So, you need to insulate your home.
Maybe you’re building on a new addition. Perhaps your home is just not as energy efficient as you would like.
Regardless of why you are installing insulation, you are likely considering taking a DIY approach. Many homeowners opt to save on labor costs by installing their own insulation. It’s a fairly simple process that is very DIY-friendly.
That being said, poor installation can cause you lots of problems in the future, including
- Ice dams
- Pest infestations
- Poor energy efficiency
- Mold growth
If you want to learn how to install insulation correctly, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll be breaking down everything you need to know about the process, from purchasing and planning to the actual installation.
Why You Should Install New Insulation
If you’re not sure if new insulation is worth the work, allow us to convince you. Properly installed insulation material has numerous benefits for your home.
- Improved Energy Efficiency 💡 – If your home is not properly insulated, you may be paying much more for your energy bill than you have to. Insulation helps protect our homes and our families from the environment. Without insulation, your HVAC system will be working overtime to compensate. This means expensive energy bills for you. New insulation will help you keep costs low while also staying eco-friendly.
- Noise Reduction 👂 – Do you live in a busy neighborhood? Without a good noise barrier, it might sometimes sound like traffic is driving right through your home. Proper insulation can act as a sound barrier and help keep your home feeling peaceful.
- Keeps Pests Out of Your Home 🐁 – No one enjoys having pests in their home. But if you have old or improperly installed insulation, that could be the exact scenario you find yourself in. As insulation ages, it starts to settle, which leaves room for critters to find a pathway indoors. Mice, in particular, love to pull apart insulation material to use for their nests. Fresh insulation will help ensure that your home stays pest free!
- Reduce Allergens 🤧 – If you or a member of your family suffers from allergies, your insulation could help protect you. Insulation is designed to stop outdoor air from seeping into your house. During allergy season, this means that you are protected against breathing in pollen and other irritants in the air.
Open Walls vs. Finished Walls
You might be ready to start putting in installation right away, but note an important detail before we begin: installing insulation in an open wall is a very different process from installing it in a finished wall!
Our instructions today are geared towards installing insulation onto open walls. While you can add insulation to finish walls, it can be a messy process. We advise you to consult with a professional to discuss the next steps.
4 Types of Insulation Material
When it comes to installing insulation, there are lots of materials to choose from. Here are four of the most popular insulation materials on the market.
1) Blanket Insulation
When it comes to insulation material, nothing is quite as popular as blanket insulation. Blanket insulation is purchased in large rolls that can be unrolled flat and installed simply into your walls. It is also sometimes referred to as roll insulation or batt insulation. They are essentially a type of fiberglass insulation, but the material also can contain natural fibers such as wool and other minerals.
2) Blown-In Insulation
Blown-in insulation is typically used in homes with finished walls. The loose-fill insulation material is ideal for this sort of project, as it is primarily used to fill in gaps between wall studs and existing insulation.
3) Foam Board Insulation
Foam board insulation has a lot of advantages over other types of insulation on the market. Also sometimes referred to as rigid foam, this material is particularly resistant to moisture, making it an excellent choice for spaces like basements.
4) Spray Foam Insulation
You’ve likely used spray foam in some capacity. Those little cans you buy at the hardware store? That’s essentially the same thing. Those cans can be used to help boost the insulation power in vulnerable areas like around windows and door frames. However, you can also use a more heavy-duty version for the walls of your home. This is an expensive option that is best left to the professionals, but it also is highly effective when it comes to protecting your home from the elements.
How Much Will It Cost?
Insulation costs will vary widely depending on the size of your room and the type of insulation you choose. Generally speaking, insulating a room tends to cost between $1500-$6000. As a DIYer, you can expect to pay less than that, as labor costs significantly affect that price.
Understanding R Values
Before you start the insulation process, you need to understand the R-Value of your materials.
R-Value is a way of measuring how well a material insulates your home. Different areas will have building codes that include specific R-Values. For example, homes in warmer climates typically have a lower R-value than those in colder climates.
Knowing your home’s required R-Value will help ensure that you get the right type of insulation for your home.
What Tools Do I Need?
When it comes time to install insulation in your home, there are certain tools you will want to have on hand.
- Proper Attire – Fiberglass insulation can be hugely irritating to the body and result in rashes and respiratory problems. You’ll want to safety considerations into consideration. Be sure to dress in tight-fitting clothes that cover your whole body. It’s also important to wear work gloves, safety glasses, and a respirator.
- Tape Measure
- Utility Knife
- Staple Gun
How to Install Insulation
Ready to install your insulation? Here are the steps you need to take to ensure that your insulation stands the test of time.
Before you begin, it’s important to make sure that you are fully prepared. You’ll want to start by clearing the area and cleaning the walls. This means removing any old insulation, dust, and debris that may be lingering in the wall cavities, as well as removing nails, screws, and wires.
After clearing the space, you will want to take your tape measure and get the correct width and height of your walls. This will allow you to purchase the right amount of insulation.
2) Select Material
Once you know how much insulation you need, you can decide which type of insulation you want for your house. Be sure to take into account the R-value that is required for your area. In general, we recommend that beginner DIYers stick to using blanket insulation for their home.
3) Unroll Insulation
You’ll want to unroll your roll insulation onto a clean floor. Be sure to give your insulation a little time to expand. This will allow you to accurately trim your insulation later on.
4) Trim Insulation
After it has fully expanded, you can measure your insulation and trim it to the correct width for your wall studs. You can do this using a utility knife and a measuring tape.
5) Place In Wall Cavity
After trimming the insulation to the correct size, you will tuck the insulation in between the wall studs. It should fit snugly in the wall cavity, but be careful not to compress the insulation. This can reduce its overall effectiveness.
6) Secure Insulation
Once the insulation is in place, you can staple it to the wall studs for extra security. That being said, you can only staple faced insulation. Faced insulation is covered in paper or plastic sheeting that works as a vapor barrier. If your insulation does not have facing (otherwise known as open-faced insulation), it cannot be stapled, so make sure that it fits securely!
Not a DIYer? Contact a Professional!
Need insulation but feeling overwhelmed? You don’t need to do the project on your own. Our team at First American Roofing can help you with all of your insulation needs. Our signature process includes a post-installation test to make sure that your insulation is performing at the highest possible standard.
Ready to get started? Contact our team today to receive a free quote!