As winter rapidly approaches, it’s important to take the time to make sure your home is prepared for the cold weather.
One of the most important things you can do is insulate your home, which will help keep you warm and comfortable all season long. Here are 20 things you should insulate before winter hits.
When temperatures drop below freezing, there is a higher likelihood that your pipes will freeze faster. Pipes that tend to hold water and are not insulated like the rest of your house may be more susceptible to freezing.
You don’t want to be in this situation: the ice is expanding, and so is the flood. That’s why it’s vital that you protect pipes with insulation when you’re dealing with cold areas and think an ice break might happen. Don’t let this turn into a disaster!
It’s important to make sure your house has enough insulation, and the attic is where the bulk of it should go. Make sure you check all the corner spaces and shallow spots because that’s where you might miss some insulation.
For smaller cracks, you can also use DIY insulation foam. Remember to make sure you leave enough ventilation in the attic. If you don’t, the insulation could cause a lot of problems.
We suggest “hobby-friendly” because if you typically keep your garage for basic storage purposes, then you may not need to insulate it.
But if it’s more than just storage space and is also used for hobbies or work, then insulation could be helpful. Basic insulation, garage door insulation, and a clean garage are all good reasons to get started.
New Exterior Walls
To save on heating and cooling costs, it’s important to insulate your exterior walls. Luckily, most exterior walls are already insulated because of current codes & best practices.
However, new exterior walls should also be insulated since they often face the outside: Basically, any wall that faces the outdoors needs insulation!
You must maintain a constant temperature in your basement area, you’ll need to insulation both the walls and floor.
Basements often require insulation even if the rest of the house isn’t going to be used, so this expense may not be a surprise either. Make sure to use a moisture barrier to keep water from ruining your roof.
Doors and Windows
Make sure your house is well-fitted with weatherstripping around doors and windows by checking it regularly. Without this, you will have a lot of cold air seep into the house and raise heating bills.
It’s worth checking if the tape around the door and window seals is worn/missing, as this can lead to expensive monthly heating bills.
Ceilings Without Insulation
Houses with complex floor plans or renovations may lack insulation. It’s important to ensure that the ceilings are insulated to maintain a comfortable and consistent temperature throughout the year.
Upper Roof Trusses
Insulation problems in roof crawl spaces usually come from insulation getting pushed around at the bottom and not everywhere else.
When the bottom end of the trusses gets heated up, they get bigger, while the top end gets cold and small. If your roof needs fixing up or improving, you’ll want to check if it has insulation.
Too little insulation will likely be a cause of groaning noises and structural problems, so it’s a good idea to have a look at that first.
If any part of your floor is closed to the outside environment (e.g., the top levels of your house), it’s important to install floor insulation. If you’re missing even basic insulation, you can add it!
Like your outdoor pipes, you don’t want it to get iced up. One way to prevent that is by installing a frost-resistant outdoor faucet. It’s an easy job that should be done in no time!
Vents and Ductwork
Vents open your house up to outside temperatures if they’re not properly protected. Luckily, there are a couple of ways that you can address this issue on your own that will do the job quickly, easily, and cheaply.
Weatherstrip Hatches and Doors
Once you’ve sealed the access points in your attic, push the insulation back in place with a broom handle or stick. Seal these access points with self-adhesive foam weatherstripping to finish up.
You may need to add on some wood stops so that the weatherstrip has enough room for hook-and-eye fasteners. Try doing this by turning the screws on either side of the weatherstrip slightly – you’ll compress it just enough.
Air Leakage Points
Small gaps and leaks can cause a lot of heat to escape from an outlet, switch or light fixture over time. Fortunately, it’s easy to fix this problem with insulation.
Older chimneys are especially vulnerable to leaks & unfettered cold air. Newer models should have caps installed for that reason, but also to keep them closed when not in use. This kind of work usually takes a pro, but you can try to do it yourself if you have the time and know-how.
If you don’t have an attic or basement, it’s tempting to forget about the hidden parts of your home.
You might be living in some spot that doesn’t have insulation on the crawl space, for instance. Make sure to check your insulation and the upper and lower levels of your home.
Places Where Insulation is Old or Damaged
Insulation is an important part of any building. Moisture, pests, mold, and other problems can corrode or destroy insulation.
Age and lack of protection are factors that make some insulation especially vulnerable to damage. A visual inspection should be done before replacing or installing insulation.
Exterior Foundation Walls
When you are insulating your bare foundation walls, make sure to use termite-resistant insulation if you’re in a region that is infested with them.
Stop Drafts—and Mice!
Getting a good seal on the exterior of your home with foam is a great way to reduce air infiltration and pest access, but it might not stop rodents.
Rodents can chew through the insulating foam that’s only an expanding formula and some pests can bypass some other types. Some product brands last longer than others, so the next time you’re sealing out pests with foam, try to find one that resists them.
Plus: Here’s what not to do when spraying spray foam at home.
Seal the Rim Joists
Insulating and sealing your joists can save you a lot of energy. You’ve got the time to do it since the weather is getting colder. One way is to use non-breathable insulation that’s cut to match your joist size, but 2″ of extruded polystyrene is our preference.
Check your local options! If you have a table saw, use it to cut the depth of your joists. Then, once you get lengths that are that deep, cut the lengths down with a handsaw or a miter saw. Finally, seal up small gaps with some caulk and large gaps with for example cement board.
Caulk and Cover Room Air Conditioners
One way to stay cool at home is to use an air conditioner. The problem is, it’ll make your room cold all winter if you don’t cover it up properly.
If you have a window unit, the best solution is to take it out of the window so the cold air won’t leak in. If you decide to leave it in or you have a permanently installed wall unit, grab some removable caulk and a window air conditioner cover to keep out the cold.
This will save energy overall. And if you have an AC, cleaning it annually can also save you money.
Put the cover over the AC unit and then use the corner straps to strap it in.
Take the middle straps underneath & up around both sides of it, then hook them over the top. In your house, run some caulk around the bottom of your AC unit.
For ACs that are built into a window or wall, apply some latex caulk to seal them up.
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Star Spray Foam insulation in New Orleans community is proud to provide affordable, efficient insulation services. We have built a reputation in the NOLA area for efficient, high-quality insulation at an affordable cost.
We use quality materials to maximize the amount of heat retained inside your home – and we install them for you hassle-free. Contact us today!