How To Do Insulation Right Before Winter Gets you
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People have used some type of insulation since ancient times. The cheapest insulation is natural materials. Stuffing straw and grass in clothing to stay warm is probably one of the earliest forms of insulation use. Now we use insulation in a variety of ways. It is used in clothing, coolers, thermoses, and of course buildings and houses. Insulation has even found its way to outer space. The space station, rocket capsules, the space shuttle are all very well insulated. Insulation has improved greatly over the years and will continue improving considering today's technology.
There are several different types of insulation for houses alone. The cheapest insulation is not always the best buy. A lot of the cheapest insulation has high irritating factor for both the skin and lungs. Get a good deal, but try to buy quality also. There are 4 foot by 8 foot and 2 foot by 8 foot rigid foam insulation board. They come in many different thicknesses and R values to be used in various ways. This insulation board is durable and resistant to weather. It is good for basement walls ans also foundation vent covers in the winter. This board insulation is made by different manufacturers with their own unique colors, including pink, blue, and green.
There is also foil back insulation board. This starts with a rigid foam board that gas charged to increase it's R value. It is then covered with a thin sheet of foil on both sides. This is used a lot in pole barn buildings to increase the lighting besides the insulation value. It also comes in many thicknesses with different R values. This insulation is also weather resistance so it can be used to insulate pump houses.
Styrofoam board insulation is probably the cheapest board insulation. It is good for insulating garage door panels shed walls. They can also be used in the walls of a garage but the R value of this insulation is very low. Some people have even cut them into 2 foot by 4 foot pieces and used them for ceiling tile. This makes a cheap ceiling but it is hard to keep clean.
Roll insulation comes in different widths and thicknesses. Usually most house walls are built with either 2 by 4 or 2 by 6 wall studs. They are normally framed up with the boards 16 inches on center. Floors and ceilings use wider boards and are spaced further apart, normally 24 inch on center. Always use the right insulation for the board width. There is insulation that has a paper face on one side and is used for a vapor barrier as well as insulation. Always install this correctly so the insulation does not get wet and ruin its insulating properties.
There are also blow-in type insulation. There are cellulose type and also fiberglass insulation for blowing in walls and attics. They each use there own type of machine for blowing insulation. The cellulose type creates a lot of dust when blowing in but it is suppose to work better as it gets colder. The fiberglass blow-in is very clean to work with. They both have charts on them to determine the square footage you need with the proper R value. The cheapest insulation between the 2 is the cellulose type. It is a lot dirtier to work with, but it is the better buy in the long run.
No matter what type of insulation you choose, it will save you money on energy bills. Once you start saving money on energy, perhaps you will find new ways. Turn out the lights when you are not using them. Dress warmer in the winter and turn the thermostat down. If you do not know how to install insulation, buy a book. It is easy to do and will save you a lot of money in labor cost. Check out my blog on insulation below.
Fiberglass insulation should never be used in the floor joists of a house. Crawl spaces are known for their tendency to attract moisture which will soak into the insulation allowing mold to grow at a rapid pace. Wet fiberglass insulation is also just about useless as an insulation. Perhaps a high density foam board would be better suited for this being since it is fairly water resistant. Crawl spaces should be kept as dry as possible to keep mold from growing, floors from rotting, and the attraction of termites to wet wood.
Landscaping your yard so water runs away from the house and diverting run off from gutters will stop the biggest majority of moisture under the house. Waterproof the foundation walls and check for moisture on a regular basis. Keeping this area dry will save your house from a lot of damage in the future. This will also make your wallet feel much better. Take care of your home and it will take care of you.
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