People often face difficulties when they go out to buy their homes. The process of buying a home and finding the perfect home inspector becomes a challenging task. But here is some good news. That One Inspector is a one-stop solution to all your house hunting problems.
The company uses newer technologies to give its clients a better experience. It delivers an entire house report that will help you filter different areas of the house that need to be re-done or insulated. The home insulation process has become more comfortable and convenient with That One Inspector Company.
When it comes to home insulation, many home buyers are unaware of the types of insulation processes present and the uses. Hence, we have prepared a simple guide that will walk you through the various home insulation processes, their uses, their advantages, etc.
What are the various types of house insulation?
Batt is one of the most common home insulations. Batt insulations are typically made of fiberglass. As a home buyer, fiberglass might be a new word you’ve encountered so far. Do not worry. It is nothing but a piece of material either made of cotton, plastic fibers, or mineral wool.
Batts are often used for insulating floors, sleeping bags, ceilings, quilts, and attics. This insulation can be of 2 types, with facing or without facing. The selection of the facing or no facing entirely depends on the climate of the place. Sometimes the weather makes the facing on batts serve as a vapor barrier. In other areas, where the environment permits a separate vapor barrier, the un-faced batt insulation works the best.
Batt installations are inexpensive and are also known as blanket insulation. It is easy to install, easy to transport, and least expensive.
Furthermore, batt insulation prevents your house from getting damaged from damp. Many home seekers are worried about damp homes and look for a home inspector to inspect any moisture/damp in the walls. Insulating the home with Batts will prevent the walls of your home from getting wet. It can be cost-effective and one of the best decisions one can make to do to their families before selling it.
Pros of Batt insulation:
For Home Inspectors and other contractors insulation is considered an integral part whenever it comes to your residential building. Batt insulation is an easy and inexpensive method to achieve that. It is a common one and the best insulation to go with because of its benefits.
- The installation process is straightforward and quick compared to other insulations. The products can be installed quickly and least expensively. Professionals find it easy when working with Batt insulations.
- Besides, they are very flexible and convenient. Before installing batts, you must know that it comes in two different varieties. They are available in rolls or lengths of Fiberglass. Fiberglass is available in pre-cut panels. Hence, it becomes easy to install between studs, joists, and rafters. The installation will leave zero gaps between the walls.
- It stops the transfer of heat as well as the airflow.
- Fiberglass is environment-friendly that consist of 25 to 50% recycled content.
- Batt installations are energy efficient.
- It also helps keep the home cold and hot in summers and winters by 50%.
Make sure to buy a home that already has batts installed. Hence, your e-bill generation will be reduced in the long run. If the house in which you are moving is not batt insulated, make sure to ask your home inspector to get it done.
As a home buyer, it is essential to know that the R-value ratings matter the most for any insulation. Every home inspector will deliver a report with the r-value rating as well. Generally, the R-value determines the resistance to the flow of heat. If the R-value is more, the insulation per inch of thickness is better.
By this time, home inspectors and most of the general public all are clear that batt insulation can be done on walls, floors, or attics. For houses in colder climates should have a minimum of R-49 value in the attic. For homes in warmer temperatures, the R-value should be R-38 or higher.
The R-value range varies from R-11 to R-15 when it comes to wall insulation. For floor insulation, it is advisable to keep the R-25 rating to R-11 rating depending on the colder and warmer climates, respectively.
2. Spray insulation
Spray installations are other essential insulations for existing homes. The spray is used to fix the uncomfortable room issues and to fix pole barns. With foam’s help, the existing cavities in walls and ceilings are sealed to avoid any air movement. For example, there are extra spaces left around light fixtures and electrical outlets. In such cases, spray foam insulation works the best. It fills any gap, cracks, and crevice.
Spray insulation is generally made by combining two liquids. When the two fluids combine, a chemical reaction occurs between them, and the liquids turn into polyurethane foam.
Spray insulation is of two types, open cell and closed cell spray foam insulation. When we compare both, the former has a lighter composition than later. Closed-cell spray foam insulation has a dense composition and expands less. It uses chemicals as the blowing agent and does not have moisture permeability. Simultaneously, open-cell spray foam insulation has a high growing capability and uses water as the blowing agent.
Pros of spray foam insulation:
Spray foam insulations are ideal for both new and old homes. Home Inspectors general feel they provide several benefits, such as:
- It acts as pest control. Spray foam insulation keeps bugs, insects, and small rodents away from your home. When you go to buy a second-hand home, pests can become a nightmare. If the house is not spray insulated, you can ask your home inspector to spray protect it. Sometimes, the tiny holes inside the building can serve as a gateway to ants, rodents, and bugs. These small holes or cracks can be quickly filled with foam. As soon as the foam enters the small crevices, it changes into a rigid state and creates a barrier for the rodents and insects. Many people fall sick from rodent waste. Hence, spray foam insulation can be a great way to reduce the chances of getting ill.
- In today’s world, where everything turns out to harm the environment, Spray foam insulation is an eco-friendly technique. If your house is clean and free from mold and mildew, automatically, it will end up consuming less material. Hence, foam insulation tends to last longer compared to other types of insulation.
