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Replacing Insulation In Your Home

Getting Started Hiring an Orlando Insulation Contractor

 

Hiring an insulation contractor doesn't come cheap, but it's worth the investment. The work will be guaranteed, and you'll be sure you're getting the most R-value for your money.

You should hire a contractor if:

  • Your home currently has little or no insulation, especially in the attic. Starting from scratch is a big job.
  • Any structural changes are involved.
  • The area is difficult to reach and move around in.
  • Your Florida home is older (pre-1930) with original wiring. Some older homes still have now-obsolete "knob and tube" wiring that can be dangerous if handled improperly.
  • Existing insulation is wet or improperly installed.
  • Your attic has no ventilation.
  • You have respiratory problems or are claustrophobic.
  • You're a home-improvement novice.

Finding an qualified contractor

The best way to find a qualified insulation professional is to ask family, friends and neighbors who have recently hired contractors. You can also call local homebuilders to ask which insulation companies they prefer to work with.

If you live in the Orlando insulation replacement service territory, you can use our contractors to find certified insulation experts in your area.

As with any other Orlando insulation contractor, ask for estimates from several companies, and get a firm bid before signing a contract. Each company might suggest a different type of insulation, but the recommendations for R-value should be consistent.

Some good questions to ask:

  • What type of insulation do you recommend for my home?
  • What R-value should we try to achieve?
  • What type of vapor barriers will be used?
  • What kind of ventilation do you recommend?
  • How long will the job take?
  • Are you insured against accidents and property damage?
  • Are you completely familiar with local building codes?
  • What kind of guarantee can you offer?
 


Orlando Insulation Contractors
Home insulation is an important factor in keeping utility costs down and to lower your energy usage. It is typically measured in terms of R-value, which represents greater power and resistance to heat flow. Usually, higher R-values are recommended for ceilings rather than for the walls and floors, but each house should come with a suggested R-value depending upon the climate conditions of your area, the size of your home, and what kind of HVAC unit you use. Home insulation comes in a variety of forms (batting, blankets, loose-fill) depending on where its being used in the house. It is best to remember though: typically the recommended R-values only give you a minimal number for house, not the optimal amount which is probably needed for the most comfort and savings. So it is best to check with insulation contractor Orlando, Florida to see how much home insulation you should use.



 
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Soffit ventilation allows air to travel from outside the house into the attic space rafters and out the gable wall vents, or through ridge ventilation at the peak of the roof. Soffit ventilation plugs are screened and louvered so air can pass through but insects cannot. To install these vents, simply drill a hole with a hole saw between each rafter all the way around the outside roof overhang of the house. Push in the soffit ventilation plugs. On the gable wall, near the peak, you may want to install a sheet metal, louvered, screened vent to let the air out as it moves toward the top of the attic.

 Another option is the continuous ridge vent, which is screened and available in 10' lengths. This is designed to be installed along the entire ridge of the house, letting air out but keeping rain from getting in. These ridge vents can be difficult to retrofit in existing homes, but they are recommended in new construction and can be considered when re-roofing.

 The wind turbine is a most effective ventilation piece, also installed near the roof peak. The wind or air rising through the turbine turns the vanes in the turbine and gets the air moving near the top of the house, drawing moisture out.

To install a wind turbine, find a good location near the peak and between rafters. Remove enough of the roof shingles, tiles, gravel, or other roofing material down to the tar paper. You will need to expose an area slightly larger than the flange of the wind turbine. Place the flange in position, and mark the flange opening on the tar paper with a piece of chalk or colored pencil.

Drill a starter hole using a hole saw or a 1" drill bit or larger. Once the hole is started, you can use a reciprocating saw to complete cutting the entire flange area. Be certain the blade is long enough and suitable for cutting tar paper and sheathing. You may want to keep a few extra blades on hand, since the long, narrow reciprocating blade tends to break easily. Wear safety glasses or goggles when sawing.

 
The greatest concern comes with infiltration of the heat from the rooms below up through any cracks that may occur around the insulation. Therefore, be very careful about the way you install the insulation around any obstacles in the joist space. These include plumbing, piping, heater ducts, chimney stacks, or the bridging. Cut the insulation to fit snugly around the object.

Note: Unfaced fiberglass must be used when working around heat sources like a chimney, flue, or heating duct The paper facing on most insulation is flammable. A 2" air space between the chimney and the insulation is recommended. With prefabricated flues and chimneys, check the manufacturer's recommendation.

You can cover all electrical junction boxes (but not electrical fixture boxes) because they do not give off heat. Again, do not distort or compress the fiberglass. Leave about 3" around recessed lighting fixtures for air to circulate and to keep the fixture cool. Wrap pipes separately to cut off air passage around them, and stuff scraps of fiberglass into small, hard-to-cover areas.

 If one layer of fiberglass batting between floor joists does not meet the value you need, a second layer of fiberglass insulation can be added on top of, and at right angles to, the joists. There is less thermal loss with this method because the joists are covered as well. Your concern here is to avoid trapping moisture between the two layers by having installed a vapor barrier between them. So, if possible, use unfaced insulation for this layer. If not install the second layer with the paper face down and puncture the paper barrier on this second layer. Since you will have already taken care of any penetrating problems, your main concern with this second layer is that the batting fit good and snug, side by side and end to end. Start this second layer butted against the bottom of the rafters, beginning in a corner. Continue to install it end to end until you get to the center of the floor or near the stairwell. Then begin again at the opposite side and install to the center again, to avoid walking on and compressing the insulation over the joists. Install insulation on the opening hatch door to your attic as well.

Another method is to pour or blow in loose fill or cellulose insulation up to the joists for an even surface. Then unfaced or punctured batt insulation can be installed perpendicular to the joist system. A trouble light is needed to help you see that hard-to-reach places are being adequately filled with the cellulose. Blow in the cellulose to fill the joist spaces past the top of the wood framing, to achieve a higher R-value.

After completing your insulation, you may find that your skin itches from fiberglass irritation. I've found that vinegar makes an effective rinse when I bathe or shower after working with fiberglass. It almost eliminates the itching, which comes from the small particles of glass left on the skin.

 

 

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