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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How to Insulate a New Wall

When making an addition to your home or creating partitions to divide a larger space, or even when finishing a basement, insulation is an important part of energy savings.  Insulating your walls can help prevent the transfer of both temperature and sound, and taking the time to ensure that you insulate the new wall properly is important.  Today we will take a look at a few different methods of insulating new walls so that you can choose the one that will work best for you.

One of the cheapest ways to insulate a wall is to purchase loose insulation or rolls of fiberglass batting.  This insulation can be easily put into place between wall studs before the wall is completed.  These insulation types are rather effective and are quite inexpensive.  By using a layer of foam as well as this insulation, you can make the job even more efficient without significantly raising your cost.  Many people choose this method simply because of the financial and time savings that can be gained using this method.

The most effective way to insulate a new wall is also the most costly. This method involves filling the spaces between the studs completely with slow rise foam. This foam creates a complete barrier against air and moisture and in addition to keeping temperatures inside the room steady, the foam also prevents mold and mildew. With this insulation in place, the cost to heat or cool the area will be much lower, the area will be repellent to insects, and the noise transfer from the space will be quite minimal. While certainly more expensive than batting or loose fill, it is by far the most effective form of insulation.

For many people, the solution lies somewhere in the middle.  Today, many homeowners are finding it both cost and energy efficient to combine these two methods of insulation.  Applying the foam insulation until it is at least an inch thick on all studs can help greatly reduce energy and temperature transfer, while filling the remaining spaces with loose fill insulation or batting can help save money.  It is important to realize that the method is not quite as effective as using only the filling foam, but that it will offer far greater results than simply using batting alone.

When calculating how much foam to purchase, you will need to divide the total square footage that you will need to spray by the capacity of the foam insulating kit.  Likewise, calculating how much insulation to purchase when using batting or free fill can be done in much the same way.  Always make certain to purchase slightly more than needed for touchups or for any spaces that seem to show gaps or poor insulation.  It is always better to have a bit too much insulation than to run out, as poorly insulated walls can create a large number of problems for your home.  Installing insulation is not very difficult, and once you have decided what method to use, it is actually surprisingly simple.

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