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The Importance of Chimney Repairs

There may come a time when you will need your chimney repaired. This is, of course, dependent on the age of the house as well as the seasonal changes, if any, in the temperature. Most is not all chimneys are made of brick. Brick is also a porous material.

Over time the material that is used to hold the bricks in place can become loose or dissolve. The reason for this is that it is water-soluble. This means that consistent exposure to temperature changes as well as exposure to water can cause the mortar to crumble. Homeowners in areas that have constant rainfall, should check for water damage and chimney corrosion periodically.

Once the mortar erodes, water can seep into your chimney, down your exterior and interior walls, and into your foundation. Water damage from chimney can go unnoticed from several months, if not years. If the cracks are severe enough, you will also notice the leaks on the inner walls of your home as well.

Most chimneys are lined, and the lining is made of metal. The metal lining can incur rust over time due to its exposure to water, snow, and ice. When the roof needs to be repaired, it is important that you also check to see if your chimney foundation is not deteriorating and is free of corrosion.

Another important factor that one should think about in regards to potential damage to your chimney is earthquake damage. If you happen to live in an earthquake zone and have recently had an earthquake, check the foundation and outer walls of your chimney to ensure that it is in working order. Damages to a chimney can cause carbon monoxide to leak into the home. It is important that you check to make sure that you do not have any toxic gas leaking into your home. Waterproofing a chimney is part of its maintenance; this should be done every few years.

In order to help your chimney last, it is important that you reproof, reinforce, and repair. If you do not have the skills to repair a chimney, it is important that you hire the services of a professional handyman in order to ensure that the job is done right. Having someone who knows what they are doing will also help to keep you safe and chimney repairs can be risky and sometimes fatal, if you do not know what you are doing.

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The Advantage of Using Drywall in Your Home

At one time, drywall was an unknown material. This was prior to 1916, when interior walls were finished with lathe and plaster rather than drywall. It took a lot of work to install lathe and plaster in a home and home builders continued to use it well into in the latter part of the second world war.

However, drywall became the choice of builders during that time. The reason for this was due to a shortage of manpower as it took more people and a lot more hours to put up lathe and plaster than it did drywall.  Therefore, drywall became the known material for making walls in newly manufactured homes.

Many builders found it to be more economical due to the fact that it was stable, inexpensive, and fire resistant as well. The cost of using drywall is miniscule compared to the cost of lathe, plaster, and the materials needed to complete the job.

All you would need was the drywall sheets, finishing materials, and the fasteners, which is fairly inexpensive as compared to building the wall by using the old methods. When using the lathe, you would need the lathe, wire mesh, as well as a massive amount of plaster. The old method would prove to be far more pricey, and therefore, this method of building walls was stopped completely.

The convenience of using drywall to build a wall is evident. All it takes is a clear area down to the bare walls, a couple of drywall sheets, drywall tape, and drywall plaster to smooth over the spaces that are left when you join the drywall sheets. Once the drywall is plastered all it takes is little effort to smooth the plaster once it is dry.

After it is dry, all you need to do is use primer to seal the drywall and once that is done, you splash on some paint. Easy, clean, affordable, and durable is the reason why many builders now choose to use drywall instead of lathe and plaster.

Drywall comes in a couple of different sizes as well as thicknesses, which makes it even more convenient. All it takes is a little effort in order to complete building a wall that is made of drywall and a perhaps a full day to complete a full size room.  Another convenient thing about using drywall over plaster is that there is less cleanup time needed as well.

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Replacing Your Roof Shingles

Roofing shingles help to protect your home from the forces of nature. The area under the roof will suffer water damage, if the shingles are worn and have not been replaced. Another benefit of the roofing shingle is to keep the costs of heating or cooling a room less costly.

There are two types of asphalt shingles on the market; they are organic asphalt shingles or fiberglass asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles are used on most houses in the US and Canada, and on some other homes around the world because of it being widely available, affordable, economical, and easy to install. Unlike other roof coverings, asphalt has a relatively long life, which makes it very cost-effective.

