We all know someone who fancies themselves a great handyman (almost all fathers, right?) And with Father’s Day coming up on Sunday June 19, we thought we would answer one of the most frequently asked questions we get at Windows on Washington: should I DIY insulation or should I hire a professional?
There is nothing like the sense of achievement we feel when we find a problem and fix it ourselves. And, if you have determined your home needs new air sealing or insulation, we bet you are weighing up whether you can fix it yourself, or if you should call in a professional contractor.
The truth is in most cases, it is often best to hire a professional but sometimes, a DIY job can do just the trick. Perhaps you can treat your dad this Father’s Day so he does not have to do it himself?
When it comes to air sealing and insulation and determining if it can be a DIY job or not, the first and most crucial step is locating the source of each air leak in the house. Generally, getting a home energy audit from a professional contractor is the most efficient and reliable way to gauge the location of all air leaks in your home.
And yes, it is possible for you to detect leaks throughout your own home, a contractor will be able to most effectively and comprehensively identify air leaks and gaps.
Stay seated – in this article, we will be offering our advice on when it is possible to DIY an insulation project, and when you should hang up the tools and call in a professional.
When You Can DIY Insulation>
There are many areas in a home where air leakage is easy to uncover and to fix yourself. Some of these areas include:
- Windows and doors: you can easily fix the weather stripping and caulking around windows and doors yourself.
- Electrical outlets: any outlet located on outside facing walls are commonly overlooked, but notorious for air leakage. Simply install foam gaskets behind the outlets and switch plates for an easy, affordable fix.
- Air ducts: conditioned air escapes through improperly sealed joints and is lost to the unconditioned space where the duct is located. Relatively inexpensive and easy to apply, duct mastic can be used to seal these joints to prevent air leakage and increase efficiency.
- Attic hatch: adding weather stripping around the frame of the attic hatch can help reduce energy loss. If your attic hatch has attached stairs, an attic tent is also effective.
When to Call in a Professional
If you do not have much experience working with caulking, foam gaskets, duct mastic and any of the other materials mentioned above, hiring a professional is likely going to be your best option. They have the specialized knowledge, tools and equipment to comprehensively insulate your home in a relatively short period of time.
A professional insulation installer can also maximize energy while still allowing for proper airflow throughout the home. This additional investment in professional expertise will pay tenfold over the years in energy savings and utility bills.
Here are some other examples of when insulation problems should be dealt with by a professional:
- Water-saturated insulation caused by a roof leak
- Vents which release moist or humid air into the attic instead of the outdoors
- Recurrent ice dams in gutters and attics during the winter
- Attic rafters and floor joists which are showing signs of rot or mold infestation
- Inadequate attic ventilation
We hope this article has been useful in determining when you can DIY insulation and when you should call on a professional to do the job for you. If you need a free estimate to know how much your insulation job will cost, call Windows on Washington today.
From our team to your family – Happy Father’s Day!