Insulation For Older Homes
Ensuring your home is well insulated is something many homeowners are looking into as home heating costs continue to rise. If your home has been newly built within the last ten years you may not have to be concerned, but if your home is much older, it might be time to have a look at what is between your walls. Many older homes were constructed using plaster, and they were not required to put a vapour barrier between the interior and exterior walls at that time. If there is insulation present, you can be pretty sure it has been damaged by moisture.
How to Check for Insulation
The easiest way to check the effectiveness of your insulation and whether or not there is any present would be to have a home energy audit done on your house. In this case a certified specialist will inspect the home and determine the areas from which you are losing the most energy. They will recommend which areas you should be concerned with, and suggest the best way to insulate to get the most energy conservation in those areas. If hiring a home energy auditor isn’t in your budget, you can check for yourself as well. Remove light or electrical switch plate covers, (turn the power off first) and with a flashlight, inspect the wall void behind them. If there is insulation, take a little out so you can determine its type and effectiveness.
What Should you Use to Insulate the Walls of an Older Home?
Now that you have determined that there is little or no insulation in your walls, or that the insulation that is there isn’t effective due to moisture deterioration, you have to decide what steps you will take to remedy this situation. Some might think that they have to tear all the walls down and start fresh. This isn’t so. You can choose to install blown-in cellulose wall insulation. This type of insulation is made up of recycled newspaper that is treated with borates to make it moisture resistant, fire retardant, and pest repellent. This type of insulation doesn’t require the use of a vapour barrier to maintain its effectiveness.
How to Install Insulation in the Walls of an Older Home
The beauty of the product is that it can be installed into a wall cavity with little invasion to the walls of the home. In most cases, the insulation is blown in from the exterior walls of the home. In this case, small access holes are drilled in to the walls, and the installation hoses, are inserted. The insulation is then blown into the wall cavities being careful to place it in all areas that require it. The access holes are then covered with wall plugs, and sealed to ensure there is no moisture or pest infiltration.
Just because you live in an older home doesn’t mean that you have to accept the drafts, or put on extra layers. Your home heating costs can be controlled with the proper insulation, installed by a trusted professional in the field.