Is your insulation costing you money? That might
seem like an odd question, but in fact a poorly insulated house can cost you
money on your home heating and cooling bills. Insulation that is out of date or
fibreglass batt insulation that has come in contact with moisture is
essentially ineffective. It is barely better than having no insulation at all.
Often times an unfinished basement falls victim to moisture affected insulation
as the vapour barrier can't keep all the moisture out when it has holes from
necessary staples or screws. Now what can you do about ineffective insulation?
There are actually a number of things you can do to improve the insulation in
your Unfinished Basement
If you are lucky your basement walls will
still be unfinished so redoing your insulation will be a lot easier and much
cheaper. In this case, using spray foam insulation.
With spray foam you will be getting an air and moisture tight seal on your
walls. Its application creates a seamless product which sticks firmly to the
surfaces it is applied to. Spray foam starts as a liquid that dries instantly
as it expands on the surface it is applied to. This type of application is by
far the fastest of all of the insulation choices as well.
You could choose cellulose blown-in insulation. This could
be the only option you have if your walls are already finished. At which point,
a professional installer would drill access holes in your walls and blow
cellulose insulation into the cavities between the wall joists. This type of
insulation is very effective as a sound and air barrier. It is also fire
retardant and repels mold and pests. If your walls are unfinished, you can
still opt for blown-in cellulose. In order to achieve a result with this
situation you will have to install a membrane over the walls, and slice access
holes in order to insert the hose used to fill the cavities with insulation.
Re-insulating your attic is also a significant
area of your home to consider when heat loss is a concern. A poorly insulated
attic can cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars each year in home heating
and cooling costs. Most homes have attics that were insulated to meet the building
code requirements at the time of their construction. This could mean the
R-value of your insulation is outdated. In other situations the insulation has
become old or possibly been subjected to dampness from a poorly ventilated
attic. In any of these scenarios your insulation needs to be replaced. Just as
for your walls, you can choose from several options for attic insulation as
well. Spray foam is far superior to other insulation methods used for your
attic. The product is sprayed onto the inside area of the roof and it
completely seals it off from any air infiltration. This will increase the
R-value immediately. Some homeowners also go one-step further and add cellulose
blown-in insulation on the floor of their attic to add an even high rate of
insulation. Both of these options are fine on their own as well, and although
they can be done as a do-it-yourself project, they are definitely projects that
are better left to the professionals.
FAQ Attic Insulation
Q. Is ventilation in my attic as important as the insulation?
A. Yes ventilation is as important as the insulation in a typical ventilated attic. Ventilation is important for a number of reasons;
- Ventilation will allow for fresh air to come in and help exhaust moisture
- Getting rid of excessive moisture reduces chances of mold growth and the cost associated
- Healthier home no mold growth and less airborne pollutants entering home
- As R-Value increases in the middle of your attic the heat loss at soffit area/roof wall junction increases and along with this comes moisture, ventilation stops moisture building up under the sheathing at the soffit area.