Poorly Installed Insulation Can Be Dangerous
May 03, 2016
With home insulation, the right product and the right installation are absolutely fundamental for optimum performance. Hard to believe, but even contractors often fail to insulate properly, and the result is poor performance and sometimes even dangerous conditions. On the other hand, good contractors understand products, appreciate the elements of building structure, and have experience with the dynamics of ventilation and air circulation. In other words, there's far more to insulating than just filling a given space with product - and the results of the job will show. Plenty of energy audits point to situations where installed insulation is performing poorly: the wrong product has been installed; there is inadequate thermal insulation; or workmanship is just plain sloppy. Even in new construction, many installations have been found to be sub-standard, and these are projects that have actually signed up for energy efficiency programs, and even project grants. In short, many industry standards are just simply ignored: incomplete air sealing; improper coverage of wiring and plumbing; and inadequate insulation in and around skylights. The best insulation contractors will work to code. First of all, it's required. Secondly, it ensures the best outcomes for both product and installation. Sloppy installations are a code violation, not to mention the potential danger to the homeowner. Beyond that, whatever product is chosen for installation, it has to be installed according to the manufacturer's specifications - without taking shortcuts that will comprise the integrity of the project. Here again, it's not uncommon to find a so-called expert who is bypassing the building code and overlooking manufacturer specs. Like any home improvement project, doing it right the first time will ensure the best short term and long-term results. It means that a contractor should be recommending the most appropriate product for the job, making every effort to deliver the best value within a given budget. There's practically no way to achieve all this with a DIY approach - a typical homeowner just doesn't have the product experience or installation expertise to succeed. And while the dollar savings of a DIY project might be appealing, nothing can compare with a professional, comprehensive job. Even for those who think they know, installing insulation can be dangerous and can pose risks. For example, without proper personal protection, simply touching or inhaling insulation product can bring on skin or respiratory irritation. In contrast, professionals are decked out from head to toe. As for the installation work itself, most homeowners will not have the specialized equipment and tools required, making for a high-risk install with many pitfalls. Finally, a project of this kind should protect the residents during installation, something that's assured by expert installers. For contractors like Great Northern Insulation, product warranties and installation guaranties are a sign of project excellence. GNI installs only the best products on the market, ensuring that every installation meets established industry standards throughout. It's about delivering 100% customer satisfaction - so much so, that if newly installed insulation isn't performing, GNI will repair or replace without charge to the homeowner.