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A potted ABC of cellar insulation

The right insulation for every utilisation

What has long been the norm for new constructions are lacking in many old buildings: sealing of the cellar against damp, and cellar insulation. Here unnecessary energy is lost through insufficiently insulated cellars. This makes cellar insulation in any house a worthwhile investment. Whether your hobby, storage or living space: our ABC of cellar insulation indicates which insulation is suitable for which cellar utilisation.

The possibilities for cellar insulation are numerous, and differ according to the room utilisation. A heated living space in a cellar requires different insulation measures than a cool wine cellar. Depending on the planned utilisation, the appropriate insulation of cellar walls, cellar ceilings or cellar floors ensure the optimum room climate. This effectively prevents heat leakage from your cellar.

I for interior insulation of the cellar wall

If a heated living space has been planned in the cellar, and the cellar walls are sufficiently sealed, then insulation of the cellar wall from the inside is a feasible option. A little of your living space will be lost through the interior insulation – depending on the insulation thickness. However, the complex exposure of the walls for exterior cellar insulation is not required. The latest development in interior insulation is capillary-active insulation systems. However, these are also more expensive than standard insulation methods. The advantage of these new insulation systems is that they can prevent damp damage and mould, as the insulation panels are able to adsorb moisture and emit it into the ambient air later. This ensures a balanced living climate. On the other hand, interior insulation with a vapour barrier, insulation and subsequent cladding through gypsum wall boards always generates the risk of moisture collecting between the insulation and cellar wall, causing damage there. In order to prevent this happening, the building structure should be analysed prior to insulation, and a professional should be commissioned for the insulation work.

If the cellar is used only as a storage space and is not heated, a cellar ceiling insulation is sufficient. This primarily benefits the room climate on the ground floor, as by insulating the cellar ceiling, no more heat is dissipated from the ground floor into the cellar. The consequence: The floor on the ground floor does not cool down so quickly, and the heat stays where it belongs – including having pleasantly warm feet and saving heating costs! Home owners practised in DIY can install a cellar ceiling insulation themselves. EUROBAUSTOFF specialist traders can provide a range of appropriate insulation systems on-site.

P for perimeter insulation

If home owners are planning a heated cellar as a living space, the cellar walls and floors must be insulated. If the masonry also has to be waterproofed, an exterior insulation or so-called perimeter insulation is ideal. In combination with building waterproofing made of bitumen or mineral waterproofing slurries, the perimeter insulation provides additional damp protection as well as thermal protection for parts of the building in contact with the ground. Special insulation substances are used for insulation which are particularly pressure-resistant and water repellent, such as insulation materials made of XPS (extruded polystyrene foam), foam glass and EPS (expanded polystyrene hard foam). The cellar floor is also first waterproofed and then insulated. Here house owners must ensure that the cellar height is still sufficient after insulation. A minimum of 2.20 metres must be maintained for private use of the cellar. If renting the cellar out, a minimum of 2.50 metres after laying the screed, the insulation and the floor covering is mandatory. Frequently, there is not a lot of space available.

P for pipeline insulation

The insulation of pipelines is essential in any unheated cellar. If warm water and heating pipes are insufficiently insulated or not insulated at all, the heating energy will be lost before it even reaches the living spaces. The remedy for this problem is the insulation of the pipelines in the cellar – a simple and inexpensive solution. Pre-finished insulation shells do not cost a great deal, and can be applied very quickly.

EUROBAUSTOFF specialist traders can provide you with comprehensive advice on material selection and professional application of the cellar ceiling insulation and pipeline insulation. These measures can be carried out easily by well-versed DIY house owners. Otherwise, qualified tradesmen should be commissioned with the interior or exterior insulation of the cellar, as here professionals are required to avoid thermal bridges and later structural damages.