Keeping an old house warm in the winter and cool in the summer can be a difficult prospect. Homes that were built in the 1930s and earlier were usually not insulated, and the relatively few that were have likely long since had their insulation deteriorate or settle.
Insulation can not only help you to better regulate the temperature inside your house, but also save you a good bit of money on your monthly energy bills. Choosing what type of insulation is best for your house depends on a variety of factors. Here are a few tips to help you determine the best route forward as you insulate your old house.
Determining if new insulation is necessary
Your first step should be to check the status of the existing insulation in your home, if any exists. It will be easy to find out if you have insulation in your attic, as it will most likely be exposed rather than hidden behind drywall or plaster. You can check your exterior walls for patched holes, which are signs of blown-in insulation.
Other signs to watch for include drafty areas in your home, seemingly overly expensive energy bills and air leaks around windows, ducts, recessed lighting and electrical outlets.
Choosing your type of insulation
There are four main categories of insulation for buildings: loose fill, batts, rigid boards and expanding sprays. Rigid and batt insulation are typically used during projects involving major restoration, which usually involves replacing walls or putting insulation into unfinished spaces.
Loose fill is the type of insulation most commonly used for retrofitting old houses. It is the type of insulation that is best able to reach difficult-to-reach places that other insulation would not be able to get to without some significant destruction.
Determining where to install insulation
Where you ultimately install the insulation in your home depends on the circumstances at play in your house. Heat tends to escape through the roof, so insulating your attic is usually the best place to start. If you have an unfinished attic, the insulation should be installed on the floor. If, however, it is used as a living space, it should be installed between rafters.
Make sure you never install insulation without an appropriate path for ventilation between the exterior of the building and insulation. You should never, for example, block gable vents or soffit, as this could lead to moisture problems and mold. You should also never place thermal insulation near old wiring.
Limiting potential moisture issues
One problem that commonly arises when retrofitting old homes with insulation is the development of moisture problems, such as rotting wood, mold growth and peeling paint. To avoid these issues, you should install the insulation so that the vapor barrier faces in toward the living spaces, though there are some rare exceptions for people who live in southern climates.
For more tips about installation of insulation in ND, contact the team at Interstate Insulation today and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.
Categorised in: Insulation Installation
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