How to Insulate Concrete Wall Panels

By Carson Barrett

Insulating your home can help you reduce energy costs. Different types of insulation are used for different purposes. When insulating concrete walls, one option is using foam board insulation. This type of insulation is made by molding substances like polystyrene or polyurethane into sheets which are attached to the wall. Many types of foam insulation board are moisture-resistant and are suitable for direct contact with concrete walls. However, most building codes require that insulation on interior walls is covered with drywall or other fire-resistant material.

List of Items Needed

  • Tape measure
  • Utility knife
  • Foam board adhesive
  • Insulation tape
  1. Clean the concrete walls thoroughly, removing all dirt, grease and other residue that may prevent a good bond with the insulation adhesive.

  2. Apply the foam board adhesive to the back of the first board.

  3. Place the board horizontally on the wall in the bottom corner, pressing it firmly against the wall.

  4. Install foam boards along the bottom of the wall, using the same method. Cut the boards to fit, as needed, using a utility knife or a handheld power tool with a soft-materials blade.

  5. Measure the distance between the top of the concrete wall and the top of the boards in the first row, and cut boards for the second row to fit, if necessary.

  6. Install the boards in the second row, using the same technique you used for the boards in the first row. Stagger the boards in the second row so the joints do not line up with the joints in the first-row boards.

  7. Cover the joints between the boards with insulation tape, as directed by the manufacturer.

Tips and Warnings

  • When purchasing the insulation, get a product that has an R-factor suitable for the area where you reside. This is a unit that measures thermal resistance. You can learn more about R-factor from the U.S. Department of Energy's website.
  • Check with your local building department regarding building and fire code requirements for insulation board installed inside a home.

© Demand Media 2011