Jun 27,2014

Here’s a question that I’ve been getting more and more lately and it has to do with the “wall wrap” insulation blanket that is being installed in so many newer homes.

The question is: Do I remove this insulation before I build my new framed walls or do I just build in front of it?

Existing Basement Wall Blanket InsulationThis blanket of installation is fastened to the concrete wall with cap fasteners that are attached right into the concrete wall. It’s usually installed on all of the basement walls from floor to ceiling.

It generally has a white plastic wrap cover that holds-back a thin layer of fiberglass insulation. It’s thickness is roughly 2″ to 3″ and the average R-Value of this wall wrap is R-11.

This is a newer product and has yet to stand the test of time in opinion. But I like what I’ve seen so far.

Should I keep or remove my wall insulation?

So should I keep it I hear you asking? Well it isn’t going to hurt anything by keeping it. As a matter of fact it’s only going to increase your basement walls overall R-factor which is not a bad thing.

But, by it’self it’s not enough insulation for most code requirements. In my region of the US we need a minimum exterior wall R-Value of R-13, so they will not accept the “wall blanket” as the only insulation that needs to be installed in our walls…we got’s ta add mo!

Am I losing basement space Keeping it?

Existing Basement Wall Blanket InsulationBut I’m going to lose valuable floor space if I have to build in front of it…won’t I? Because now I have to move my walls in a few more inches correct? Well…you will lose about 2″ to 3″ of depth per-wall, but no big deal unless your fighting for inches in a particular area of the basement.

I never worry about an 2″ or 3″ I just go with it and trade-off the lost width of the room for a better insulated basement. That’s the way I approach this stuff.

But can I remove it if I want to? Yes..sure you can. Just rip it all off, bag it up and pitch it and then your starting from bare walls again. No big deal. It’s not going to hurt anything if you remove the insulation blanket.

Framing in front of wall insulation

Existing Basement Wall Blanket InsulationWe keep it…use it for added R-value and move on with the framing project. For me it would be a huge hassle(and an itchy one!) to tear all of this insulation wrap out. When we layout the walls in front of the wrap we come 6″ 1/2″ off the concrete wall behind the wrap, snap a wall line, and set our walls on that line. Don’t frame to close to the wall wrap! Compact the insulation wrap with your framing and it will reduce the R-value of the wrap.

I hope that I have cleared-up any questions about basement wall insulation blankets. You can always contact me if you have any questions about this wall wrap by just emailing me at: info@basementfinishinguniversity.com

Good luck with your basement projects. I’m always here if you have any questions about your basement project!


Existing Basement Wall Blanket Insulation

Existing Basement Wall Blanket Insulation

Posted in: Basement Finishing Articles, Basement Insulation

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