If you’re from Washington, DC, Maryland, or Virginia, you can totally relate…
It seems that not too long ago, we were saying goodbye to fall and gearing up for the extreme cold—and now SPRING is officially here!
Let’s face it, DMV weather (especially Maryland weather) is unpredictable, and with the fluctuations in precipitation levels comes dramatic changes in overall temperature in and outside your home. The average homeowner usually associates insulation with the idea of keeping a home warm in the winter and keeping it cool in the summer. But what about the other two seasons? Insulation doesn’t exactly top the priority list, especially during spring and fall.
Insulation should be a year-round thing.
The truth is there isn’t really a recommended ‘season’ to re-insulate. It’s more about how old and/or effective your current insulation is. Most forms of insulation, especially fiberglass, do lose its performance over time. Some may say that as a rule of thumb, fiberglass insulation must be replaced every five years. However, it’s generally best to check on your insulation every so often to make sure it still “looks okay.” For example, if it looks damaged, stained, or damp, it’s time for a replacement, or even an upgrade. We recommend calling a professional to assess harder to reach places such as crawlspaces.
Spring = Rain + Allergies.
You know that rhyme, “April showers bring May flowers?” Well, unfortunately this means lots of rainfall and more allergens.
Wet insulation is prone to mold, which is among the top 5 non-food allergens. As we know, the spring and fall seasons in the DMV are notorious for lots of rainfall. (In fact, in 2018 we experienced record-breaking rainfall!) To avoid moldy insulation, our recommended solution is to air seal your attic as well as the crawlspace beneath your home.
Pollen is also one of the top non-food allergens. Another benefit of air sealing is that it minimizes the amount of pollen that can enter your home, making springtime more bearable for your resident allergy-sufferers.
Consider some alternatives when replacing your insulation.
If you’re assessing various insulation options, you’ll find that fiberglass is the most popular among homeowners because it’s comparatively affordable with regards to upfront costs, as well as its availability at local hardware stores.
However, while it does have several notable benefits, it does have a few drawbacks. For one, it eventually settles and sags. Without plastic covering, fiberglass batts do not seal walls and ceiling spaces very tightly. When added together, these seemingly insignificant openings and crevices can allow a significant amount of conditioned air to leak out – as well as allow a significant amount of outside air and moisture in. As we previously mentioned, air sealing is key in addressing these issues.
Unlike fiberglass insulation*, spray foam insulation is water resistant. Because moisture is the #1 destroyer of insulation, spray foam’s water-repelling properties make it a more permanent solution. Also, spray foam doubles as an air barrier, which means it can not only insulate the sprayed surface, but also effectively seal up any holes, cracks, and crevices that would potentially let outside air and moisture inside your home.
Can you DIY?
There are loads of resources available to help you insulate and air seal your own home. However, we recommend calling professionals to install spray foam, because they have a better grasp of what type of spray foam is most suitable for your home’s needs. Also, when you get your home professionally air sealed, you are less likely to miss any spots.
Cameron Home Insulation boasts 4 generations worth of insulation expertise. Our services include fiberglass, Rockwool, cellulose, and spray foam insulation. Our award-winning insulation and air sealing capabilities make us the top choice contractors in the DC-Maryland-Virginia area. Call us for at 443-290-5182 a free home energy assessment, so you can get started on making your home energy efficient as well as comfortable all year long.