Insulation is a must have in any home. Whether you’re creating new construction, remodeling your existing home or your old insulation just isn’t up to snuff, installing your own insulation is an easy and cost effective way to increase your homes energy savings. Insulation comes in a wide variety of materials for a wide variety of purposes, so choosing the right product is very important to getting the best insulative factor out of the project. Use this guide to DIY insulation and get the most out of your next home improvement project.
Polyurethane Spray Foam
One of the easiest ways to insulate small cracks, gaps and holes, polyurethane spray foam is also one of the simplest DIY insulation projects available as well. Spray foam is great for sealing around drafty window and doors, sealing around exterior walls and filling holes around plumbing, HVAC and electrical penetrations in walls, floors and ceilings. This insulation material comes out of a pressurized can as a spongy liquid. As it dries, it expands many times its original size. Be careful when using this product around doors and windows. Too much foam can expand the frame of the door or window and prevent it from opening and closing correctly.
This is the most well-known insulation material on the market. It’s pink, it’s thick and it can make you super itchy! Fiberglass insulation typically is faced with one side made from fiberglass and the other is covered with paper. The paper is often used to attach the material to the wall or ceiling rafters, but some fiberglass insulation doesn’t have paper. Be sure that you use paper faced insulation in the walls and ceilings. When doubling up insulation be sure to use a paperless product or you could have problems with moisture and condensation in the future. Remember that if fiberglass insulation gets wet, it completely loses its R-value so be sure to use it in a dry location only.
When you’re insulating concrete, it can be a tough job when you use the wrong materials. If you don’t use a natural insulation material, sweating, moisture and vapor can ruin your job before it’s finished. Cork insulation is commonly used on concrete flooring and walls to prevent the sweating and moisture troubles that are associated with some rigid foam insulations. Cork also works great for insulating flooring because of its flexibility. When concrete cracks and splits, tile and other flooring materials that are adhered to it are going to crack as well. Cork insulation prevents cracking in flooring materials and keeps the area well insulated.