Exterior Wall Insulation: Top Problems to Look Out For

During the winter months, exterior walls might need thick and perfectly fitting insulation. Do your exterior walls feel cold when you touch them? It might be due to certain areas of the wall cavities lacking insulation or insulation that has not been properly installed.

Cellulose and fiberglass insulation can also compress or settle down with the passing of time. This will result in the loss of heat insulation qualities. Exterior wall insulation problems directly affect the comfort of your home. They make it harder to control the indoor climate, causing the heating system to work extensively and resulting in higher energy costs.

Another problem compromising the exterior wall insulation efficiency is the quality of doors and windows installation. When areas around windows and doors are not properly sealed, they leave room for air and vapour leakage.

To mitigate the exterior wall insulation problems, make sure that all the wall cavities have been properly insulated. An air barrier would do pretty good work in limiting or blocking the flow of indoor warm air inside the walls. This will prevent the condensation of the indoor warm air in contact with the outside cold walls. It will also minimize the conditions for mould growth.

Installing external wall insulation will help to fix problems around doors and windows.

Old Insulation in Exterior Walls

There are two types of loose fill insulation materials: blown in cellulose and fiberglass insulation. These insulating materials tend to settle and sag over time.

If insulation sags, then it loses its thermal insulating properties. Thus, it is not able to preserve the energy of the building. Outside cold air will penetrate the exterior walls while warm indoor air will leak outside. This will cause the heating system to work intensively, making it harder to control and maintain the required indoor climate.

If your exterior wall insulation has lost its thermal insulating qualities then it might be time for a replacement. You can either replace it with the same material or opt for a better option such as injected spray foam insulation. The latter does not settle nor sag. It does not retain moisture and is dense enough to retain its shape and thermal insulating properties. If there is no cavity – or too small a cavity, then an external wall insulation system might be the answer for your home.

Exterior Wall Insulation Problems Solved

To overcome exterior wall insulation problems it is important to first understand how each insulation material works and what their insulating properties are.

Loose fill insulation such as blown in cellulose and fiberglass have a lower thermal resistance value per inch. Thus, more material is needed to achieve the required R-Value. They also tend to settle and sag over time. This will result in loss of the thermal insulating qualities.

Spray foam insulation on the other hand is a dense material with a higher thermal insulating value per inch. It does not retain moisture and also maintains its shape and form over time. These qualities make spray foam the best insulation material for your exterior walls.

If you do not have a cavity, or your house needs a facelift anyway, then the external wall insulation system might be the answer for you.