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Basement Insulation

Prodex Insulation on Basement wall

Basements Need a Vapor Barrier Insulation

Due to the underground environment, moisture is the primary consideration in developing  a basement insulation strategy. Excess moisture can cause mold, mildew, odors, decay, fungus growth and wood rot.

The underground environment of walls below grade presents unique challenges. The moisture content in soil below three feet deep is almost always higher than the moisture content of the air inside. This difference in vapor pressure causes moisture to be driven from the soil into the basement or crawlspace interior by diffusion through the wall. A significant amount of moisture from the soil below the slab will wick upward into the basement through the slab.

Recommended Insulation Product for basements: Prodex Total 48 Inch Insulation

Basement wall insulation installation graphicInstalling Basement Wall Insulation

Moisture Penetrating The Basement Can Come From Multiple Sources:

  • Interior diffusion from humidity in warm indoor air
  • Hydrostatic pressure against the foundation wall from rainfall, snow melt or irrigation creates exterior diffusion
  • Air infiltration bringing moisture in.
  • Capillary rise wicking moisture up from the soil below
  • Groundwater leakage through the foundation 

Condensation is Also a Significant Problem in Basements

Underground soil temperatures can be much colder than either the outside air or the indoor air in a basement. The warmer air in the basement constantly expands. When this warm air reaches the cooler surface of a wall next to the ground, condensation will occur on the interior of the wall. Any interior insulation will be subject to potentially large amounts of moisture driven from both the exterior and the interior depending on the season.

Air Infiltration Can Be A Major Source Of Moisture In A Basement

A lot more water vapor can move through a very small opening where the vapor pressure is greater on the exterior than can move through the wall surface by diffusion. Air-transported moisture can quickly lead to mold, mildew and decay in interior wall assemblies.

Basements can be insulated on either the interior or the exterior. Basements with water leakage and dripping in masonry, rubble or brick foundation must be insulated from the outside. 

Basement insulation prodex totalProdex Total insulation will prevent the inside air from reaching the cool foundation wall to prevent condensation. Prodex does not support mold, mild or fungus growth. It does not lose thermal effectiveness when wet.

Your home can act like a vacuum drawing radon up through the basement in two ways. First, the air pressure inside is usually lower than pressure in the soil around the foundation. Second, warm air will rise to leak out through attic vents creating a small amount of suction that can pull radon gas up through the basement ceiling.

Benefits of Insulating Your Basement:

  • Keep your floors noticeably warmer
  • Reduce air infiltration and drafts
  • Save energy and money by keeping heat and air conditioning inside
  • Minimize problems with condensation, wood rot, mold and mildew
  • Provide waterproofing
  • Seal entry paths against termites
  • Control radon infiltration


Fiberglass insulation should not be used in a basement! "Framed stud walls on the basement interior with batt insulation between the studs and a vapor barrier over the studs was used for many years as the building standard -- This is no longer recommended due to excessive problems with mold, decay and odors." (Yost and Lstiburek, 2002)

To maintain its thermal effectiveness, fiberglass insulation cannot be exposed to moisture. Moisture will degrade the insulation R-value of fiberglass batts and promote mold and mildew which lowers indoor air quality. 

A poorly insulated basement can account for 15 percent or more of a home's total heat loss. Prodex is most effective against downward radiant heat transfer making it a builder's choice for basement ceilings as a radiant barrier. Heat radiating downward from your floor into the basement will be reflected back inside, saving energy and maintaining constant room temperatures. The most recent advance in basement insulation is Prodex Total as a vapor barrier, radon barrier and insulation combined in one product.

Recommended Insulation Product for basements: Prodex Total 48 Inch Insulation

 fiberglass insulation in a basement Fiberglass is not the way to go in a basement.

Customer Reviews
Kathy: Friday, May 18, 2012

Thank You for supplying us with such a great product!My name is Michael K. , I own Select Basement Waterproofing and anyone finishing a basement or looking to lower moister and humidity should use prodex. My clients love this product! Keep this product rolling!

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  5. Over 3 billion square feet sold worldwide.

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Updated May 9, 2016


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