Good insulation is essential for every home. It enables you to be efficient in heating the place and lowers the cost of your utilities. On the other hand, a badly insulated home might be leaking heat without you even knowing it. You may get used to the utility bills and never realize that you can be paying a lot less for the same effect. Roof insulation is particularly significant and is usually the place to start looking if you feel anything is off. Another major “culprit” is the walls of your home. But there can be numerous minor signs that your home is poorly insulated, signs that are easy to overlook. This article will cover what you need to be looking for to figure out if you have an insulation problem.
What are the signs of a badly insulated home?
The most common signs of a home that is not appropriately insulated are:
- Sign of exterior walls holes
- Walls are freezing
- Old insulation
- Cold Rooms
- Mice and/or bugs
There can be more, of course, but these are the issues that most homes contend with. If your place is experiencing any of the above signs, it might be time to invest in some proper insulation. For example, simply waterproofing roofs will prevent most of the issues in some cases. In others, you might need extensive modifications. But your lower utility bills have the potential to pay it all off in a couple of years. It is in your best interest to figure out if you need to re-insulate your home as soon as possible. You will want to look for:
Signs of holes in the walls’ exterior
Even if you are confident that the insulation in your home is top-notch, hailstorms and other anomalies can damage your exterior walls, lowering the efficiency of their insulation. It is easy to overlook the slight damage, which can pile up to create a big problem. As far as insulation is concerned, the primary purpose of the walls is to keep the inside air inside. Any hole in the wall compromises this and will require more heating in your home.
If your walls have holes in them that are less than a quarter of an inch wide, you can repair them yourself. But if they require extensive repairs, you will need to call in professionals. In some cases, you might even need to vacate the premises and/or store your belongings elsewhere while the repairs are in progress. If that happens, you need to make sure that the storage unit you are using is pest-proof. There are several ways to prevent an infestation with ease, and all you need to do is be aware of it and take necessary precautions. The last thing that you want is to get your stuff back into your home with “unwanted visitors” among them.
But the holes in the walls are not the only indicator of insulation issues.
The walls are freezing
Another fairly common indicator that you have inadequate insulation in your home comes iS “freezing” walls. You can verify if this is happening if you perform a simple “touch test.” Go around your place and touch every wall. If they feel much colder to the touch than the ambient temperature shows, that might indicate poor insulation. In a properly insulated home, both the walls’ temperature and the room temperature are about the same. If the walls are freezing, that indicates that there is a problem somewhere. After checking the walls, your next step is to look for:
Now, this is a tricky one to figure out, as moisture in your home can come from various sources. Try to search for puddles spontaneously appearing in your place or for any sign of condensation on the windows. Make sure that nothing in your home has created the anomalies before you attribute it to insulation, though. But if you notice that there is condensation on your pipes regularly, you might want to invest in insulation products before they burst. For the most part, insulating the pipes and windows is something you can do on your own. It will not take a lot of your time and money, either.
Another one of the signs of a badly insulated home – Mold
If you notice that mould appears alongside those occasional puddles, you might need to do a bit more than simply clean up. Mould can be a serious threat to your health, as it can be pretty toxic, even fatally so. You will want to address the moisture source as soon as possible if you notice any of it. However, if you are doing so on your own, wear goggles, a mask, and gloves.
Insulation does not last forever. Your home might have been properly insulated when you bought it, but the passage of time will leave its mark. For optimal conditions, you should replace insulation approximately every 15 years. You will need professional assistance for this job, as old insulation might release harmful substances such as fibreglass and asbestos.
Cold Rooms as a sign of a badly insulated home
It can also happen that you have an insulation problem in a room or two. You may notice that your furnace is on for the whole day, and some rooms are simply not warming up. There can be two possible reasons for this. Either the warm air does not get to the room (easy to check), or it escapes the room somehow. In the latter case, it is an insulation issue.
Mice and/or bugs
Lastly, you might have “unwanted visitors” in your place. They are coming in somehow, and the holes they are making will leak warm air to the outside. The primary locations to look for points of entry are the windows and doors. Look for any gaps at the spots where they meet the wall. You might even want to employ a thermal detector, which will direct you to the holes in the walls that the critters use to get into your home.
These were some of the most common signs of a badly insulated home. If you have noticed them in your house, it would be best to address the issues as soon as possible.