If you live in a house built years ago, the chances are high that your place is not insulated. Even if it did have minimal insulations installed, these must have expired long back too. Situations like these can be uncomfortable during the winters. This could allow a lot of heat from your house to escape, and the biting cold could creep indoors. The air conditioning system will have to work extra hard to keep your home warm, meaning higher energy bills for you. However, insulating your old house can be tricky in some ways. Breaking down walls and restructuring everything can take some time to complete and also cost a fortune. To set you in the right direction regarding insulating your old house, we will list a few tips and advice from experienced attic insulation installers.
Problems With Old House Insulations
Houses from the past had airy wooden frameworks. Consequently, when you plan to insulate your old home, you might be concerned with problems that include:
Cavities in the wooden walls of your old house might be able to dry out quickly. But continuous exposure to moisture can lead to wood rot. Installing insulation in a wet area can trap more moisture instead. Once it exceeds 20% to 30%, the wood starts to rot automatically. As a result, your attempts at insulation might cause further damage. The best thing to do in this situation is to locate the source of moisture and fix it before proceeding with insulation.
Mold And Mildew
Another problem with old houses is mold and mildew growths. These pose serious health hazards and cause a lot of damage to your property. Old wooden structures are vulnerable to such fungal growths owing to their elevated moisture absorption and dampness. This can make insulating such spaces extremely tricky and might require prior treatments to remove existing fungal formations.
A shoddy paint job is not always the only reason for paint peeling off your walls. Installed insulations between damp walls act as moisture absorbing sponges that can soak the wood around. In an attempt to escape through, this excess moisture can push paints off your walls.
Tips To Insulate Your Old House
Start With Your Attic Space
Most heat from a house is lost through the ceilings and attic spaces. Insulating your attic should always top your list of priorities, irrespective of where you live. Start with the attic floor for obvious reasons. It can ensure that even if there are any leaks on the roof, the airflow within allows for quick drying. Blow-in insulations might be an excellent choice for attic floors. The underside of the roof should be left uninsulated for your old house. This facilitates drying for your aged wooden shingle roofs, which otherwise might start to rot. However, if you have already replaced your old ceilings and have sufficient weatherproofing done, adding underside insulation can double the comfort inside.
Cover The Crawl space
Basements and crawl spaces can significantly improve indoor comfort with proper insulation. The work can be difficult but relatively inexpensive. Try sealing any cracks around windows, vents, pipes, and electrical wires before insulation. Mineral wool is suitable for crawl space insulation. Fiberglass is also a good choice, except that such material becomes a happy nesting place for critters during the cold. Mineral wool is rodent repellent by nature and can be more effective for the under floors. But it takes some serious effort to get mineral wool between the floor joists though, with all the associated plumbing and electrical penetrations.
Leave The Walls For Now
Old insulation of the walls in your old house can cause more pain than comfort. These are not easily replaceable like the shingle roofs. It is very likely that your old walls might have aged kraft paper installed at the back which provides minimum waterproofing. Drilling holes in those walls and blowing in cellulose insulation can be disastrous for your project.
Old wall insulations work best with full retrofits which can be really expensive. It involves removal of all sidings before the new house wraps and then reinstalling the old sidings in place. So, if you want to insulate your old house effectively and cheaply, insulating old walls might not be a good proposition.