The base mat of a fiberglass shingle is woven fiberglass. An asphalt coating that is waterproof then covers it. Ceramic granules top the asphalt coating layer to help protect the surface from harmful UV rays. The fiberglass mat is much lighter than its organic counterpart. This results in a lighter, thinner, roofing material that has a higher fire rating than the others. The asphalt shingles usually carry a longer warranty, which is also one of the reasons why fiberglass asphalt shingles are extremely popular.

Organic mats are made of shingles that are recycled felt. They are coated with an adhesive, and then embedded with ceramic granules. On these mats, the ceramic granules are more abundant; therefore, the shingles are heavier and cost more to purchase. Organic shingles may be more flexible, however, they tend to wear out faster by warping, and general wear and tear. The organic shingles are not very environmentally friendly and have higher asphalt content.

The asphalt shingles are manufactured as a three-tab shingle or an architectural shingle. The three-tab shingle has a cutout along the lower edge to help define how to lay the shingle properly. The architectural shingle is plain as far as the cutout goes, however, they do have a dimensional contoured look that helps to make them so appealing. The architectural shingle is not recommended for low-sloping roofs because of its susceptibility to wind driven rain.

Whether you choose a fiberglass or an organic shingle for your next roofing project, remember that there are many colors for you to choose as your roofing material. This means that you will be able to get a color that can help to accentuate your home. When choosing an asphalt shingle, remember that the lighter the color, there will be less heat penetrating your attic rooms, which will help to eliminate your cooling costs during the summer months.

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Painting the Exterior of Your Home

To some homeowners, painting the exterior of your home may seem a little tedious. However, a chore must be done. Painting the exterior of your home will help to keep it from falling into disrepair. However, if you plan the project before it gets underway, then the chore will not be as tedious.

Before you start out on painting the exterior of your home, it is important that you start with pressure cleaning the outside. Mix chlorine bleach with water and place it in the pressure washer. Using a pressure washer filled with a mixture of water and bleach will help to kill any mold or mildew growing on the outside of your home. Stubborn dirt, peeling paint, and loose chalking will be easily removed with a pressure washer.

Caulking should be used in corners, doors, and to seal windows. Patching compound should be used to fill any open cracks, not caulking. Wooden door trim or fascia board that has rotted away should be replaced before you think of starting to paint the exterior of your home.

Now comes the sealing. Sealing is a vital part of the task of getting the exterior of your home ready for painting. Primers and sealers will eliminate the need to spend hundreds of dollars on the topcoat paints that are rather expensive. It is vital that you follow the instructions for applying both the primer and sealer. When purchasing a sealer, it is important that you choose one that is a reputable brand.

Moisture seepage is the biggest cause of wood rot and can end up costing you more to replace over time, as the moisture will evade a larger area if not promptly looked after. By applying a good sealant, you will prolong the life of your topcoat exterior paint. Mildew growth on the exterior of a home occurs because of moisture seepage. This seepage breaks down your top coat and spreads throughout the wood.

After the primer and sealer have dried, you are ready to apply the top coat. Remember to choose a high quality paint for a reputable brand for the topcoat paint. This will not only make your painting chore easier, it will also be more durable and last for a longer time than paint that is a bargain brand.

When painting the exterior of a home, it makes common sense to choose a paint that has a satin finish. Although satin paint is a little more costly than a flat paint, it will give the exterior of your home a nice shiny finish and satin paint is more durable than a flat finish.

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Granite Countertops Installations-Handyman 24/7

Granite countertops are a very popular choice for those who want to do that home renovation project that they keep putting off. These types of countertops come in a wide range of colors and are very durable. Many of the granite countertops have various patterns for you to choose from. There are also natural stone countertops. These countertops are made from nature, and no two countertops are going to be the same. The reason for this is that each countertop will have its own color variation, cracks, pits, and imperfections that are on the individual pieces of stone.

Granite is much stronger than laminate. Seeing that it is made of stone and more durable, than some of the other types of countertops, it will hold its value over time. When choosing a new countertop, it is important to choose a color that will correspond with other decor that is in your kitchen. It is also relevant that you choose the proper thickness and depth of your countertop as well as the type of granite that you want to use.