- After spray insulation, the walls of your home become sturdy. When the foam is sprayed, it turns hard after a few hours. The hardness and the density of the foam strengthen the wall structure. It can save your walls from natural calamities such as strong winds, earthquakes, and heavy snow. The spray foam holds the wall strongly like glue and adds a layer of protection.
- For new home buyers, people are unaware of how their new neighbors are going to be? As a home buyer, we do not know whether they are quiet or someone who loves to party. Before moving in, make sure to check with your home inspector that the house is spray insulated or not. Spray foam insulations ensure that there is noise reduction. The foams have open cells in them that help in minimizing noise. So you will be assured that no matter how your neighbors are, your house can reduce noise.
Spray foam insulation is categorized into two forms. Thus, the R-value differs between the two types. But always keep in mind; if the R-value is higher, the insulation power is more significant in those cases. For open-cell spray foam insulation, the range varies between R-3.5 to R-3.6 per inch. For closed-cell spray foam insulation, the R-value varies between R-4.9 to R-7.1 per inch.
3. Blow-in insulation
Home Inspector’s see many people are uninformed that Blow-in insulation serves as an alternative for batt insulation. It is similar to batt insulation, but the application process is different from batt insulation. If you want to improve your home’s R-value, you must opt for blow-in insulation.
Basically, during the blow-in process, the attic floors, joist cavities, or studs are covered or filled with loose material. The flexible material can come in the form of Styrofoam pellets or fiberglass fibers. Cellulose is the most common material used for blow-in applications.
Consult with your home inspector before you decide to blow-in insulate your house. The entire process requires a professional who works well with special machines.
Pros of Blow-in insulation:
- The insulation process is more efficient compared to others. Batts have seams. Whereas blow-in insulation comes without seams as the loosely-filled insulation gives a monolithic layer. Hence, studies have shown, blow-in insulation performs 22% better than batt insulations.
- It is a good investment. Besides being one of the fastest paybacks of any home improvement project, blow-in insulation ends up saving your money and energy.
- It is super easy to install. The installation process is swift compared to other approaches.
Cellulose is made of 80 to 85% recycled paper. It is denser and has a greater R-value. The value ranges from 3.2 to 3.8 per inch.
What is Vermiculite?
For the uninitiated, vermiculite is a gray-brown or silver-gray mineral that, in its natural state, appears flat and shiny. If we heat it to more than 1000 degrees C, it puffs up or pops into tiny air bubbles. This form of expansion, aided with its incombustible nature, makes it very suitable for insulating purposes.
Many times home inspector’s and their buyers have a dilemma whether to buy a house with vermiculite insulation? For a Home Inspector, we have to be cautious because it can lead to lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. When the vermiculite gets expanded, it turns into light-weight, odorless, and fire-resistant material.
Whenever you buy a home, make sure to check with your home inspector for the vermiculite. If the house is vermiculite insulated, a home inspector will tell you the chances are that the material is already contaminated with asbestos, leading to severe health hazards. Asbestos.com offers some great resources to learn more.
Why is it dangerous for human health?
The compound Vermiculite itself does not pose any health hazard on its premise, yet the insulation created using vermiculite contains asbestos fibers, which, if inhaled, can cause severe health problems. Home Inspectors should attempt educate clients of some of the potential issues as outlined by the EPA.
For instance, the Zonolite Attic insulation extracted from the Libby Mine in Montana and sold in Canada had massive asbestos deposits, resulting in asbestos contamination. This substance was hence banned from Canada and has not been available for around a decade.
Yet, it is to be noted and a home inspector should be aware that not all vermiculite contains asbestos deposits, especially the ones sold before 1990. However, modern homes having vermiculite insulation are very likely to become contaminated via asbestos.
Asbestos contamination can pose serious health issues for people who have inhaled it. Home Inspectors through our line of work must be especially aware of this. Once asbestos fibers are inhaled, it can lead to many lung diseases such as Mesothelioma, asbestosis, and even lung cancer. To date, there is no safe level of asbestos exposure. Hence, you have to take precautions before buying a home. The health risks keep on increasing and are directly proportional to the frequency and duration of exposure.
How to tackle vermiculite infection?
- As a home inspector we advise that people have to ensure that the insulation using vermiculite is kept intact behind walls and in attic areas to become airborne and pose health threats.
- Also, every crack and hole must be sealed to prevent asbestos from sifting through them and contaminating the air. If you have insulated your attic using vermiculite, a home inspector will advise to avoid spending extensive periods up there.
- Make sure that you do not store any boxes in your vermiculite insulated attic.
- A home inspector should always advise you to keep your children away, and do not allow them to play in an attic.
- Never try to remove the vermiculite insulation yourself. Consult your home inspector and get it removed/remodeled/reconstructed.
The guide mentioned above comes in handy for all homebuyers in terms of home insulation. Do not forget to check with your home inspector before buying any house. A home inspection is equally essential as it allows you to find your perfect house without any flaws.