The insulation in your home is vital for the comfort of your family and preservation of the building’s structures but is that insulation safe? This question has become important for homeowners as people become increasingly aware of the dangers lurking in common household and construction materials.
Homeowners are now demanding to know if there are dangerous emissions from fabrics, wood treatment, paint, or even the cleaning solutions in their homes.
Inevitably, says Mike Dunfee Management, some of that attention has been focused on the home’s insulation. Can the insulation in your home pose a danger to your health?
Is the insulation in your home safe?
If you search the internet, you will find many comments about how the insulation in your home can endanger your health. But is this true? Can the insulation in your home actually be damaging to your health?
There are different types of materials used as insulating materials for the home – loose-fill cellulose, mineral fiberglass, or Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF). Each of these materials has its specific benefits, but like all-natural or manmade materials, they can cause problems if handled the wrong way.
All of the health issues associated with a home’s insulation are the result of poor insulation and installation. Some of the reported effects of exposure to insulation are nausea, headaches, and respiratory issues. But these problems come from how the insulation material is handled and the quality of your installer.
Insulation will only cause problems if it comes in contact with the skin, or is airborne and inhaled. This is why the expertise and experience of the person who installs your insulation are vital. Inferior insulation materials and incompetent installers will hurt both your wallet and your health.
Effects of good insulation on wealth and wellbeing
The insulation system in your home is not just about keeping the home warm or cool, as you probably assume. The system is a lot more than that. Here are some of the familiar, as well as, lesser-known functions of your home’s insulation.
● A more comfortable home
One of the things that make a building suitable for habitation is heating. Insulation plays a huge role in keeping your home’s temperature at the required level during each season of the year. By trapping cooled or warmed air, the insulation helps to transform a house into a home.
When pipes and surfaces are well insulated, you can reduce heat loss or heat gain in the home by as much as 20%. Heat loss/gain is the result of uncontrolled airflow in and out of the building. In combination with the seals installed in the key areas where air enters the structure, the insulation helps to stem this current.
● Protect the home from moisture
Moisture infiltration in the attic, basement, and windows is a huge problem in homes. It is often the precursor to mold, mildew, rot, and a host of other problems. Good insulation lessens the possibility of moisture accumulating on the structures of the home or water seeping into them.
● Disease Prevention
Disease-causing organisms often thrive in damp and cold places. Without proper insulation, cold temperatures, and damp conditions will quickly develop in parts of the home. Those places may serve as breeding grounds for disease-causing germs. Adequate insulation prevents conditions that encourage the growth of pathogens.
● Noise reduction
By serving as a sound barrier, the insulation improves the quality of life for the people who live in the home. Insulation acts as a buffer between the inside of the home and the noise outside it. It absorbs most of the sound to ensure the home stays relatively quiet and promotes the wellbeing of those who live in it.
● Improve the value of your home
On average, the value of your home will increase by $20 for every $1 you save on utilities. Good insulation is central to your ability to cut down on utility spending. Moreover, quality insulation, by regulating the temperature of the home, slows the deterioration of wall surfaces, furniture, and appliances.
Finding quality insulation installers
How do you ensure the quality of your insulation materials and the competence of the workers who will install them? The key is to look for installers who follow to standards of Quality Insulation Installation, or QII.
QII helps to ensure a building’s energy savings, the durability of materials, and improved occupant health and wellness. Some of the requirements of QII include:
- The insulation must fill the cavity into which it is installed. This means the complete absence of voids, gaps, or dead spaces, a few of the things that compromise the effectiveness of the insulation.
- To completely air seal the insulation, draft stops are required at all points of penetration, and expanding foam must be used to fill cracks and gaps in the building envelope.
These are just a few of the parameters for quality insulation installation as set by QII. Installers who follow this standard go beyond what is required. Hiring such an installer will save you money, make you money, and preserve your and your family’s health.