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Put simply, achieving an insulation R-Value over 38 in your attic, in Southern California, offers a poor ROI. … If you have attic insulation with an R-Value of 38 and still want to make your home more energy efficient, consider installing a radiant barrier instead.
- Inconsistent Household Temperatures. …
- Energy Bills Are High. …
- Your Walls and Ceilings Are Cold to The Touch. …
- Issues with Pests. …
- Water Leaks. …
- Pipes Freeze on a Regular Basis. …
- Ice Dams. …
As long as you ventilate your property properly, you can have as much insulation as you like within reason. The trick with loft insulation is to balance the amount of insulation you have with the amount of ventilation necessary to prevent damp. As long as you get that balance right, you should be fine.
- Neglecting to Air Seal.
- Blocking Air Flow.
- Spending Time and Money Pulling Out Old Insulation.
- Stopping Short.
It’s possible to over-insulate an attic as too much will cause moisture buildup and eventually result in mold. Eventually, adding more insulation leads to diminishing returns in trapping heat as well.
It is possible to over-insulate your house so much that it can’t breathe. The whole point of home insulation is to tightly seal your home’s interior. But if it becomes too tightly sealed with too many layers of insulation, moisture can get trapped inside those layers. That’s when mold starts to grow.
Unless damaged, it can last 80 to 100 years in most houses before it needs to be replaced. However, insulation can start falling from fiberglass batts after 15 to 20 years, so if your insulation was installed in batts well over a decade ago, it might be time for an inspection or a home energy audit.
Place a magnifying glass close to the insulation to observe dirt particles or mold spores that might be forming on your insulation sheets. Take note of any brown, black, green, pink, orange or yellow particles. Insulation sheets are a solid color such as white, which will make the dirt and mold easy to spot.
R-Value is a measure of insulation’s ability to resist heat flow. The higher the R-Value, the better the thermal performance of the insulation. The recommended level for most attics is to insulate to R-38 or about 10 to 14 inches, depending on insulation type.
Too much insulation and a lack of ventilation and your home may experience issues such as stuffy, stale and unpleasant air along with related problems such as condensation, mould and damp. The balance is a delicate one and will vary from home to home.
The insulation needs to “breathe” to do its job, so there must be a flow of air to the outside surfaces of the insulation. Paradoxically, insulation also needs to be sealed off on the inside surfaces. Walls or ceilings must be lined with a vapor barrier, a layer of a watertight material.
Insulating your loft, attic or flat roof is an effective way to reduce heat loss and reduce your heating bills. Installed correctly, loft insulation should pay for itself many times over in its 40-year lifetime.
- Do not remove the backing from fiberglass insulation. …
- Do not cover any ventilation with fiberglass insulation and do not wrap wiring with insulation. …
- Don’t allow gaps in your attic. …
- Often, attic doors are not insulated.
Moldy, Rotting Wood Fiberglass insulation is porous and cottony — and soaks up insulation in much the same way that a cloth or sponge would. Once the moisture is within the fiberglass, it can hold it there indefinitely, until dry conditions are present.
Fiberglass Particles Can Harm Breathing Systems As a result, people who handle or are exposed to this insulation can breathe in tiny bits of glass. After a while, those bits can get stuck in a person’s lungs, leading to respiratory ailments. Fiberglass exposure can also inflame the eyes and skin, making them itchy.
Insulation helps prevent heat loss in winter An under insulated home in winter can lose up to 35% of your expensive internal warmth through the ceilings, another 25% through the walls and up to 20% through the floor and windows.
Hot air rises, just like your energy bill will do if your attic is poorly insulated. A poorly insulated attic can result in 25% heat loss in fall and winter—that’s 25 percent of your average heating costs going toward energy that won’t even heat your home.
Looking across your attic, if the insulation is level with or below the attic floor joists, you probably need to add more insulation. … If you cannot see any of the floor joists because the insulation is well above them, you probably have enough, and adding more insulation may not be cost-effective.
Expert contractors that specialize in insulation advise that removing old fiberglass insulation is best before installing new cellulose insulation because of possible mildew, mold, or rodent excrement.
Here’s what they say: When you compress fiber glass batt insulation, the R-value per inch goes up, but the overall R-value goes down because you have less inches or thickness of insulation. … So, you don’t get the full R-value on the label, but the insulation still works perfectly well if all you’ve done is compress it.
