Adding Insulation to an Existing Home

Adding Insulation to an Existing Home

It is a smart idea to insulate your home with the winter ahead. Many think that adding insulation to an existing home is a challenging project. However, there are ways to do it properly without too much stress. Furthermore, it is necessary if your home is not insulated properly and wastes too much energy to stay warm. Here is a guide that will give you all the crucial information.

How to know if your new home needs additional insulation

If you just bought the place, you are probably wondering whether you should add insulation to it or not.

Some homes are specially constructed for energy efficiency. This is your first clue. If your home does not belong in this group, you will need insulation. This is an excellent way to reduce your energy bill.

Adding insulation to an existing home. A cabin in the woods during winter.
If you own a cabin in the woods, adding insulation to it will help prepare for the winter.

 

Older homes typically have less insulation. But, even though newer homes are built better, it is still worth adding more insulation. This is a perfect green improvement that will raise your home’s value. If you plan to sell the place, you will get a higher price.

Before starting the project, figure out how much insulation your home already has. It is also crucial to find out where it is. This is all done through an energy audit. As a bonus, the specialist will tell you exactly what parts of your home need additional insulation. Finally, make sure your home is air-sealed. This will reduce the loss of heat.

How to inspect your home

The first thing to do is check the walls, attic, and floors. If you have any floors adjacent to unheated rooms, checking these is a must. The best thing is that these rooms usually have exposed structural elements, so it is easier to check them.

To check the insulation in the exterior walls, you should first turn off the power to the wall outlets. Once you remove the cover, you can use a flashlight to check inside the walls. You can see the type of insulation used and its thickness. You can also pull a little part outside if you cannot determine what type it is just by looking at it. Furthermore, remember to check all walls. It sometimes happens that one wall in a room has insulation, but others don’t. Do not assume that all walls have insulation.

The crucial part is to determine the thickness and type of the insulation because you will use that information to determine the R-values.

What is the R-value of the insulation?

In simple words, R-value is the ability of the insulation to resist the conductive flow of heat. It is what makes your home energy efficient. If your insulation has a lower R-value than needed, your home will lose heat.

Different types of home insulation

When choosing the insulation for your home, there is a variety of types to consider:

  • Batts and rolls – this insulation comes in fibreglass, plastic, and natural fibres. It goes into unfinished walls, floors, and ceilings. The best thing about it is that you can do it yourself. If you plan to add insulation to an existing home, you will need to tear down the wall surface.
  • Concrete block insulation – best suited for existing homes, foam board is placed on the outside of the walls. This is the type of insulation you want if you don’t plan on tearing down any walls. It is a bit more challenging to place, requiring professional help. However, it substantially increases the R-value of the wall.
  • Loose-fill and blown-in insulation – another example of insulation used on existing walls. This type of insulation is blown in inside wall holes using specialized equipment. It consists of cellulose, fibreglass, and mineral wool. It is excellent for irregularly shaped places. For example, cellulose insulation is ideal for roofs.
  • Sprayed foam – cementitious, phenolic, polyisocyanurate, and polyurethane foam is applied with a small spray container. It is an excellent choice for existing walls or cavities in walls. Another benefit is that you can also use it for irregularly shaped areas or around obstructions.
An illustration showing energy efficiency levels represented in colors.
Additional insulation improves the energy efficiency of your home

 

Cleaning the home after adding insulation

Adding insulation to an existing home can be a bit messy. If this is your new home, it is crucial to do all the renovations before the relocation. You can also clean it before you move in, so you don’t create an additional mess after settling in.

There is nothing worse than moving in all of your belongings and then moving them out of your home to do renovations. It is better to finish adding insulation, clean your new home, and then move in.

Think about a green relocation as well

Since you are planning to add more insulation to your place, it is also a good idea to consider a green relocation. We need to think about ways to avoid polluting the environment when moving. Luckily, moving companies today offer a variety of eco-friendly services.

A home in construction. If you are planning to construct a home, think about adding proper insulation immediately.
If you are planning to construct a home, think about adding proper insulation immediately.

 

Adding insulation to an existing home explained

Let’s do a quick summary of this useful guide for adding insulation to an existing home. The first step is to figure out if you need insulation. This is best done by inspecting walls, floors, and unheated rooms. Find out the type of insulation you have, what its thickness is, and calculate the R-value. The next step would be to determine what rooms need additional insulation and what materials to use. Concrete blocks, loose-fill, and spray foam are the best choices for existing walls. Furthermore, if you are moving in, consider doing the renovations before the relocation. However, if you live in this home, you will probably need a storage unit to store all the belongings during renovation. Either way, this will make an excellent addition to your home!