Insulation is one of the most important and smartest investments you can make in your house, office or any building, since it offers a very wide range of benefits, from improving your health and control the temperature in a building to… saving money! Seriously.
Take a look at this full guide presented once more by AtYourService on everything regarding insulation. Hint: don’t delay it any longer. Winter is coming! :)
Almost anyone can tell you one or two reasons why you should insulate your house. However, if you ask this small question to your friends, you will be as surprised as I was to find out that very few actually know all the important benefits of insulation. So, let us see the whole picture:
For protection from noise
Insulation can help protect a room from the loud and annoying city noise, ensuring a calm and peaceful living.
With insulation you can achieve many levels of sound control. There is the perfect sound insulation that you will find for instance, in recording studios but also the normal sound insulation that allows you a normal living at least for as long as your windows and doors are shut.
To save money in electricity
It’s been estimated that you can save up to 60% in energy consumption as a result of a house insulation. A house filled with heaters or any conditioning appliances that struggle to maintain a steady temperature, usually gets very high electricity bills.
So as you can see, even if your home is new, an insulation is essential because there are always losses from small openings or cracks that will only multiply in time. So it is advisable that you take care of it as soon as possible.
To control moisture
Whether due to age or due to lack of proper maintenance, moisture has the ability to go everywhere and destroy everything, help mold appearance and attack the building itself as well as our health as you can see right below.
For better health
Dampness and mold can cause serious health issues such as asthma, respiratory problems, allergies and problems in bones. A well-insulated home is essential in order to control moisture and especially, if you have children.
To protect the environment
When you manage to spend less energy resources, let alone pollutants such as electricity, then the environment takes a deep breath and thanks you for thinking about it. :)
How is it done?
Insulation systems vary according to the specific spot, the climate of the area but also the professionals doing it and their preferred materials. It is also different for buildings under construction and the existing ones.
Generally, a complete insulation system may contain a wide variety of materials such as thermal insulation panels, special glues, polyesters, metal frames or fiberglass grids, special primers, stone wool and/or plasterboards.
The purpose is to “dress” each wall or spot with an impermeable layer of lining material so that it can keep away noise, water, humidity and air. During the construction of a building, the insulation materials are placed inside the walls. However in an existing building, the insulation has to be an additional external layer on the walls.
You don’t need more details. However, what you should know really well and be very interested in, is not the procedure and the type of materials; it is the quality of the materials chosen by the professionals and also if they are compatible with the European Union standards.
Where to insulate
Insulation is generally divided into internal and external and can cost from 50€ up to 80€ per square meter. This range in prices is due to different materials required for external or internal conditions and needs.
But as to the procedure, although external insulation requires bigger quantities and sizes of materials, it is considered an easier job to do than the internal. This happens because every change in the internal of house has more fuzz, aka cleaning, dust, people in all rooms and inconvenience.
However, insulation in general is a fast and easy job that considering your instant benefits from the very next day, it will seem like a breeze. Let alone that a true pro will try to disturb you the least, clean everything and will deliver the house in a much better state than when he got it.
So, you can insulate your walls or any part of the building, inside or outside. But let’s see a few more important spots, too:
To achieve an even better protection from water and moisture, you have an "enhanced" option for your rooftop. You may proceed with its insulation and right afterwards ask for a rooftop sealing and waterproofing made, with an additional cost of 15-25€ per square meter.
This protective seal is made by applying an extra coat of special materials in order to completely seal it from water. In case you want something more affordable, you can have it sealed the traditional way, with floor tiles that you can DIY.
They might be beautiful and add warmth to a room but their gaps can sometimes be deep and cause leakages. There is, therefore, a special insulation for wooden floors. You can "fill" those gaps and close any opening or crack. This will increase their lifetime because insulation will also protect them from moisture and bugs.
Attics are responsible for a large percentage of losses especially in hot air. If you don’t do anything about it, your hot air during cold winter days might be escaping the house without you even knowing it. This is called the “chimney effect”.
In this phenomenon, the hot air (the expensive heated air that is) always goes up and therefore, if the attic is not insulated, then the hot air is the first to escape the house and so, you need at least twice as much energy to keep your house warm.
It is very important to insulate a tiled roof because this type of tile is a porous material and allows moisture to nest on your roof.
This type of roofs today are mostly made for beautification, but if the necessary work is not done to insulate the roof before installing the tiles, then an insulation right away can literally save your house.
By insulation, we don’t only mean large operations but also anything that reduces losses and seals a building from outside conditions. So, even if your building is well-insulated, ask an expert to come and take a look because there are still little things to do.
For example, you must close all openings around plumbing pipes, any hole on the walls, all openings around ceiling lights, cracks or openings between walls and wooden floors or around cupboards and closets.
As you can see, you will surely discover many small spots that also need insulating. These little openings can greatly affect your house insulation results, often making you think it wasn’t effective.
What you probably don’t know about insulation
Mistakes in insulation, cannot be fixed. There is not much you can do, especially in mistakes done in the outer walls or during the construction of your building or if the wrong (or bad quality) materials were used.
So, it is advisable that you ask a proven professional before you proceed to any type of insulation, so that to avoid any such situations.
If you are about to insulate your building, you should help its results by changing the windows and doors to energy efficient ones, in the case they are old. That is because no matter how good the insulation is, if your windows are 20 years old, then their losses will keep causing dampness, hot and cool air leakage, as well as expensive bills.
The thickness of the insulating layer on your walls has always to do with the area you live. A house’s insulation layer high up in Platres village can’t have the same thickness as that of another house in the center of Limassol.
So, try not to interfere in such technical matters and let the professional decide, according to the climate zone your house belongs to, on the type of materials and thickness of the insulating layer that best suits you. You should interfere a lot in the quality of the materials, though!
Usually right after insulation, you are given a guarantee for a decade or a bit more. Don’t stay at that, though. If you want a perfect insulated building, you should ask a specialist to examine your place and check the effectiveness of the insulations, every 5 years the most.
Any type of insulation takes useful space whether from your yard or the interior. This isn’t something you can avoid and there is no “revolutionary” material that will do the job with one coat or in one pass.
Try not to pressure in any case the professional to make you a thinner insulation in order to save space because most probably it won’t be that effective.
Finally, if you are still thinking about insulating your place, think this too:
No matter the reason you insulate a new or existing building, your investment will pay back from just three years up to a maximum of eight.
However, since the very first second, the value and durability of your building have risen sharply.
So... What are you looking for?
This guide has been created with the support of Leroy Merlin. Click here to download the Rennovation Special Offer leaflet