You can purchase the granite countertop from a big box hardware store that has various supplies for all rooms of your home. Specialty stores such as a bathroom renovation or plumbing place may also have the type of countertop that you are looking for at a reasonable price.

You may also want to replace your kitchen or bathroom sink while you are doing the renovation. A new kitchen countertop with a new sink as well as a backsplash will add value to your home, as these are usually durable and can last for a long time. It is vital that you remember to use a cutting board when you are cutting fruits and vegetables for your meals. This will help to ensure that the countertop stays fresh and receives no mars or scratches from normal wear and tear.

Laminate is also another choice for a countertop. Although a laminate countertop is a covering over some fiberboard, it can still be very versatile and can be suitable for just about any type of kitchen decor.

Many people save themselves some money and do the countertop installation themselves. However, some people are not that experienced in knowing the correct steps on how to do this correctly. For this reason, many people choose an experienced contractor to do the countertop installation for them. Save yourself some time by having a professional installer do the installation for you. There are many companies that offer this service, and Handyman on Call 24/7, is one of them.

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Choosing a Type of Flooring to Suit Your Needs

There are many different types of flooring that is used in both homes and businesses. One of the preferred types of flooring options is laminate flooring. Not only is this type of flooring inexpensive, it offers a wide range of selections for you to choose. Laminate flooring also comes in wood like options that are inexpensive, yet visually appealing.

Bathroom flooring is different from the flooring that is used in other areas of the home. The reason for this is that bathroom flooring has to be made to withstand heat as well as moisture from humidity and moisture. There are several options for you to choose from and some of them include natural stones like granite, slate, or marble. Although there are many flooring options such as a wooden floor, bamboo, cork, laminates, or vinyl, these choices are not often suitable for a bathroom other than hardwood. The reason for this is that these types of floors are not suitable to withstand moisture. They are susceptible to damage from the water and humidity because they are very porous.

Laminates can become slippery and are hazardous to walk on. Therefore, it is important for you to choose a natural stone product such as ceramic tile when you are choosing a type of flooring for your bathroom floor. Stone flooring is non-porous and is able to sustain heavy traffic. Many ceramic tiles also come with anti-skid features, which help to make this choice so appealing.

Travertine tile is also a perfect choice in flooring. It is natural stone and is not only versatile, but durable as well. There are several types of travertine tile available. You may choose from honed travertine or polished travertine. The honed travertine is a matte finish that is equally as durable as polished travertine. However, if you choose travertine that is a tumbled or brushed finish, then the durability of the tile is not as strong. Polished travertine on the other hand, is the strongest type of travertine tile available. It has a strong finish and is quite similar to marble. The colors of travertine tile is quite vast, this is due to the amount and kind of mineral deposit that is found in the tile. The best places to have travertine tile is your kitchen or bathroom.

Hardwood flooring is also another option for homeowners. This type of floor looks lovely in an entranceway as well as for the living room or dining room area and the hallways as well. Hardwood flooring comes in many colors, and hardwood is easy to maintain if you keep up with regular maintenance. Hardwood floors also enhance the value of your home and can be used almost anywhere in a home, other than the kitchen, bathroom, and basement.

Carpeting is also another choice for floor coverings. There is many styles and colors to choose from. Carpeting can help to make the room a little more cozier and can be added to a playroom, bedroom, living room, as well as a dining room. The only place in which carpeting should not be put is the kitchen or bathroom.

The professionals at Handyman on Call 24/7 can install flooring of your choice in your home or commercial property at an affordable cost. Call us today and see what we can offer in regards to our floor installation services.

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Beautifying Your Home with Concrete Products

Beautifying your home often takes the effort of several materials. One of these materials just happens to be concrete. Concrete is often used for patios, foundations, sidewalks, driveways, patios, walkways, swimming pools, and a whole lot more. Having these features on your property will enhance its look and improve the property value.

Having a backyard patio will also beautify your outdoor living space. A backyard patio can become your oasis or getaway place. Once you have a concrete patio installed, you can think about how you will spend your time outdoors. A concrete walkway will also increase the property value of your home, increase its aesthetic appearance, and decrease the amount of accidents that can occur on your property.

