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The values of adding insulation to your home
Is Insulation a DIY Task?
Since most homes can benefit from adding insulation, the next question homeowners may have is whether this is a DIY task. The answer is yes, and no. It really depends on what the homeowner is trying to get from the insulation, what type of insulation they want to use, and where they want the extra insulation to be added. On top of that, it depends on how much time they want to spend working on the insulation for the home.
Some types of insulation can be easy to install, like fiberglass batting that will go in the attic. For blown-in insulation in the walls, it’s often better to have a professional handle the insulation, so they don’t have to worry about making a huge mess, damaging or removing the walls, or using the insulation blowing equipment. A professional knows how to install the insulation properly, can give recommendations on the type of insulation as well as the installment method, and can get the whole job done as fast as possible.
Insulation can be a confusing topic because there are so many options available today. Homeowners who are considering whether they need extra insulation may want to start by having an energy audit done on their home so they can determine where more insulation is needed and what the R-value should be for different parts of their home. From there, they can decide what type of insulation they want to use, where they want to have it installed, and whether they want to tackle this job on their own.
A couple thoughts involving installation. First, the environment the insulation will be put in needs to be dry. Whether it is in an attic or crawl space, moisture within the structure can cause all sorts of problems such as stains, wood deterioration, mold and mildew, and even peeling paint. Water tends to form when vapor migrates into the space and condenses on cool surfaces.
To mitigate this, consider the following things:
- Provide good ventilation throughout the home. This reduced the likelihood of mold and mildew, even where there is no insulation.
- Look at vapor retarders to limit moisture in corners and thin spaces.
Good ventilation and air circulation is the key to effective moisture control, particularly unused areas like attics and crawl spaces. Attic fans are common and provide nice air flow and pull the heat out of the attic. You should consider a similar arrangement for the crawl space. Also vapor barriers like plastic lining the ground and cinder block are helpful.
Most companies installing the insulation will be cognizant of this and will make recommendations to insure proper air flow. If you hire a company, be sure to bring this up. If you are doing it yourself, be sure to do your homework to insure you will not end up with having to clean up and redo the work.
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