How the Proper Insulation Controls Moisture in Your Home
Moisture enters your home in a variety of ways. In fact, it moves through, in, and out of your house in three ways: air movement, heat transfer, or diffusion through materials. Air movement tends to be mostly responsible for carrying moisture.
Air currents carry 98 percent of the water content throughout your house, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE). Air easily moves through the cracks or gaps in the walls, floors, or ceilings. Aside from carrying moisture, the drafts that pass through your house also let out warm or cool air, decreasing the efficiency of your HVAC system.
The most effective moisture control strategy for this situation involves sealing all the unintended paths of air movement in your house.
Now, even though you may block all the unwanted air current routes, moisture still naturally builds in your home. Various activities, such as dish washing, clothes washing and drying, cooking, and bathing, increase the water content in the air. This is where insulation comes in.
A well-insulated home regulates the level of humidity inside and prevents moisture from seeping into different surfaces.
Plenty of homeowners know the value of wall insulation, mostly for energy efficiency purposes. But many are still unaware of the significance of attic insulation.
Types of Attic Insulation: Blanket, Loose-Fill, or Spray Foam
Now, humid air tends to be less dense than dry air because the water molecules make it lighter. This makes humid air naturally rise. An uninsulated attic may allow moisture to pass, through cracks on the surface or via diffusion. When moisture seeps into the attic, it may damage ceiling joists and other vital wooden structures.
Warm air can also escape the house through the attic, since it rises naturally. When this happens, cold air will refill the space, forcing your home’s heating system to work twice as hard to warm the room again.
Also, moisture condenses into water droplets when the humid air contacts cool surfaces. This is a huge problem for uninsulated attics, especially during winter. For example, as snow falls on the roof, it also cools the ceiling. And as the humid air rises from the lower rooms to the attic, it may form condensation when it hits the ceiling.
Let’s take a look at a few different types of insulation ideally suited for your attic.
- Blanket insulation comes in batts or rolls. This type is ideal for attics with uniformly spaced joists and beams and very little obstructions.
- Loose-fill insulation, on the other hand, is more ideal for attics with limited space. The loose insulation material easily fills small areas with multiple obstructions. The material should be fluffy, but over time, it loses its volume and effectiveness. If you currently have this and it doesn’t rise above the floor joists, you may need to add more.
- Spray foam insulation offer the highest R-value, which refers to the material’s resistance to heat transfer. The closed-foam cells contain gas that allows them to expand and fill even the tiniest spaces. This insulation gives you a solid, protective barrier against humidity and air flow. An experienced spray foam contractor will ensure that the foam is applied and cured properly to prevent it from cracking or breaking.
Of course, the first step to ensuring a comfortable, safe and energy-efficient home is to start with a Home Energy Audit. Click here to make your appointment today and let the experts at All Cozy Homes give you a professional opinion on how insulation may make a big difference to the health and well-being of you and your family.