How To Install Insulation in Existing Walls

Insulating your home will save you lot’s of money on both heating and cooling bills. It can result in savings of between 20 and 30 percent and it will also make your home a more comfortable place to be!

While newer homes will most always have adequate insulation installed, if you’ve bought an older house there may not be any at all. But, you don’t have to tear out all of the walls to insulate them!

Removing drywall to insulate and then replacing all the drywall  will be very expensive and very time consuming. If you need to insulate existing walls the best way is to use blow-in insulation!

There are several types of insulation materials that can be blown or sprayed inside existing walls. The most common types are cellulose, fiberglass and foam.

Hiring a contractor to do this can be very expensive, but you can do it yourself. Although this may be one project that is best left to someone with a little experience.

With both blowing or spraying methods of applying insulation, you need to make correct measurements and know how much insulation to use. If you don’t you will end up with too much or too little insulation in the walls.

If you’re going to do the job yourself, it’s probably a better choice to go with the blow-in type installation. Many tool rental places have blower equipment, but you will need to rent certain types of blowers for the insulation material you’re using.

Blow-in fiberglass insulation is probably the most popular choice for hard to get to places and attics. It insulates very well, but the proper technique during the application is crucial.

If you’re not real careful during application, fiberglass will fluff. Manufacturers directions for coverage should be followed exactly to achieve the proper results.

The depth plus density level for fiberglass insulation should be clearly stated on the bag. It will usually give you the measurements per square foot of space that you need to fill.

About 85% of cellulose insulation is made up of recycled newspapers! The other ingredients are borate and ammonium sulfate which helps make it flame retardant. As an added bonus these chemicals also help the insulation resist mold, repel insects and rodents.

Dry cellulose is a popular material for insulating walls and other tight spaces. It’s small particles will easily fill up any cracks and corners during installation.

Although it’s a itch free insulation, safety goggles and respirators should be worn when working with this material. The dust is very fine and can take quite some time to settle.

Cellulose can also be applied by wet spraying, but this method isn’t recommended for existing walls. The wet cellulose can damage the interior of the walls before it’s had time to dry.

Cementitious foam is the most effective material for insulating existing walls. The foam will easily spread into the area and provide almost 100% insulating fill around any obstacle.

It will work around and in between bundles of wire or pipes, unlike cellulose or fiberglass insulation which will leave gaps and voids. Another great feature of foam insulation is that it won’t shrink or expand!

During the construction of a new home or building, foam can be applied as soon as the drywall is hung. But, taping and finishing the joints shouldn’t be done for at least 48 hours to allow the foam plenty of time to dry.

Cementitious foam is the most expensive type of blow-in insulation. But, it will provide the best level of insulating and doesn’t create any dust when applied.

To insert the nozzle of the blower small holes will have to be made in the drywall. Then they will of course have to be patched and refinished. But, this is still much easier than replacing the whole wall from start to finish.