Over time, damage to the concrete surfaces around your home can occur. These damages can often be from weather, accidents, and even the shifting of your home. The house shifting is one of the biggest reasons why cracks can appear in your basement walls and floors. These cracks can also show up on the exterior surface of your home as well. Mold and mildew can form over time; this can cause people within your home to become ill. There are some things that you can do to eliminate a leak in your basement, and the first step is to call us at Handyman on Call 24/7.

Most homes can incur a wet basement over time. This can be due to water seeping through the cracks in the wall or even caused by gutter runoff. Gutter runoff occurs when the rain gutters fill so fast in a torrential rainstorm and overflows and seeps in through the foundation walls.

Concrete that has cracked over time can look unsightly. Many people do not have their basement waterproofed, and for this reason, a basement can become flooded, or even show signs of excess moisture and mold. This moisture and mold can cause people in your home to become ill over time. Water in the basement could also lead to bigger problems down the road.

Crumbling concrete and crushed pieces that appear on sidewalks or walkways can cause accidents and injuries. A person could slip and fall or even trip over large chunks of concrete material that has ended up breaking off.

The next time you are thinking about having some concrete work done; call us, the professional handyman at Handyman on Call 24/7. We provide fresh installations of concrete as well as concrete repairs. We have the knowledge and expertise to get the job done right the first time, every time.

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Chimneys—Is a Repair Needed?

By Megan S. Ward

A chimney is a very special part of the house. It can provide insulation from the various seasons, airflow into the house, a family gathering point and so much more. Do you use your chimney often? Over time, just like household most appliances and outside structures, weather has an influence on the composition of your chimney. In this article, I will go over how to tell if your chimney needs to be repaired, what causes the dilapidation of your chimney over time and how a worn-down chimney may lead to your financial demise.

Using your chimney frequently is a health factor for its lifespan. Think of it in this way: your chimney carries out the same function as a car’s exhaust system. This means that your chimney is used to safely remove any harmful products of combustion, whether they are hydrocarbon compounds, carbon dioxide, water vapor, carbon monoxide or wood particles that haven’t been burnt yet. Your home is now a risk for your family. All of these substances emitted by the fire place pose a threat to your household by the increased chance of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. You may have already suspected that you need to repair your chimney, but upon closer inspection, it may be just a single part that is in need of tender loving care.

  • Water: Water is an essential part of all life forms. It flows and ebbs as destiny directs it. However, in terms of chimneys, it is a formidable adversary. Most chimneys are extremely susceptible to any form of water damage. This is due to the fact that most chimneys in America are made with brick. Brick is a porous type of material that is held together by water-soluble mortar, which has the capability of breaking down in any amount of water. If a material is porous, it is very absorbent. Used together, they are a weak defense against the liquid elements. To make matters worse, usually the inside of your chimney is made of metal, an easy target for rust. You can easily tell if water is getting in by water damage to the nearby ceilings and walls, rainwater in your fireplace, dripping noises, a weakened masonry and deteriorated mortar joints as well. Leaky chimneys are not uncommon in having water leak in, but it is imperative to locate where the water is coming in, even if it may be from multiple points. Remember, this will cost more money in the long-run if not fixed now, as it could damage the rest of the area next to the chimney. You may consider it to be your roof that is leaking, when it may very well be the chimney itself. This can be fixed with a water-proofing sealant.
  • Chimney Cracks: Little pig, little pig, let me in! The timeless tale of brick’s strength in the Three Little Pigs never gets old. How strong are your bricks? Chimneys are relied on by a many to safely channel smoke, from fire, outside. This prevents a repository of creosote from building up if the chimney is maintained well, without any leaks or cracks. In fact most chimneys can last up to 25 years or more. But if you own an old house, chances are that you have a chimney that is more than 15 years old. The importance of age is due to the fact that the mortar joints, the pieces between the bricks or material, begin to flake off, crack and wash away. Even if your chimney is not that old, it may also be your environment. If you live in an area where there is winter and warm seasons, your chimney is more susceptible to the freeze and thaw action due to the colder climate. With this in mind, think of how easily moisture can makes its way into the cracks and crevices of the masonry. This can cause a lot of damage to more than just your metal lining on the inside; it can cause damage to your satellite dish, as well as your lighting rod.
  • Type of Home: Depending on what type of home you own, the strength of your chimney may be questionable. If you have a historic home, your house may seem fortified, but historic homes’ chimneys were used with coal for heating. Since the coal would be burnt with a high amount of heat, the chimney is too cold for just wood as the powered boilers tend to be a bit oversized. This makes the risk of condensation higher, thus resulting in more damage. A lack of care and inspection can call for the means of major and extensive repairs in the future. Getting proper knowledge on the type of home that you have may allow you to save yourself a lot of money and stress in times to come.
  • Your Home’s Location: The location of your home, and I mean more than just warm/cold weather, plays a major role in your chimney’s health as well. For instance, if you lived near or in Seattle, the Earthquake that occurred in 2001 may have left your home with chimney damage. This is due to the overall layout of the chimney itself. Since chimneys are so rigid, they don’t move with any Earthquake ad tend to cause cracks and dismantled chimneys. Wood-framed houses can easily move with an Earthquake, but if a chimney has not been inspected after the onslaught of a natural disaster, then it’s probably damaged. Getting an inspection as well as performing maintenance is vital in extending the lifespan of your home. Without a proper inspection, your damaged chimney, if ever used, can lead to gas leakage from carbon dioxide and other toxic gases.

