The thought to improve home insulation won’t cross your mind until your lighting and heating expenses skyrocket and temperature fluctuations around your house make living uneasy.
Poor home insulation can lead to varying temperatures around the house; it can also cause premature roof tear and higher humidity on the upper stories of your house. At this moment, you will only have one question in your mind.
How To Improve Home Insulation – 5 Tips
1. Improving Basement Insulation
To fix your basement’s insulation, the first goal is to clear the mold. You’ll need a bucket filled with ¾ water ¼ bleach and a scrub. Pour the liquid on the wall and scrub it vigorously until you see the mold coming off. Then, we will focus on fixing the cracks using spray foam.
As your house gets older, the fiberglass insulation may lose its ability. In some cases, you would notice a massive difference in your basement temperature compared to the rest of your house if you are living in a damp region. The problem can occur in not-so-old places too.
As fiberglass coating is a strong moisture absorber, it absorbs any outdoor moisture from the wall and turns damp. The consistent presence of vapors at the fiberglass leads to mold development between the coating and wall. As time passes, the mold spreads further, creating tiny spaces and cracks in your walls. These cracks are a common reason behind poor insulation in your basement.
Use the spray foam to fill in the cracks; use it generously to prevent leaving any gap unopened. Scrape the remaining foam from the surface and apply fiberglass coating over it. Apart from mold spread, the insulation of the basement remains intact for a long time, as it isn’t exposed to outdoor weather changes. Once you have addressed the cracks, you’ll have no insulation problems arising from the basement for a reasonable time.
2. Improving Windows & Doors Insulation
Most of our door structures and window sills are made of wood, which makes them porous. They take in moisture from the outdoor environment; however, insulation film would have prevented air entrance during the early years. However, as time passes, weather changes have the better of our structures, and small gaps start to appear between the frames of our doors and windows.
We can block the tiny gaps around our window sill by applying an insulation film to prevent chilly winds from entering the house. Make sure that the film covers all borders and is generously spread around the window so it can be firmly attached to the glass. For the process, you can use the same method as for the attic’s insulation.
The next step is to insulate the drafty doorways. Although the little spacing between your doors won’t be significantly noticeable during summertime, they can lead to temperature variations in the winter. Insulating the doorways isn’t a difficult task. You can easily find foam covers for both the top and bottom of your door and fix them accordingly. If you are a DIY fan, making a cover yourself isn’t a problem. You can just cut a thin slice of foam and paste it into the spacings.
Once the gaps are covered, the outdoor air won’t enter, and the inner air won’t exit. It would lead to better heat retention and lower electricity charges. To increase the lifespan of your insulation, make sure to check the impacted regions after every six months. If they have any noticeable problem, get it fixed instantly.
3. Improving Attic/Roof Insulation
Slight gaps are hard to identify but can be a source of poor insulation; the simplest technique to find them is by shining a bright torch around your window borders. If a gap exists, there will be a deflection in the light, indicating the depth of the opening. You can use drywall mud to fill in these gaps and scrape the excess material, so it looks neat.
For cracks in walls, we will use spray foam to fill in gaps. Once sprayed, the foam expands twenty to thirty times its original volume, which ensures that the cracks are well blocked. You can use the torch strategy to identify cracks in your walls. Start by looking around the ceiling fan, chimney, duct, pipelines, etc. Once you have located the gaps, use the spray foam to fill them in. Let the foam stay for about 30 mins, and then if there is excess foam on the surface, wipe it off.
The final goal is to ensure that your roof is well sealed; we will apply batt insulation across the ceiling to ensure that it is well sealed and no air will enter. Batt insulation is specifically designed for roofs and attics as it is soft and can reduce energy consumption around your house by up to 50%.
Attic flooring can also be a significant hindrance in ensuring an even temperature in your home, and when we are in the ‘fixing’ mood, let’s get it done too. As the attic’s flooring is also the ceiling of your living area, it must be well insulated to maintain the temperature around the house. Apply a layer of batt insulation to your attic flooring. Make sure that it is generously spread around all corners. Floor insulation is icing on a cake and would ensure that your attic is well insulated.
Insulating the attic is one part of our three-part insulation method. The following two methods are shorter and require less effort. If you have performed all these tasks without a professional, fortunately, you won’t need one to complete the latter ones, too. The procedure to solve insulation in the basement and living space is pretty similar to insulating attic walls. So, let’s talk about them now.
4. How To Insulate House Cheaply
The methods discussed above can be tedious, and even if they don’t bore you, they are indeed time-consuming. Sometimes, we are looking for a quicker and cheaper solution before working on a permanent solution. Now, the tricks I discuss below won’t ultimately solve the problem, but they’ll buy you some time.
To insulate your house cheaply and quickly, I would recommend the use of spray foam and thick curtains. Locate small cracks in the walls and floor corners, use spray foam to fill in these cracks. Apply thick curtains to your windows. They will prevent outdoor air from entering the house and retain the internal heat.
While using spray foam, you don’t need to try and fill in the crack with the foam; instead, apply a layer of it. As the foam spreads multiple folds, it would expand internally, blocking any passage for air. Similarly, keep in mind that all curtains aren’t suitable for keeping the air in. You need to avoid buying curtains made of linen, lace or sheer cotton; their lightweight makes them poor at insulation. Instead, select tightly woven curtains made of tapestry, velvet, or suede; both materials are dense, which means they won’t allow any internal heat to escape your living space.
5. How can I improve the insulation in my older house?
We can fix home insulation in your old house by working on three areas. Firstly, we will fix gaps and apply batt insulation in the attic; then, we will be using spray foam to block any cracks in the basement. Finally, we will be working around your windows to ensure they are well sealed for the winters.
Let’s talk about the methods in more detail.
As our houses get older, several problems may arise with time. Even if your house were insulated during its construction, it would generally lose its insulation properties as time passes. Insulation film and fiberglass applied to your ceilings and windows have typically a finite lifetime, after which they don’t work at their best anymore. Similarly, older walls and ceilings may have some cracks and gaps created due to additional wiring or furniture fittings. These gaps allow outdoor air to enter into your living space, leading to poor insulation.
How to identify rooms that require insulation?
The simplest strategy is to do a touch test. Poorly insulated interior walls tend to absorb moisture and cold temperature from the outdoor environment. You can simply touch a wall to check if it feels cold or damp; in either case, it indicates that the walls are poorly insulated.
For exterior walls, the results should be the opposite. A poorly insulated outer wall would feel less cold as the temperature is transmitted to the house.
However, a touch test won’t always work when the poor insulation is due to cracks and gaps in walls, as the outdoor air would have an easy route, and walls won’t absorb the temperature difference. We have talked about how to locate and fix poor insulation further in the blog.
Home insulation can have a significant impact on your living experience, especially during colder days. It isn’t uncommon for insulation to get weaker with time, and the best solution is to fix it before your heating expense skyrockets. I have provided a detailed outline above to help you get started with your home’s insulation.
All the methods mentioned are widely used across the United States and have bought great results. Although they look challenging initially, they are reasonably straightforward, and you won’t have any trouble getting the best results. We have finally come to the end of the blog; I hope you would have enjoyed reading the tips and tricks to insulate your house. I would love to hear your feedback in the comment section. Happy Winters!
Hi, I am Abdul Rafay. If I were to define myself in three words, they would be consistency, determination and accuracy. I ensure that everything from my dress to my home and car is well aligned to the fundamentals.
I am currently learning business at IBA, but home decor and improvement have always been a topic of interest. I am a big DIY fan and love trying new projects and solutions for my home.