We talk a lot about the benefits of various types of insulation. However, it’s equally important to make sure you’re covering the spots to insulate – the areas that are most vulnerable to gaps and cracks, as well as moisture. Here are the four most critical spots to install insulation. This is only a sampling, and you’ll want to check with a professional contractor who will discuss other areas that may need insulation as well.
This literally is a “hot spot” in your house because attics are notorious for being very hot in the summer. A good contractor will inspect this area, among others, in your home and check for cracks and condensation. In addition to removing anything that may cause mold, be sure you don’t vent dryers or bathroom fans up in your attic—vent them outside. When insulating the attic, keep these things in mind: For an unfinished attic, you’ll want to insulate between and over the floor joists to keep it sealed off from the living areas below. For a finished attic, whether or not there are dormers, you’ll want to insulate between the studs and rafters of the exterior walls and roof. Again, professional contractors will walk you through the process of where the insulation should go to be most effective.
This is typically a “cold spot” in your home—cold and damp and musty. If this sounds like your basement, you’ll want to install or replace your wall insulation. If cost is an issue, it’s less expensive to insulate the interior walls of your basement, rather than the exterior. Whichever way you decide to go, the goal should be to reduce heat loss and prevent moisture. If you’re using traditional fiberglass insulation, it should never be placed directly against a concrete wall, as this invites mold and mildew. Spray foam is a better choice for moisture resistance here and in other areas of your home. If a constant musty odor or flooding are issues, get back to basics and take a look at your house’s foundation. To divert water away from your home, make sure the land around your house is graded, so water won’t run down into the basement. The installation of gutters is another helpful preventative measure to reduce the chances of flooding.
Warm air often escapes around your windows. If your house is older and still has its original windows, you’ll want to replace them with more energy efficient ones. If there are cracks and gaps around them, you can sometimes seal these up yourself. Some people will make this a DIY project, sealing any cracks or gaps around the window frames with caulking or putty.
One of your home’s biggest enemies is the gap under the door, which lets air in, not to mention pests. Cracks on the sides of the door should also be checked.
Other Places to Insulate
Of course, these are the most common areas. But a good contractor will help show you the places where air can easily escape. Some of these places include crawl spaces, duct work, rooms above an unheated garage, and any place that may be vulnerable to leaks or moisture infiltration.
At Superior Insealators, we will consult, advise and install the most efficient insulation for your home’s needs. Call on us today.
Superior Insealators is an ABAA (Air Barrier Association of America) Certified Insulation Contractor.