plates, Hinges, Weather-stripping, Door Sweep and complete turn-key installation. Operable Sidelites are available on many exterior doors we carry and allow for maximum ventilation. Bliss prefers insulation on the basement interior for the same reason that apply to crawl spaces, including avoiding frozen pipes. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively.

Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference eBook purchased as a single order. He suggests using a section of rigid foam insulation to separate off hard-to-insulate basement locations such as steel bulkhead basement walkout doors. Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order.
Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference eBook purchased as a single order.

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