The Health Benefits of Proper Home Insulation
If you want your home to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter, your best ally will be insulation. It hugely impacts the utility costs of your home, while also protecting the rest of your house, from the wooden beams to the furniture and even the paint job, from temperature-related damage. With all of those benefits, it’s clear that a proper insulation job is crucial for your home. But there is a lot more to consider than the R-value of the insulating material you choose. While that weather resistance is good, most insulating materials today aren’t made from natural materials. In past centuries, a person would insulate his home with feathers, cotton, straw, cork or even moss. These days, much of the insulation you’ll find is created out of fiberglass. There’s even still asbestos to be found in many older homes. Here’s a look at the problems you should be aware of, and the health benefits of proper home insulation.
Have you ever gone into an unfinished attic and seen the insulation simply unrolled across the bare beams of the attic walls and floor, with little to no separation? If you didn’t know any better, you might think it was a rug simply leaned up against the wall. But if you run your hand across this pink foam, you’ll likely feel a burning sensation and end up with red, irritated skin after a short time. That’s because this insulation was made out of fiberglass, and your skin is paying the price. That’s why you should always place the insulation up behind drywall, so it’s squeezed against the outer wall of the house and far away from where you or your children can come into contact with it.
If you live in an older home, you should certainly find out what sort of insulation is in the walls. As early as the 1930s people were already suffering from the effects of asbestos exposure. Any time the fibers from insulation made with asbestos release into the air they break into microscopic elements. You’ll breathe those tiny fibers in, causing long term damage to your lungs and actually changing your body on the genetic level. Cancer is one possible result, and it can take as long as forty years from when you’ve been exposed for it to show up. If your home was built before 1989 and the insulation has never been changed, call in the experts and check yourself into a hotel. You’ll avoid some serious lung issues, and keep the air of your home clean and fresh.
The other major issue you’ll need to look out for is a possible risk of fire. As long as you use insulation made from natural materials you’ll be completely safe. The air will be pure, and even if there’s a fire you won’t suffer from any long term problems as long as you can get out in a timely manner. But make sure the insulation is properly installed. The problem is that even fire-resistant insulation can actually cause certain fixtures to overheat. If the problem goes unresolved, a major fire could occur, one that would spread through the walls in a hurry. Make sure you frequently check your ventilation systems. As long as your home is venting properly, you’ll keep pollutants, toxins and allergens out of your home, which will help you avoid a lot of seasonal colds and chronic allergy problems.