Have you found your rising heating bills are still leaving you shivering at night? If you’re extra blankets aren’t doing the trick and the thermostat is set to almost tropical weather, you may have an insulation problem. It can be fixed if all you need is better insulation; however, you must act quickly. Not only are you letting your warm air slip through your walls, you are also putting your house structure and sometimes your health at risk.
Simply put, insulation is the extra layers between you and the exterior elements of your home. Its purpose is two-fold: keep warm air in and cold air out. Air barriers keep wind from blowing into your home and heat from escaping. Vapour barriers prevents moisture from damaging the structure of the house.
Measured by an R value (RSI Value for metric conversion), the higher the R Value the more resistant to heat movement the insulation is.
Signs of Trouble
Insulation problems stem from one of two things; not having enough insulation, or having faulty insulation. If you find your walls and floors feel cold to touch in the winter or you are experiencing uneven heat distribution, this is an insulation problem. Reversely in warmer months, if you find your air conditioning system is not cooling, though the cost of use seems to be rising; this lingering uncomfortably hot air is also a sign of insulation trouble. Mold growth in any season is also a tell-tale sign of trouble.
What to Do
Identify your problem. Any mold growth on walls or drywall must be removed immediately. Breathing in mold is toxic, and often the cause of many respiratory problems. It cannot be cleaned, it must be replaced.
Temperature problems can be easily alleviated by creating a stronger barrier with added insulation. Always ensure a precise fit without air gaps, or compressed insulation. Spray insulation can be used to fill gaps on nearly any surface.
Choose insulation depending on amount needed, building codes and budget. Each with their own benefit, match your preference and needs with availability. Always consult a professional if you are unsure.
Attics vs. Basements
Remember attics and basements have different insulation needs. Attics are the most cost-effective place to add insulation; while basement walls require rigid fibreglass or polystyrene to handle moisture inside and outside the house.