You can identify some of these things on your own, as far as leaks, home history and locations go. For more serious things like cracks, it is wise to get a professional inspector to take a look at your chimney as there may be multiple points at which the water is leaking in from. The lining of your chimney aids in its overall health and prevents future repairs as it ensures the proper function of your chimney—to lessen the chance of gas leaking into the house. I would say to remember the 3R rules of chimney repair. The three rules are reinforce, repair and reproof. If you can replace any missing parts, repair the outside if it is cracked or worn and waterproof the chimney every couple of years, you’ll save much more than you would with a professional for maintenance tasks. However, a lot of these problems may be time consuming and if handled incorrectly—fatal. Unless you really know what you are doing and are sure that there are no problems, then by all means, continue to do so.

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Basement Leaks: An Unpleasant Situation

By Megan S. Ward  

            It was a summer night where I was home alone once again. I struggled to find something to occupy my attention, but the rain outside had not ceased for 3 days straight. In a gaming mood, I tiptoed down the stairs and walked contentedly towards the gaming room. Looking for my favorite game, I walked over to the storage corner, where I noticed a wet spot on the carpet. Initially I thought it had been my dog Bo at it again, but then I noticed that all along the walls of the basement, the carpet flooring was wet. Feeling a bit concerned, I wandered into the second basement area where the basement was not finished. Over the past three days, water had somehow managed to find its way into our house. Everything—ranging from paintings to boxes, had been completely drenched. No one was home, so I panicked as to what I should do. I went to grab the carpet cleaner which had a water suction feature and noticed that there were tiny black dots speckled all over the walls. So this is the extent of having a home in New Jersey? Why would the water be getting in and what could I do to prevent this? After doing some research I learned of things that cause, stop and prevent leaking. I’d be happy to share this with others as it has prevented my parents from ripping their hair out over water damage.

            When it comes to water damage and leakage into your basement, there can only be so many causes. Some of the most common ones are water mitigating through concrete, excess humidity (thus causing condensation), ground water, a clogged or incorrectly installed gutter system, cracks in the foundation and bad insulation. Concrete is actually a porous material, meaning that it can easily absorb or have water go through it. Water may be flooding at the base or below the basement and slowly seeping into your basement over time, while humidity from daily household activities (showering, cooking and heating) can easily build-up over time and go to the coolest part of your house (your basement.) Ground water can seep into your foundation and cracks in the foundation will lead to water leaking in at the base. With a gutter that is clogged or improperly installed, the water may be directed towards your house instead of away. Let’s say that your home’s backyard lacks a slope from where the gutter ends, then the water will usually flow back into the base of your house and in through the walls. Bad insulation is also a common cause in basement humidity as moisture is directed towards the coolest part of the house. Then there’s the case of when you have heat being released to the attic after it is generated in the house, then you are more likely to have a high amount of moisture in your basement, leaving you with an environment suitable for mold to grow and fester in. The problem with our house was the angle that it was on. The water was actually flowing towards the basement instead of away, thus causing the leak in the first and second basements. One has many options to stop and prevent the causes of water leakage into your basement.

