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Moisture is one of the main enemies of a home’s structure, potentially causing both structural problems and health issues. Uncontrolled moisture can cause rot and decay in wood framing and other materials, and it fosters mold and mildew that can cause allergies and asthma. At its most extreme, moisture can even determine if the construction of a home or room addition is possible at all. Where moisture is a known problem, vapor barriers are integrated into wall, ceiling, and floor construction to combat it effects. But nowhere is moisture more damaging than in a crawl space, even though it is not seen.
The crawl space has direct contact with the ground, it should be no surprise that moisture will develop here. It is difficult to overstate the problems that can occur because of crawl space moisture. One of the most serious problems caused by moisture is mold, mildew, and other fungi.
Attic clean-up starts with the removal of rodent droppings, removing rodent nests and debris. Rodents bring with them harmful parasites, viruses, and other bacteria that can linger in your attic. Rodents urine and droppings bring other problems like foul odors that can stay in your home for a long period of time.
Removing old insulation is not easy, having the right equipment and personal protection can help a lot to get the job done. It is important to periodically have inspections of the attic and crawl space to catch any problems before they get to bad. In a worst-case scenario, the insulation may require removal in order to eliminate pre-existing materials that are dangerous and harmful (sometimes hazardous), like vermiculite that contains asbestos. Insulation has life expectancy of about 20 years. Rodents nesting in the insulation is the primary reason in the United States why homeowners need to replace the insulation. It is impossible to effectively clean insulation since most insulation materials are made out of fiber. Any attempt to clean or vacuum insulation will be inoperative, as insulation absorbs rodents urine and scents. In these specific cases damaged insulations need to be removed to efficiently eliminate rodents scent and areas should be disinfected to kill bacteria left by rodents. Removing contaminated insulation is an important improvement for your home since damaged insulation can cause structural damage and can directly affect the air quality inside your home. Poor air quality can cause major health issues and put you and your family in danger.
It’s important to clean up the mess left behind by rodents and restore the attic to its clean previous condition. Most importantly is for you to understand the dangers involved. Rodent feces, including those from bats, raccoons, rats, mice, squirrels, birds, possums are considered hazardous and carry terrible diseases. These diseases can be passed on to humans.
Contaminated insulation leads to an accumulation of moisture and the growth of bacteria, mold, mildew, and will eventually lead to wood rot and roof damage. Additionally, the contaminated air holds harmful microorganisms (mold, mildew, bacteria, viruses) which can leak into your home or enter your home’s HVAC system. If this air is carried throughout your home, it can exacerbate allergies, asthma, and respiratory issues, and be hazardous to your overall health and wellbeing.
The common reasons why homeowners need to remove their insulation are; either because the insulation is too old and has lost its R-value, rodents have nested in the insulation, the insulation has been water damaged and it leads to mold or mildew, and lastly in very rare occasions the insulation is smoked damaged.
The guard will let water trickle down and safely away, but stops those unwanted items like leaves, dirt, and other objects from clogging up your gutters and causing problems. Wet or damp debris that remains in gutters for too long can cause them to rust quickly.
Many people might think that gutter guards are not important, on the contrary they are very important. Gutters guard divert water from homes, meaning keeping them drier, but that turns out to be just one benefit of this innovative invention. Gutters divert water away from vulnerable roofs and foundations, protecting them from rocks or sticks and lowering the risk of a flooded basement or home.
Some projects are ideal for DIYers, and others should be handled exclusively by a licensed company. When it comes to gutters, however, you should always work with a licensed company. If your gutters are pitched or installed incorrectly, your home could be at risk of water damage. If your gutters are overflowing with debris, they’ll soon be overflowing with rainwater. If the gutters are not effectively redirecting water away from your home, it may leak back onto your roof or flow down into your basement. Additionally, clogged gutters may gather stagnant water, effectively creating a breeding ground for pests and bacteria. The added weight of debris and stagnant water may also cause them to sag or, in extreme cases, pull away from your home altogether.
The first and most obvious benefit of a gutter guard is that it keeps unwanted debris out of your gutters. The guard will let water trickle down and safely away, but stops those unwanted items like leaves, dirt, and other objects from clogging up your gutters and causing problems. Wet or damp debris that remains in gutters for too long can cause them to rust quickly. Of course, a rusted gutter comes with a whole host of other problems. If you don’t catch the rust quickly enough, the damage could become bad enough that you need to replace the gutter completely.
A vapor barrier slows or prevents the evaporation of ground moisture into the crawlspace air. If coupled with a waterproofing system, moisture and water can be expelled from the crawl space before it can cause problems. No more rot, rust, mold, odors, insects, or other moisture-related problems.
Areas in your home that need to be well insulated include the attic, walls, crawl space and basements.
Before installing any new insulation get an inspection by a licensed insulation contractor or check with your local building code for R-value recommendations and any vapor barrier requirements that apply to your area. Insulation R-Values varies by location, it is important to know the R-Value required in your area before commencing the installation.
In crawlspaces and basements, make sure there are no cracks in the foundation, if there are any cracks the best way to seal them would be using mortar mix. There is no getting around it: If your house is in a cold climate, keeping it warm in winter is expensive. The Department of Energy estimates that a properly insulated attic can shave 10 to 50 percent off your heating bill. It works the opposite way for warm climates; in summer, it helps stabilize your house’s indoor temps to keep cooling needs in check.
There are a variety of insulation materials that can be use such as fiberglass, cellulose, rock wool, polyurethane foam, etc. Insulation comes in different forms such as loose fill, batted and hard foam. Before installing insulation, it is recommended to seal any gaps with hard foam that allow unconditioned air into the space that you are insulating. Areas that need more attention would be around light fixtures, plumbing tubes, electrical wires, ductwork etc. Choosing the right type of insulation for your home can be difficult since there are many different insulation types. Some insulation options would be, loose-fill-fiberglass, cellulose, fiberglass-batt insulation, rockwool, denim-insulation, spray-foam insulation, etc.
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