Our team answers homeowner questions every weekend on WCCO 830 AM from 9:00 am-10:00 am. Have your most pressing home improvement quandaries addressed by calling or texting 651-461-9226. Here’s the must-know information our COO, Andy Lindus, shared on 11.20.21.
A common attic issue is rodent infestation. To keep rodents from calling your attic home, peppermint oil can be used to coat rags. When placed around the attic, they can act as a deterrent for animals such as mice and raccoons. Attic air sealing is another issue that many attics see. Incorrect ventilation and air movement can lead to an array of problems, including ice dams. An additional attic issue that homeowners can encounter is missing or incorrectly placed attic air chutes. For those not familiar, attic air chutes are made from Styrofoam. They go in between the rafters. Without attic chutes, the attic intake is closed off. This prevents the roof vents from being able to perform as they should. Without air coming into the attic, air cannot go out. Hot spots can form which will cause mold and condensation to form in the attic. When attic insulation is installed incorrectly, thousands of dollars of damage can occur. Areas often missed during the insulation process include can lights, false kitchen soffits, and the attic access portal. It is critical that these areas are properly insulated because they tend to leak a lot of air. The goal of attic insulation is for the space to be as close in temperature to the outside as it is on the inside. Without this, ice dams and condensation are likely to occur. Condensation eventually turns into water which can eventually turn into mold.
When comparing cellulose to fiberglass insulation, cellulose is often preferable. That’s because as cellulose settles, it forms a crust. This restricts the amount of airflow that occurs. This makes the amount of consistent, continuous insulation more important than a space’s overall R-value. The most common way to achieve R-60 in the attic is by putting down an inch and a half of spray foam insulation and then blowing in cellulose over the top. This can vary by a homeowner’s preferences and also the architecture of the home.
Go Behind-The-Scenes On a Home Insulation Project:
In addition to attics, a home’s crawlspace can often benefit from new insulation being added. Full encapsulation can lead to a more energy efficient and comfortable home. It can also remove the musty smell that is often common with crawlspaces. The best way to do this is to add spray foam insulation to the floor, ceilings, and walls.
When windows underperform in the winter, it can be tempting to blame the glass pack. However, many times, the actual culprit has to do with the quality of installation, the time it’s been since it was installed, and the quality of window insulation. Infrared imaging can by a reputable window expert can help make these determinations.
Beware of builder grade windows. Oftentimes, these windows are built to only meet code. They have a significantly shorter lifespan than better built windows. The window manufacturer matters less than the window line being used, as most major manufacturers carry a builder grade line of windows.
Other types of windows homeowners should consider adding to their home are skylights and sun tunnels. They can introduce natural light to areas of the home that would not otherwise receive it. They can also lower energy bills because a home’s lights do not need to remain in use as long as they normally would.
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