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June 2012: The Eight Flaws of Insulation

Eight Flaws of Insulation

#1 Improperly-installed- Kraft paper or vapor barrier is not facing heated space and/or there
are two vapor barriers in place…trapping moisture between themselves.

#2 Improperly-aligned- the insulation (thermal boundary) should always be in direct contact with the (pressure boundary) and there should be no voids or spaces.

#3 Short circuiting -effectiveness of insulation is being compromised by air leakage from the interior or exterior of the home…look for grey, blackened areas on the insulation signaling problems underneath.

#4 Intrusion-this is where an excessive amount of cold air washes across the edge (in the eaves) or across the underside (open floor areas) and minimizes the insulation’s ability to trap air and
actually insulate.

#5 Becoming wetted-insulation becoming laden with excessive moisture either from the exterior (roof leak) or train the Interior (condensation or unvented exhaust fan) rendering It ineffectual to trap air.

#6 Being compressed- this happens when a 6” blanket is forced into a 4” space and is not allowed to expanded to its designed height and R-value.

#7 Nesting- many rodents and animals like to use and disturb insulation as a bedding material….the answer is to prevent their access or install cellulose that contains Borate which they can’t thrive in.

#8 Wrong materials- sometimes the insulation material being employed is the wrong match for the application… like not using Dow Styrofoam in an area known for events of wetting.

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