            If you are seeking for some ways to stop and prevent leaking, then look no further. As mentioned earlier, flooding and leakage can be caused by incorrect gutter installation. A gutter extension can be installed at the end of the gutter, in addition with a angled slope to direct the runoff even more. This will give your gutter the boost it needs and the length (at least 4-5 feet away from your house) to divert the water to a different area. However, a downspout that is too short is not always the case. Your gutter may be clogged and full of debris, making the rainwater overflow in a certain area.  A clogged gutter can be easily fixed with a gutter cleaning and mesh barrier installed on the top to prevent debris/leaves from getting in. Next, plugging the gaps (if any) in walls is a good practice. Doing so will prevent water from dribbling into your basement. Hydraulic cement is use in most cases and costs less than $20. Keep in mind that the plug-in trick is only good if the water is coming in from a higher point of the wall and not lower. A lower leakage is just from groundwater and a plug won’t solve the problem. After you’ve attempted these two or have assessed the actual problem, perhaps it may be the fact that you have to restore the crown—the soil underneath your house that slopes a minimum of 6 inches over 10 feet in any and all directions. The common enemy of this structure is time, causing erosion around the foundation as the dirt lessens and settles. One can simply rebuild this part of the house with dirt and a shovel. There is a more costly way that uses clay, but it costs around $30 and should cover the perimeter of your house.

Aside from all the replacing of systems and rebuilding of bases, one should consider the need to rebuild the landscape as well. You’ll want to make sure that the water is going away from the house and that the crown is far away so as to not rot the wood of your house.  If your basement does not have any foot drains, you can always go with the alternative of installing a curtain drain to divert any water that travels underground and eventually leaks into your house. This is the solution that my father went with and it is known as a French drain. The overall purpose of the French drain is to provide a shallow trench in which the water flows into. Gravel and piping are included in this process and will help to divert the water away. This method is inexpensive and will cost $9 to $17 per linear foot. So you’ve tried all of the above methods, but have not gotten any results? That means the best option is that you’ll just have to pump it. That’s right; your basement will have to channel the water from the inside. An interior draining system solves the leakage problem in most cases, but costs about $3,000 to install. The main function of the interior draining system consists of a channel around the perimeter of the floor where pipe is installed to connect to a collection tank at the lowest spot of the basement. The water is then transferred to a sump pump which will shoot the water outside of the house.  It may seem a bit costly, but it is one of the best options for an unfinished basement or for a basement that is underground. In the end, waterproofing your basement is often the best choice, but also the most expensive, weighing in at about $20,000 per treatment. You can perform moisture, mold and leakage tests to various parts of your basement, as well as have someone inspect what could be causing your leakage problem. I hope this helped as I have dealt with a soggy basement on more than one occasion.

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Proper Insulation; A Great Way to Save Money

By Megan W.

It’s the end of the month or as I like to call it, the emptying of monthly savings. The bills are finally being taken into account, with staggering charges for heating and cooling. The new-age of technology has arrived, compelling us to conform to the need of saving ourselves from any possible form of expense. This means that nowadays most homeowners take on the tiresome task of saving money by adjusting the amount of utility usage within the house. Instead of sacrificing the amount of time spent on electronics for warming/cooling, why not just take a simple step that could save you thousands each year? Insulation is the answer to most of your household billing conundrums as it optimizes the way in which heat is retained, as well as ensuring that your house stays cool during summer. If you read further on, there will be a basic explanation of insulation and, types of insulation and what it can do for your home.

