Insulation is necessary to protect your home in both hot and cold weather in Texas. Learn more about insulation and why it’s important.
Insulation is an important part of protecting your home from the elements, keeping yourself and others comfortable, and maintaining your home’s value. Some types of insulation require professional help to install, while you might be able to install others yourself.
As Texas weather veers between extremes of hot and cold — with summers being particularly hot lately — good insulation is indispensable when it comes to safeguarding your home. The following is an overview of what insulation does, as well as different types available for use in residential homes.
What is Home Insulation?
The term “insulation” refers to any kind of barrier that protects something from heat, cold, rain, snow, and so on. Most people are familiar with the type of insulation that looks like pink cotton candy, which is known as “blanket” insulation.
When you wear a coat during the winter, that coat insulates you from the cold. The insulation in your home performs a similar function except that it can protect your home from both cold and hot weather conditions.
What types of insulation are available?
There are too many types of insulation out there to list and describe in full. The following list highlights some of the most common types:
Blanket insulation: You can see this type of insulation in any home that is still under construction. It can be made from fiberglass, mineral wool, or other fibers. It is often pink in color. It comes in two forms: batts and rolls. It goes into unfinished walls between beams, studs, and joists, as well as in attics and underneath the roof deck.
Foam board: This type of insulation may be made of a polymer like polystyrene or polyurethane. Like blanket insulation, it goes into unfinished walls. It is thinner than blanket insulation, so one continuous piece can be placed over multiple studs, beams, or joists.
Blown- or sprayed-in insulation: Insulation can be installed in finished spaces by blowing or spraying materials like cellulose, fiberglass, or polyurethane. This type of insulation is common in attics. It allows you to place insulation in walls without removing large sections of wall.
Reflective insulation: Insulation wrapped in foil or another reflective material can radiate heat away from the home. This type of insulation can be particularly useful in roofs and attics.
What is R-value?
R-value is a measurement of a two-dimensional surface’s ability to resist heat. This applies to insulation, energy-efficient windows, and other surfaces. A higher R-value means more effective heat blocking.
Thicker insulation generally means a higher R-value. You only have so much space inside your walls, though. Some materials have a higher R-value than others. An insulation professional can help you determine the best types of insulation to use in your home.
What Does Insulation Do?
Insulation can provide a range of benefits for a home.
Keep heat in
Perhaps the best-known benefit of insulation is that it keeps heat from escaping your home during the cold months.
Keep heat out
Texas can get very cold, but only for a short time in the winter. Hot weather persists for much longer. Insulation also protects your home from heat. Just as it keeps warmth in during the winter, it keeps hot air out and A/C in during the summer.
Keep the elements out
Insulation is part of your home’s defense against rain, snow, wind, and other weather elements. This is not insulation’s main purpose, of course. If rain is getting into your insulation, you probably need to contact a roofing contractor. The insulation gives you extra time to arrange roof repair before the water gets into the rest of the house.
Keeping heat in or out, depending on the season, places less stress on your home’s HVAC system. This, in turn, saves you money on your power and gas bills and reduces the overall stress on our infrastructure.
Insulation can be quite effective at keeping sound from going through the walls of your home. The soundproofing goes both ways. Your neighbors won’t have to hear what’s going on in your home, and you won’t hear every little sound that comes from outside.
Does Every Home Have Insulation?
Newly-constructed homes must have enough insulation to pass code inspections. Older homes might need a touch-up on their insulation in some spots. If you buy a home that predates modern building codes — pre-1940 or so — it’s possible the home will have little to no insulation. You will want to remedy that, but you do not have to place insulation inside every wall and other openings throughout the house. This is good news for homeowners who went through the work of estimating insulation costs and found that they don’t have the budget for a full renovation.
Inspections are essential before buying a home!
The condition of your roof directly affects insulation. If insulation becomes damp due to a faulty roofing system, mold and mildew can grow, attracting insects and other unwanted critters. If you’re going to get an inspection of your insulation, set up a roof consultation as well.
You can also have an inspector conduct an energy audit of your home to see where insulation improvements would be most useful. The attic is usually a good place to start. Thanks to the wide variety of insulation materials that are available, you likely won’t have to rip out walls in order to install the insulation you need. Adding insulation is typically a cheaper means to energy savings compared to new doors and windows.
Become a Proud Homeowner!
When you own your own home, you are responsible for keeping everything in good working order. That includes insulating it against heat, cold, and other elements. It’s a labor of love, and it’s all worth it.
The mortgage advisors at the Wood Group of Fairway will lend a helping hand on your homebuying journey. Get started on your free pre-approval with an easy online form!