Ramp up the defense!
Insulation of exterior walls also referred to as external insulation is the process of insulating the main walls of your home from the outside. It is commonly used on solid walls that have no cavities.
Well, for one, insulating exterior walls is necessary to keep unwelcome outdoor elements away. The exterior walls are vulnerable to pests and rodents as much as weather extremities and hence need to be ramped up.
External wall insulation is also a great way to reduce energy consumption that goes into heating or cooling the structure and is integral to an eco home or a carbon neutral home.
Not to forget that insulation of exterior walls also increases the value of the property.
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Creating an effective sound barrier
An effective exterior wall insulation does not just keep hot or cool air in. It also creates an effective sound barrier between your home and the outside world. This is useful if you live on a street or in an area with high traffic volume. You can ensure the din remains out.
It also ensures that the neighbors are not disturbed by any noise you create in your home whether it’s practicing with your band, entertaining regularly or playing music on high volume.
To save on floor space
Internal insulation is typically done by constructing a wooden frame, installing foam insulation followed by a vapor barrier and then closing it up with plasterboard. It also means losing out on approximately 100-150 mm of floor space multiplied by the number of external walls, a major concern if your rooms are smaller.
To minimise cold bridging
Masonry is a good conductor of heat and allows the cold to pass right through the walls of your property from the outside to the inside.
External spray foam insulation wraps the house in a large blanket of insulation keeping the cold air away from the masonry walls. This reduces the chances of cold bridging.
When You Might Want to Consider Insulation of Exterior Walls
While it is considerably expensive to insulate exterior walls, you might want to consider the following reasons for going down that route:
- Absence of wall cavities – Most older homes do not have a cavity to insulate which means you are restricted to insulating exterior walls
- To utilize the thermal mass of the main walls – Insulating internally meaning you’re holding the heat inside your home or office which means that the exterior walls never really warm up.
- Exterior wall insulation however allows for the masonry walls to heat up too. This means that long after your heater is turned off, the walls continue to emit the stored heat that is now being redirected back into the halls by the external insulation.
- To refresh the exterior of your property and renew its appearance – Installing an exterior insulation means your home/property will look fresh and new again with a newly rendered or a brick slip finish. You can also mix color pigments into the finishing, saving you the trouble of having to paint the exterior walls.
Improper sealing causes heat to escape the house while allowing cold air to enter the home during the winter. Similarly in summer, cool air can escape the house while hot air can seep in.
You don’t need an expert to tell you that this isn’t great for energy efficiency nor for your utility bills.
Other benefits of installing an exterior wall insulation include:
- Energy Tax Credits
Installing insulation generates significant ROI in the long run. In addition, insulating your property qualifies for tax credit as part of “energy efficiency improvement.”
- Increases the value of your property
- Reduces moisture seepage
A lack of proper insulation can cause moisture seepage leading to the dampening of the walls and ceilings of the home. This in turn can lead to the growth of mold which is a health hazard.
Why Insulate Exterior Walls
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that one must choose their guests carefully. While sunlight and fresh air are welcome, many other outdoor elements are not! Insulating the exterior walls helps keep unwanted elements out.
When it comes to the conservation of energy, insulation of exterior walls provides the following benefits:
- It significantly reduces air leaks and improves air sealing so your home does not feel drafty
- It throws the year round cycle of heat loss/heat gain into disarray. In simple words it means that an effective insulation system reduces the amount of heat lost during winter and the amount of heat gained during summer.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does External Wall Insulation (EWI) last?
Spray foam insulation of external walls is known to last for decades, typically from 30 years to longer.
Does EWI prevent dampness?
Yes the effects of condensation can be diminished with an efficient EWI system. This is because the masonry bricks are kept warm by the external insulation, preventing condensation.
Does EWI prevent dampness and mold?
EWI ensures that condensation is mitigated. This also prevents the dampening of internal walls and the formation of mold. However, care should be taken to check if the walls are thoroughly dry, prior to installation.
Can EWI improve the U-value of my property?
Since efficient EWI systems significantly reduce the energy consumption through increased thermal efficiency or energy conservation, a well installed EWI system converts to an improvement in a property’s U-value.
Can I install an exterior wall insulation myself?
Yes, you could and installing EWI yourself might help you save the money you might otherwise spend on hiring a firm for the job. However, it is not recommended since a poorly done job might result in major problems and more expenses down the line. To ensure an efficient installation, it is worth hiring the services of an experienced firm or insulation contractor.
Will I feel the effects of the EWI instantly?
Yes- the effects are almost immediate. You will no longer feel the need to heat up your home frequently or for as long as would prior to the insulation. You will also get the benefits of sound insulation since an effective EWI blocks the sound of the outdoors and keeps it from coming indoors.
Is there an ideal time to get an EWI done?
While there is no good time or bad time to insulate the exterior walls, it will be convenient for you to do it while undertaking other major exterior home repairs and renovations.