Insulation is the method for retaining a desired temperature/climate in the household. The pieces for insulation are usually installed within a crawlspace, drafty areas and in-between walls. Since one can easily lack insulation, improper insulation is a common mistake in wasting ones energy efficient capabilities. There are many things to be taken into consideration when installing the insulation for your house. Consider what type of climate that you live in. Often, homeowners in a cold-climate will be discerned at spending more money than they already do heating, but proper home insulation is one of the best ways to invest in your house. A well-insulated house will make you feel more comfortable and at ease for when the hot/cold seasons arrive. Being that there are so many ways to insulate your house, let’s take a look at what insulation actually does. Insulation consists of various materials being used to trap tiny air pockets, thus slowing the amount of heat moved in/out during the alternating seasons. This value of resisting air releases is known as R-value. Insulation consists of three basic mechanisms which are convection, conduction and radiation. Each mechanism refers to a simple process of where heat is transferred, ranging from heat transfer via materials, liquids, gases and in a straight line through any receiving solid. If you have a high value of this, naturally you will have a lower energy bill. However, in most cases, if the insulation is installed incorrectly, it can actually make matters worse. The amount of R-value in the material varies depending on its thickness, type and density. Let’s look at the different types of insulation materials available.

You can find many different types of material at your local hardware store, however, when it comes to such a detailed procedure of layering upon layer, it’s best to leave this to the professionals. If you still desire for a DIY type of job, then at least use blanket rolls and batts. This material is something that you can install yourself and it is great for standard joist and stud spread. It is an inexpensive material that is relatively free from obstructions. You should use it to insulate ceilings, floors and unfinished walls. The reason for why this material may be so affordable is due to its fiber-like structure. Concrete block insulation is another good way to go, as it can also be done without a professional, but often requires specialized skills upon installation. It is great for insulating walls, new renovations/constructions and unfinished walls. Concrete block insulation is known to have 10x the amount of R-value due to its autoclaved and aerated cellular structure. This material takes the shape of a foam board and can be stacked, laid and easily surface bonded. Aside from doing things on your own and risking a faulty installation, it is probably best at this time to let the professionals do it. Think of your home as a space ship—if you were in deep-outer space, you wouldn’t want air to get through your vessel, unless you want your eyes to would bulge out of your head like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall. Remember that adequate airflow is key; however, covering places where heat can come in or escape (your attic) will only leave room for improvement in your home. The ideal material is something that suits the R-value to a minimum standard for you house, depending on its finished structure and age. Layering with extra fluff is often the best choice. This is where blown-in and loose-fill insulation come in handy. The composition of the material is basically a cellular and mineral-like structure and is used in attic floors and other empty cavities in your home. In most cases, this material is poured or blown in by professionals. A good factor of this material is that it can be used as additional insulation following any other material that you so choose. You could say that this is basically your filler-upper of a material in home insulation. Another instance of filler is the sprayed foam material, which can be applied with a pressured sprayer; it is mainly composed of polyisocyanurate, phenolic, polyurethane and other compounds. For generalized or secure insulation, some good options are pouring cement between the walls (ICFs), rigid fibers (fiberglass that can withstand high temperatures) and structural insulated panels (straw/foam used for walls and roofs.) With all of these techniques, you may be thinking that it is all out of your budget, but there is also the option of a reflective system where foil-faced craft paper is used between joists and other areas. Surprisingly, this method is the most effective out of all the do-it-yourself methods as bulks of it can be used. Contact your local carpenter or contractor and ask which one is best for your home type.

Having good insulation can do so much for your house in the future. You will not only save money, but aid the house in keeping the weather out. The house will maintain a good level of dryness as well, preventing mold or rotting under the roof should there be any leaks. If you have proper ventilation, you should have proper insulation as well. This will aid in moisture control strategies by preventing heat transfer to other areas of the house. It is vital that moisture control be enacted as vapor can easily move in and out of a home via heat transfer, air currents and diffusion through materials; all of these methods of moisture transfer are the same as heat transfer in insulation. Since air movement accounts for over 98% of any vapor movement in your home’s cavities, this transfer can be easily prevented with a good insulation system. By controlling the moisture level in your home you are not only making your house more energy efficient, but also a safer place to live with the absence of any mold growth. Some good materials to reduce the induction of heat between areas in the house are foam board and fiberglass insulation. No matter what method you use, as long as it is layered and properly installed, there should be a satisfying outcome in your gas and electric bills. With proper insulation you can contain the heat, eliminate drafts and excess moisture.