Being a victim of improper insulation can be quite a pickle. It leads to heat loss and a substantially high billing price. Additionally, poor insulation can lead to water damage, rusting, frosting, and many other problems in the long term. If you want to ensure that your loved ones live in the most comfortable home possible, simply make sure that your house is properly insulated.
How to Tell If Your Attic Needs More Insulation
Poor, damaged, or thin insulation causes heat and air conditioning to escape, which means higher bills. If you notice a sharp or consistent rise in your heat and air conditioning bills, your attic may have inadequate insulation. You can inspect the attic yourself or hire an expert to do it for you. If you can feel much hot or cool air escaping, there is a high chance that it is time you invest in a better attic insulation.
Water leaks: Water leaks are a clear indicator that your attic insulation was not properly done or is damaged. Homes with poor insulation let water in and should be redone with urgency. Water leaks can cause mildew and mold to grow inside the house, and even worse, lead to water damage.
Frozen pipes: While they are not always a sign of poor attic insulation, frozen pipes do indicate that there is potential for damage in your insulation. You should have a professional inspect your insulation and solve the problem as soon as possible. If there is a problem in your insulation, there is a high chance that the overall insulation has issues.
Cold rooms and drafts: If there are any rooms that are cold in the house, you should have a professional inspect where it is coming from as soon as possible. If it is coming from the attic, then it is probably time you invested in better insulation.
Bugs and mice: Mice come into houses in search of food, and so do bugs and other house invaders. If you notice a rise in the numbers of your invaders, it is likely that your attic insulation needs a fix.
If you have realized or if you suspect that your insulation is improperly installed or damaged, you can give us a call. We are highly regarded for insulation services as well as designing and commercial building. You can rest assured that we will get the issue fixed the right way the first time.
Types of Attic Insulation
There are five main types of insulation each boasting its own merits and demerits.
Insulation rolls: Insulation rolls are a popular option for attics. They are often used between joists and studs to make sure there is no air escaping the house. They are ideal for long attics and can be purchased in 20- to 40-feet increments.
Foam board insulation: They are considered all-purpose but are not often used in attics. It is hard, inflexible panels that are made from polyurethane or polystyrene and that are flavored for use on steel and wood.
Loose-fill insulation: They are typically made of fiberglass or cellulose. It is either sprayed or blown in to fill individual openings in the wall and also over other insulation. It is a favorite option for attics, floors, and walls since the pieces are easier to handle and can be used in a variety of framing options.
Vapor barriers: While they are technically not insulation, they are used to complement new and existing insulation. They include house wraps that act as moderators of moisture levels.
Spray foam insulation: Mostly used to seal vents, doors. Or openings near your attic’s ladder, spray foam is mostly not used to completely replace the existing insulation but simply to fill up any gaps that it might have. It is easy to use, can be trimmed to your taste, and sets quickly.
Preparing Your Attic for Insulation
There are a few steps you will need to take to ensure your attic is ready for insulation.
Remove old insulation first; failure to remove old insulation and sealing any leaks before installing your new insulation will only mean insulation problems for your house in the future. You do not have to do this every time your insulation seems to have an issue, but if deemed necessary by a professional, this is an essential step in fixing your insulation problem over the long haul.
Next, make sure the house has sufficient ventilation. An attic typically has eaves to allow air to escape from the house. It is critical to make sure that these are not blocked so that air flows into and out of the house freely.
Then you should seal off any air leaks. Typically, air leaks occur near attic steps and doors. You can add a weather strip in these areas to seal off any air leaks.
Finally, you should ensure electrical connections are free from water and damage. Protect all electrical wires from damage before you begin insulation.
Insulation for Hot Climate
If you are insulating your house for hot climate, we recommend using blown-in insulation. It is affordable, has a straightforward installation, and brings down your energy bills significantly.
There are a few factors you will need to consider when insulating your attic floor:
Airflow: Check to make sure your insulation will not block any flow of air whether it’s in the gable vents, in the soffit vents, or in the ridge and off-ridge vents.
Tube and knob wiring: If your attic still has an active knob and tube wiring, make sure you do not cover it or disturb it during insulation; you could easily cause a fire with that. Have an electrician remove the installation immediately.
Insulation for Cold Climates
If you live in an area that requires you to heat your home more than you cool it, there are special considerations and insulation techniques that work better in colder climates.
The roof: You need your roof insulated properly to avoid snow melting and causing ice dams and a myriad of other not-so-fun issues. Without sufficient insulation under the roofing, you will lose all the precious and expensive heat from the top of your house.
Doors and windows: It is quite easy to insulate your doors and windows with the massive selection of temporary and permanent weather-stripping options available in the market.
Chimneys: It is essential that you insulate your chimney too. To achieve this, check that your chimney has a flue and that it closes tightly to seal in your precious warm air. Also ensure that it is opened when fires are lit and that it is closed as soon as the fire dies out.
Baseboards: Known to be notorious for creating drafts, the junction between the floor and wall in most old houses remains unsealed. It would be wise to caulk and to paint it as soon as possible since it is one of the places your warm air is escaping through.
Electrical Plumbing Penetrations
Check every spot that a pipe or wire penetrates the house walls for draft. Caulk all the leaks you find coming from the outside of your house, and add gasket covers to all your light switches and outlets because they are among the biggest holes that have been cut into your walls.
Attic Insulation Done Right
If you have realized or if you suspect that your insulation is improperly installed or is damaged, you can rely on our services whether the issue is at your home or in your place of work. We boast some of the most experienced and friendly technicians you can find in the industry. HB McClure is the perfect choice if you want to get the right solution the first time.
We do residential and commercial heating and cooling installations, repairs, and maintenance. We offer a variety of HVAC products, including ductless mini-split systems and humidity control systems. Our crew can take care of your water and plumbing system in your bathroom and kitchen among many other services you home in Harrisburg might need. Call us today!