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Insulate Your Basement Block Walls with Foam Panels

Electrical Wiring

Bare walls in your basement can make the whole area cold and damp. With some foam panel insulation, you can create a warm and cozy room free from drafts and moisture. After you install the foam panel insulation, you can easily attach drywall, paneling, or other wall coverings. It’s not a very expensive undertaking and can easily be done by anyone with little knowledge about construction. It doesn’t require many tools and very little time.

Start by removing any nails, chunks of mortar, or other debris that will inhibit the foam panel insulation from laying flat against the block wall. Clear all the debris from the floors and ceilings as well. Measure the height of the wall and cut the foam insulation panels as needed to fit snugly on the wall. Use a utility knife to cut through one side of the foam insulation panel. Break the foam. Use the utility knife to cut through the other side of the foil. This will achieve an even cut through the foam panel insulation.

You can attach the panels in several ways. If you intend on adding drywall or paneling, you will need to attach furring strips. These pressure treated materials are ¾ inch thick by 1 inch wide. They attach to the wall using a nail gun and hard cut nails. Bought by the bundle, they can be easily cut all at the same time. Use a hammer and align one end of the entire bundle to make each strip flush. Use a tape measure and mark to length. Subtract 3 inches to fit the top and bottom strips and extra space for any electrical wiring or cable. This space also allows for airflow. Start by attaching the top and bottom strips horizontally. Place a nail every 6 inches and 2 inches from each end. Then start the vertical strips from a corner. Attach the strip 2 inches from the corner. Attach each piece of furring strip at 16-inch intervals. The foam panel insulation has layout marks for 16 inch on center and for a 2 foot on center layout. Always measure to make sure you’re on center, otherwise your drywall may be off. Secure strips with the nail gun and nails. Place a nail on the top and bottom of the strips about 2 inches from the ends. Add a nail about every 6 inches. Pull the strips with your hand to make sure they are secured tightly to the wall.

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If you are just leaving the foam on the wall, you can simply attach the panels using liquid nail, or similar caulking. You just need a caulk gun and some foil tape. Use the caulk gun to squirt caulk along the back of the panel in a squiggle pattern about 6 inches apart. Press firmly along the entire panel and let dry. Use the foil tape to seal all cracks between the panels. Use the tape along any gaps or cracks between the floor and ceiling.