Quad-Lock North America Sales Director
This may come as a surprise as we discuss insulating basements in the middle of summer. But really, this is more of a wake-up call for conserving energy and building the right way. It has been proven that approximately 25%-30% of a home’s heat loss can be attributed to an uninsulated foundation. And while some of you reading this are from warmer climates and others may not have foundations, the same benefits would apply to slab on grade or above grade construction. My whole point is to start with the basics and at a minimum insulate your basement foundation. “Can Insulating Concrete Forms (ICF) be used above grade?” Absolutely, but let’s start with the foundation first!
Historically, the basement has been relegated to storage, laundry room, and some other non-appealing space. Basements have a bad reputation for being cold, damp, and dark. This does not have to be the case as ICF technology can transform the basement into warm, dry, comfortable living space. Can you say theater room, exercise room, office, even playrooms for that matter? Transform your new home and your basement by insulating your basement foundation!
Many building codes are now requiring insulating the foundation and it is mainly based on Heating Degree Days (HDD) zones. If you live in a very warm climate, then you may not be required to insulate your foundation, but many jurisdictions require R-10 to R-20 and more in some cases. The conventional methods contractors use are to place rigid insulation on the outside of the foundation walls and/or add framing to the interior (rot-and-mildew prone) and insert batt insulation (often poorly installed and sagging). Why not combine all these seperate steps into one and start using ICF’s in the first place?
What about the cost to build the foundation out of Insulated Concrete Forms? While there are many variables, the total cost is often similar or less for an ICF foundation compared to a fully finished conventional foundation! You also get a better basement:
- Higher Energy Savings due to uninterrupted insulation of R-22+
- Lower risks of rot, mold and mildew
- More comfortable space
- One contractor instead of 2 or 3
Some of you may be thinking, “I wish I would have done it right the first time and used ICF’s to insulate my basement, but it’s too late, my home is built.” There is good news, Quad-Lock being the innovator in the insulation marketplace has created a retrofit insulation system called R-ETRO (www.r-etro.com). This is a systems approach to finish the interior of your foundation or basement. It comes in three R-Values of R-10, R-18, and R-26 and gives you similar benefits as building your foundation with ICF’s.
The Quad-Lock team can help you create your desired basement living space by building the foundation first out of Insulating Concrete Forms. Create that warm, dry, and desirable space you have always wanted. Whether you are building new or renovating your home, Quad-Lock is always here to help.