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Basement Insulation: Fiberglass vs SPUF Home Improvement 

Basement Insulation: Fiberglass vs SPUF

Basement insulation is available for exterior and interior walls and basement ceiling. In most cases it is more affordable to install insulation on basement walls inside the building.

The chosen materials and design are very important, as they should correspond to your environment and house conditions. Fiberglass insulation is the most common form of basement wall insulation. Itis cost-effective and can be installed even as a DIY project. However, there is another option, which is increasing in its popularity – spray foam insulation (or SPUF) that it is more effective, especially in extremely cold conditions. Which type to choose? What insulation is appropriate for your basement renovations? Check over here the pros and cons of each type.

  • The cost of a square foot of fiberglass is around $0.40, however SPUF will be more expensive – about $0.90-$1.50 per board foot for closed cell (1 board foot is a 1ft by 1 square ft at 1 inch of thickness). There are 2 types of SPUF, open and closed cell. Open-cell is mainly used as an air barrier but closed-cell is an air, moisture and vapor barrier. Differences in cost are based not only on materials, but also on methods used for application of open-cell (that is less expensive) and closed-cell foams. On the whole, SPUF costs two to three times as much as fiberglass, but can lead to bigger savings on heating and cooling costs.
  • The composition of fiberglass insulation doesn’t stop more than 30% of air or heat from passing through it. SPUF is significantly more efficient and has higher R-value.
  • The R-value (resistance to heat flow) of SPUF is approximately six per inch. The R-value of fiberglass is approximately 2.2 per inch.
  • SPUF always requires professional installation, fiberglass installation can be done without professional assistance, but this process is difficult and time-consuming.

– SPUF lasts lifetime and can be applied in nooks and crannies that are not suitable for fiberglass. With its higher energy efficiency and lower utility bills, the payback period for offsetting the higher cost of SPUF is estimated at 5-7 years for colder climates.

– If fiberglass’s main benefit is its low-cost, SPUF not only stops air and moisture infiltration. It also adds strength to the building structure, keeps dust and pollen out, reduces capacity requirements, maintenance and wear of HVAC equipment. SPUF is the best choice as it is permanent and won’t sag.

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