Plan How to Air Seal Your Home Project Carefully
Prior to any air sealing projects remember that attic and crawl space work can be extremely difficult and dangerous. Additionally, these spaces usually contain harmful materials, such as vermiculite, asbestos or mold. Plus, these spots remain difficult to move around and work in. Therefore, for the best results, we recommend hiring an experienced contractor. Why work with experienced contractors for air sealing? Simple. They are trained and equipped to complete this type of work.
Quality Contractors Inspect Current Air Sealing
An experienced contractor helps determine:
- Any existing moisture problems in the attic. Possible problems include roof leaks, unvented dryer/bathroom/kitchen exhaust vents, areas of excessive condensation or mold. If any exist, resolve those issues prior before air sealing.
- Proper ventilation. Generally, attic vent to the outside. This allows moisture and/or heat in the attic to vent externally. Common attic ventilation strategies include soffit vents, ridge vents, gable vents, box vents, turbine vents, solar powered vents and powered attic vents (PAV’s). All attic air sealing and insulation projects must ensure sufficient attic ventilation.
- Health and safety problems in your attic. Possible problems include old vermiculite insulation, mold, asbestos, chimneys, non-IC (Insulation Contact) recessed lights or electrical hazards.
- Inspects mechanical equipment in the attic that requires regular maintenance. If so, maintaining access to the mechanical equipment must be provided for as part of any attic project.
- Attic storage. If so, the storage area must be insulated and air sealed as well as possible.
- Blower door testing (or air tightness testing on your home). These tests help identify areas of air leakage in your home. Plus, blower door testing quantifies your home’s overall air leakage rate (both before and after the air sealing project). Finally, these tests locate holes connecting your home and attic, basement, crawl space or to the outside.
Quality Contractors Provide Proper Air Sealing
A quality contractor ensures all of the holes or connections between the house and the attic for chimneys, plumbing vent stacks, electrical wires, recessed can lights, kneewalls, uneven ceiling heights, dropped soffits, top plates and attic hatches maintain proper sealing. Additionally, these items require the proper sealants, caulks, spray foams or air-tight boxes. Remember, air sealing in attics around chimneys, heat lamps and fire rated walls require the proper methods and materials appropriate for higher temperatures. Finally, homeowners must work with experienced and properly trained contractors.