Just Bought A Fixer-Upper Home? Insulate The Entire House And Not Just The Attic

Posted on: 10 August 2016


If you recently purchased a fixer-upper as your first home, you may need to take big steps to get the house ready for your family to move into it, including insulating your attic to ward off heat loss in the winter. But while attic insulation can help prevent heat loss in your home, it may not be enough to keep your home comfortable or energy expenses down. It's a good idea that you insulate the entire house and not just the attic. Here's why you should insulate the entire house.

Why Should You Insulate the Entire House and Not Just the Attic?

How and where you insulate your house may make a big difference in how much heat it loses over time. Although heat tends to rise to the attic, it can also escape through the home's windows, walls, flooring, and basement if these places have any type of damage, such as cracks, holes or missing seals. Even the door to your attic can allow heat to pass through it when it isn't sealed properly. 

One of the first things you might do is check the home to see if it has any type of insulation in place. Keep in mind that if your home is an older model, it may or may not have any insulation. But even if the house does have insulation, it may not be enough to ward off heat loss or gain, especially if it's old and deteriorated. 

If you plan to renovate the walls of the house, you can look for insulation at that time. But if you don't plan to do any wall renovations, you can use special camera called a borescope to "look" into the wall cavities and floorboards for signs of insulation. A borescope features a long, flexible tube with a small camera attached to the end of it. You need to drill a small hole in one of your walls to use the scope. Once you drill the hole, you insert the camera end inside it. The camera will send images to a monitor that reveals what's inside the wall's cavity. Be sure to read through your borescope's instructional manual to use it properly. 

Now that you know why you should insulate your entire fixer-upper and how to evaluate any insulation that may be in place, it's time to get started.

What Can You Do to Prevent Heat Loss in the Home?

It's a good idea that you have a professional HVAC contractor install your insulation for you. Not all insulation products work in the same way or fit your particular home's needs, so it's important to request professional advice right away. An HVAC contractor may offer popular options, such as spray foam and cotton batts, to insulate your house. Spray foam comes in liquid form but becomes solid once it hardens. It's used to fill in the empty spaces of wall cavities, between ceiling joists and many other locations around the home. If you choose spray foam as your insulation of choice, a contractor will also need to install a moisture barrier as well So, keep this in mind during your selection.

You can also select cotton batts for your insulation, which comes from recycled materials. The batts also ward off insect infestations and provides protection against fires. So if your house has a history any of the issues, cotton batts may be a good option for you. If you're unsure about what type of insulation to use, allow a contractor to help you decide. 

For more information about insulating your fixer-upper's attic, walls and other structures, contact a contractor or click here for info about insulation today.