Areas to insulate
Attics needs insulation including the attic ceiling, attic walls, sloped roof, crawl spaces and attic door (whether it is finished or unfinished). Each can have a different type of insulation but the end goal is the same - keeping the temperature steady and not allowing the outside cold and heat seap in and affect it. An attic ceiling insulation is usually made from a combination of insulation types since it needs to both meet the minimum R-Value and the headroom. The optimal insulation for an attic ceiling insulation is the radiant and reflective barrier since this prevents the heat from the sun overheating the attic.
Exterior Wall Insulation
When installing insulation on an exterior wall (this is usually done during the initial construction) most builders use the premade rigid board insulation or closed cell spray foam insulation. The rigid board insulation come in premade sizes and fit between the wall studs but you may need to add layers to achieve the desired R-Value. With the closed cell spray foam insulation you have the added benefit of strengthening the outer walls but it will cost almost three times the price of rigid board insulation.It also takes less layers to achieve the correct R-Value you need.
Insulating HVAC duct work is a no brainer. Your ducts may be leaking air and costing you hundreds of dollars a year on air conditioning that escapes. By sealing and then insulating you are making sure that the air is going to its desired destination whether it is a return air duct or a regular air duct. When insulating duct work choose a foil faced fiberglass insulation. Make sure the insulation is attached securely and safely (with the correct adhesives) and make sure there are no gaps where heat or moisture can enter or exit. This is not a DIY project!
A built out and insulated basement is considered a conditioned space while a raw cinder block basement that does not have insulation is considered an unconditioned space. In an unconditioned space there is no controlled thermal conditions. This makes insulating the space that much harder. It also allows for moisture and heat to seep in and cause mold. Therefore, in an unconditioned space you would need to add a vapor barrier first and then install the insulation (this also depends on the climate you live in so speak to a knowledgeable consultant first). The recommended insulation for a basement that is unconditioned is spray foam insulation or rigid insulation boards. The cost of spray foam insulation will be considerably higher than that of rigid insulation boards but it is a little more waterproof. Be wary of fiberglass insulation and wood since these do not prevent mold from growing. Once insulated properly, the space becomes a conditioned space.
Crawl Space Cleaning and Insulation
When you want to have a crawl space insulated you may need to have your crawl space cleaned first. Since a crawl space is tight on space, you need to find an insulation that will need a little insulation to achieve a high R-Value.The basic problems you have from a crawl space is that moisture from the outside comes in and can lead to mold.It also allows the drafts and heat to seep into the home easily. When insulating a crawl space you first want to make sure to create a vapor barrier either with the insulation you choose or putting a vapor barrier before insulation is installed. Building code requires that all foam needs to have a fire protectant around it so if you choose to use spray foam insulation which is a vapor barrier on its own, you would need to add a fire protectant wall or barrier.Another option is the rigid board insulation. These may need more volume to achieve the R-Value that you are looking to Achieve.
Garage or shed insulation
The only reason one should consider insulating a garage or shed is if you plan on heating it. It is a common misconception that if your garage or shed is attached to the house then it needs or should be insulated. Only the walls attached to the house need maximum insulation. If you do plan on adding insulation to your garage or shed then the most common insulation used there is the fiberglass batts or blankets. They are premade and come in standard sizes or can be cut to size. These fit in to standard framing of a garage or shed. Keep in mind that if you insulate the whole garage you should make sure to seal in all gaps to the outside including the windows, and garage door. When it is built, it is not air tight and may have a lot of spaces open to the elements.
All in all, no matter where you are looking to insulate, call one of our knowledgeable consultants at 732-607-5770 to help guide you in the perfect insulation path for your situation.
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