Insulation is a heat-flow barrier that keeps your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Installing insulation reduces heating and cooling costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Insulation also improves soundproofing and weatherproofing.
Retrofitting a home is easier if you are going to add siding or remodel interior walls, because the insulation can be installed during the renovation project. Working around doors and windows can also be difficult for interior and exterior insulation applications.
If your brick is not in show condition or you do not care if it shows, you can install your insulation on the exterior of your home. Line the walls with a reflective vapor barrier. Tape all joints so the barrier is air-tight. Install R-10 polystyrene boards that have a weather-resistant finish over the vapor barrier. Cover the insulation with a house wrap and install your siding over the house wrap. Seal all joints in the insulation using tape or caulking.
If you are insulating inside the interior walls, you must remove the plaster or drywall completely until the brick is exposed. Add a building paper and then two inches of foam insulation rated R-10. Add a vapor retarder or barrier on the interior side of the insulation where it will get warm from the house. Installing styrofoam insulation requires you caulk the joints between the insulation. Seal the vapor barrier so that it is air tight and cover the insulation with drywall.
If you have cavities between your bricks and wall that have no insulation in them, fill these cavities with blown-in insulation. You must drill an access hole in each stud to gain access to the entire space. These holes must be about four feet apart. If your exterior is finished and does not need renovation, blow your insulation in from the inside directly into all of the wall cavities.
You can also blow insulation up from the basement or attic if both the interior and exterior walls are in good condition. Insert your hose all the way to the top, or bottom if you are in the attic, of your stud and slowly retract the hose 12 inches at a time after the space is filled. Install reflective insulation on the inside of the exterior wall prior to blowing your insulation in, and your insulation will not get wet from weeping bricks. Continue reading
Essential to the protection of a building, a homeowner should maintain the roof on a regular basis. Inspecting the roof helps owners to identify any problems as they occur, saving both time and money. Once you have identified a roofing issue, the roof inspection determines the appropriate repairs.
Stand on a ladder at roof level to assess the condition of the shingles. Identify any curled edges, blistered shingles and splitting shingles. Assess asphalt shingles for dark patches, which indicate the granular coating is wearing. Identify any missing or displayed shingles for later replacement. Identify any areas of the roof that are sagging.
The Flashing and Gutters
Check the gutters of granules that are coming off of the asphalt shingles, which is an indication of an aging roof. Check the gutters for sagging or leaks. Identify any loosely attached downspouts. Inspect the flashing around chimneys, plumbing vents and vertical walls. Loose shingles or loose flashing indicate a problem in these areas.
From the attic, look for evidence of leaks. Dark stains indicate water trails. Check closely around chimneys, valleys and skylights. If dark spots exist, assess the condition. Soft wood may have already started the rotting process. Dry and firm wood indicates an old leak. Reassess during a heavy rain to make sure. Look for any sagging between rafters. Inspect the rafters for sagging or cracking.