Avoid These DIY Disasters!
Many do-it-yourselfers take on projects that are far more complicated than they realize—until it’s too late. When it comes to insulating your home or place of business, we highly recommend that you contact professionals who can do a quality job that fits your needs and your budget to avoid these insulation mistakes.
If, however, you’re still planning to do a DIY project, or you’re regretting the DIY project you’ve begun, here are a few mistakes to avoid.
1. Installing the Wrong Insulation
In previous blogs, we’ve talked about different types of insulation, and what works best for different things. For instance, not every type of insulation can be installed everywhere. For example, some insulation is highly flammable and cannot be installed near water heaters or furnaces. Also, don’t install fiberglass insulation in damp locations such as basements, because it can hold moisture and potentially lead to mold growth. Instead, it’s best to go with a spray foam that resists mold when insulating your basement. When in doubt about what insulation materials to use, contact professionals who can help you.
2. Leaving Too Many Gaps
One of the biggest problems DIY homeowners face is leaving too many gaps in their insulation. Gaps or insulation that isn’t secured correctly can leave the building structure open to air and moisture leaks. Spray foam insulation is best for reaching into small cracks and any areas left open. You can also use caulk on very small openings.
3. Insulating around Lights and Vents
As mentioned above, most insulation material is flammable, so you have to be careful when installing it around lights or vents. The rule is to leave at least three inches around each light fixture clear of insulation unless your light fixtures are rated for contact with insulation. It’s also not wise to wrap some insulation around electrical wiring. Icynene Spray Foam can be installed around electrical wiring, but it’s best to have professionals install it. Keep insulation away from vents and water heaters to avoid a combustible situation as well.
4. Not Preparing for Your Insulation Project
Be sure to have proper safety equipment, such as face masks if you’re installing insulation material yourself. While Icynene Spray Foam greatly reduces the amount of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in the air, you still need to be careful, whether you’re dealing with fiberglass or chemicals. That’s another reason to call on professionals when your family’s safety is at risk.
5. Not Following Instructions
For example, fiberglass insulation comes with a backing that helps protect your home from condensation and rot. It’s called a “vapor retarder” because it resists moisture penetration. It is important to install this to the proper side of the building. This facing should always be installed with the facing towards the warm side in the winter. Installing this incorrectly could cause moisture building within the home. For this reason, be sure you understand how to properly install the insulation!
6. Removing Old Insulation
Most of the time when you’re doing a DIY insulation product, you would not remove old insulation unless there is a mold problem. Some older types of insulation may contain asbestos and release toxic particles into the air. This is why they are better left alone. Instead, if you want to install new insulation, you should add it to your existing insulation assuming that is acceptable to the manufacturer of the new insulation. Some types of insulation cannot be installed over old insulation. This is another reason why it’s always good to have a professional address your insulation needs. But again, don’t remove what’s already there if you’re not certain what kind of insulation it is!
3. Taking Shortcuts to Save Money
It’s best to use higher R-value insulation products because they will be better at keeping heat or cool air inside. They may cost a little more than lower R-value products, but you’ll save on energy bills in the long run. Also, don’t cut corners by not using enough insulation. In this case, more IS better, because a thoroughly insulated house or office building will be able to maintain a more comfortable temperature as long as the air leakage is addressed. Adding R-value doesn’t help when you don’t stop the air. That’s why using a product like Icynene that’s also an air barrier is so effective.
Keep checking our blog for more tips and information about how to save money on your energy bills.
Superior Insealtors is your partner in smart residential, commercial or industrial insulation. Contact us today to get started.