When you compress fiberglass insulation, you increase its R-value per inch, up to a point. However, when you compress a batt of a particular thickness, the total R-value does decrease. … This is a much higher R-value per inch, but the total value of R-14 is still substantially less than the R-19 you started with.
Property owners should expect to spend about $975 to $11,250 to insulate a 1,500-square foot home. Take note that insulation costs may vary and can increase or decrease, depending on whether the insulation comes during or after the construction of the house.
Due to the attic’s close proximity to the roof, roofers can inspect insulation for serious problems. They may notice such things as mold and mildew growth. If your roofer does find an issue, take care it of quickly. And the quickest and most efficient way to do that is to replace attic insulation at that time.
Over time, loose-fill insulation may settle, resulting in air leaks. Cellulose or fiberglass batt insulation also tends to fall from ceilings or crawl spaces just 15 to 20 years after installation. … In short, the higher the R-Value, the more effective the insulation is at preventing the transfer of heated or cooled air.
Improperly Installed Attic Insulation Can Make You Sick They have a sickening odor which can make people ill after long exposure. If your attic insulation was not installed properly, it is important to rectify the problem immediately to avoid serious health problems.
Fiberglass gets discolored when it filters the air leaking from your house. Over the years, the air leaking from the house, carrying dust and other particulates and moisture, turns the fiberglass black.
Technically, mold does not typically grow on the insulation itself. Fiberglass is not a viable food source for mold. Yet mold growth is often found on the top surface of attic insulation.
R-ValueThicknessBags / 1000 Sq FtR4916.25”22.6R4414.75”20.1R3812.75”16.8R3010.25”13.0
A: There’s no problem with installing fiberglass batts over your existing blown-in insulation. … The reason for this precaution is that the facing on the insulation batts is a vapor barrier, which is intended to prevent moisture vapor from penetrating into the insulation.
The EPA estimates that the average homeowner can save 15% on heating and cooling costs (11% of total energy costs) by adding insulation in attics, crawl spaces, and basement rim joists. For most folks, that’s about $200 in savings per year.
Installing Insulation Improperly installed insulation can have a negative effect on a home with regards to mold growth. For example, gaps left in the insulation can create cold spots that can lead to condensation and surface mold growth.
If installed incorrectly, or in unsuitable properties, cavity wall insulation (CWI) can lead to damp.
For optimal energy efficiency, your home should be properly insulated from the roof down to its foundation. … In unfinished attic spaces, insulate between and over the floor joists to seal off living spaces below.
While it is possible to seal a house too tightly, it is unlikely in most older homes. A certain amount of fresh air is needed for good indoor air quality and there are specifications that set the minimum amount of fresh air needed for a house.
Insulation Slows Heat Transfer, Not Airflow In reality, insulation does next to nothing to stop unwanted airflow. It’s not just a matter of choosing an insulation that blocks more airflow than most. Insulation is designed to slow heat transfer, not to block air.
A vapor barrier, also known as a vapor diffusion retarder, is a material that is used to reduce moisture damage to a building. They can be effective against both indoor and outdoor humidity. Different environments have different rules for vapor barriers to keep your home from being damaged by moisture.
In most circumstances removing your old insulation isn’t necessary and it can actually be quite beneficial to leave it. This is as most insulation will retain its thermal properties so leaving it in place will mean that you continue to benefit from it whilst also having an additional layer of insulation on top!
Warmth, shelter, loft insulation, bags of clothes, cardboard boxes and other stored items in your loft provide rats with the perfect home as they will make short work of turning all of these into nesting material and will also cause damage to electrical cables and plastic pipework for example.
Contact with Fiberglass Insulation on Skin, Eyes and Lungs Can Cause Irritations. Fiberglass is made up of small particles of glass. Those small particles can detach and cause skin and eye irritations on contact. Worse yet, they can also cause respiratory issues if inhaled and can become lodged in the lungs.
Blowing in insulation is a messy prospect and you’ll need to wear a dust mask, protective eyewear, gloves, and old clothing that you can toss out when you’re done. Never stand on joists. If you stand on joists in the attic and lose your balance, your foot will go right through the drywall ceiling below.