Choosing Which Insulation To Use: 10 Questions to Ask
Insulation is one of the top 10 design choices you’ll make in your new home. You should feel free to challenge your home builder with good questions to make sure you’ve got the right product for your home.
- How well does the insulation control air leakage that can account for up to 50% of a home’s energy loss?
- Can the insulation create an air barrier without the use of extra finishing materials (tape, gaskets, plastic wrap) and labour?
- How quickly will the insulation pay for itself? Could the monthly savings outweigh the monthly cost of financing?
- How does the insulation compare in reducing air leakage in hard-to-insulate areas, such as basement rim joists, cathedral ceilings, crawlspaces, and garages, without extra materials?
- Can the insulation help reduce the required size and cost of your furnace or air conditioning unit?
- Will the insulation improve the air quality in your home by minimizing air infiltration to help keep out allergens, dust and other outdoor pollutants?
- Can the insulation shift with the home as it settles and lose its U-value?
- What happens if the insulation gets wet? (How well will the insulation dry out, e.g. after a roof leak? Will it keep its insulating properties through the wetting and drying process? Is it a food source for mold?)
- Does the insulation contribute to a “greener” home? (Total reduction in energy consumption, overall use of other building materials, indoor air quality?)
- Can the insulation help make your home quieter, suppressing plumbing, between-room, and street noise?
Selecting a Spray Foam Installation Contractor: Questions to Ask
Not all spray foam installation contractors are cut from the same bolt of cloth. You deserve the best, and asking the right questions will help you determine that you’re making the right choice in a contractor – not just in insulation type.
- How many homes in the area have you installed this product in?
- Can you provide any references?
- Do you offer a lifetime warranty, and how does it compare to your competitors’?
- Are you certified by your manufacturer, and can you show me that certification?
- What is your business history?
- Have you always verified your employees can work legally?
- Have you ever declared bankruptcy?
- Are you bonded and carrying workers’ compensation & liability insurance?
- Will you do the work yourselves, or subcontract it?
- How much experience and training do your installers have?
- Walk me through how you’ll take care of my home during installation.