How to install insulation

Should You Learn How to Install Insulation in Your Home?

Here are the reasons we recommend you leave it up to the professionals.
Everyone wants to save money and there is a certain pride in doing it yourself when it comes to home improvement. However, there are some things that you should leave to the professionals, simply because they will save you money in the long run. Saving money is the entire reason you’re installing insulation in the first place. You want to keep your house an ideal temperature and not have to run your AC and heat all day every day, costing you hundreds in electricity bills.

How to install insulation

It’s no surprise that we see people try to install insulation themselves. Insulation installation seems like a simple job doesn’t it? You unroll the fuzzy stuff, put it in the gaps, and seal everything up, right? That’s certainly what it looks like to an untrained person, and we see a lot of insulation jobs done poorly that we are then hired to come in and repair and redo. This is even more costly because, in addition to the usual installation costs, you also have to pay to have the old insulation removed.

Installing insulation seems easy, but to do it properly takes knowledge and experience. You have to consider the recommended R values of the insulation you’re planning to use for your home so that it follows the recommended guidelines for your state. For example, in Texas, it is recommended that any insulation installed have an R-49 or R-60 rating. A professional already knows that, and knows all the other guidelines and tricks of the trade from their years of experience.

Discomfort and Safety

Most insulation is fiberglass based. Made of very fine glass fibers, fiberglass is available in loose-fill and blankets (batts and rolls). Fiberglass batts vary according to their density as well as the space involved. These batts have various R-factors which should be discussed with the salesperson where you make a purchase.

Fiberglass is amazing material but it can also be a source of significant discomfort. Many people are surprised when first handling fiberglass because of the prickling feeling of tiny shards of glass embedding themselves into their skin. These tiny glass particles can get into your skin, eyes, ears, and even into your lungs and airways causing significant irritation. Anyone handling fiberglass should wear the proper protective gear and respiration equipment. Fiberglass isn’t particularly dangerous but can cause significant discomfort for many days after handling it.

Installing insulation in a home attic also has its own additional discomforts. In the Texas heat, the attic of a home can have temperatures well over 100 degrees. The high temperatures in your attic are a good reason to install insulation up there, but you probably don’t want to be spending your weekend roasting up there.

Injection Foam Insulation Problems

Injected foam insulation is a great way to insulate existing walls, but when it isn’t handled by professionals, some serious problems can occur. Too much foam can cause the walls to be damaged. The foam has to be added in a specific way to avoid gaps in the insulating materials that can cause moisture to be trapped within, which can lead to additional structural problems or mold. Additionally, improperly installed foam insulation can cause an unpleasant smell to remain as the materials can’t properly dry out and will continue to put off gases for longer than normal. This can lead to a smelly house that is also poorly insulated. Having foam insulation removed and reinstalled is a huge and incredibly expensive undertaking.

We strongly recommend that you leave the job of installing foam insulation to the professionals. We have the experience and tools necessary to do the job right the first time. This is going to save you money and give you peace of mind in the long term.

Here is a basic overview of how insulation is installed:

  • Interior walls usually use R-13 to R-21 batts, while ceiling and attics use batts of R-30 or R-38. Note that the specific R values will vary based on the recommended guidelines for your area of the country as temperatures and humidity vary widely across the country.
  • Measure the area where the insulation is required and cut the surfaced side of the batt about an inch wider than where it is to be installed. Always place the batt on a flat surface prior to cutting.
  • In opening the batts, cut carefully through the covering so as to not damage the batt itself.
  • Measure and cut the batting to fit the desired area.
  • In placing the batts into the openings, push them all the way in then pull on the center to its full expansion. The batts should stay in place when properly installed.
  • If you staple the batts in place, do not stretch too tight as it can cause gaps and puckers. Insulation flanges of faced insulation can be stapled to the face or inside of the joists.
  • If using batting that does not have a vapor retarder (paper covering) install your vapor retarder over the batting. This protects against moisture forming on the batt.
  • Floor insulation requires what is called wire fasteners and a full explanation of proper installation is available on the internet.
  • Never double insulation over or compress it. If it is not properly cut to fit the R-value of the insulation is compromised. Batts that have vertical perforations along the batts width can be physically torn or easily split with a knife and trimmed to the width needed.

We all want to be DIY superstars when it comes to our homes. It can give you a great deal of pride to complete a project. However, there are some things that are best left to the professionals. If you still want to give it a try we can’t stop you, but if you want professional help from an experienced team call us today at 817-966-9605. If you are still undecided, see what our customers have to say about us. You can also reach us for a quote by using our short and simple online contact form.

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