been reinsulating some spaces around our house that the
very cold winters of recent years have shown are not as
tight as they should be.
thing Iíve been doing ó thanks to helpful advice
over the years from Hap Haven, the Germantown,
Penn.-based energy expert ó is taking this important
any gaps before insulating.
foams and sealants to eliminate any penetration to the
outside, such as at the ends of joists at the front and
back of the house.
the gaps ó you can tuck white or black plastic bags
into the cracks (clear ones decompose) ó prevents heat
from escaping and moisture from entering the attic, for
example, without interfering with the required
that done, you can go ahead and insulate.
basement is another place where air sealing will reduce
heat loss and moisture intrusion by reducing incoming
have been using foam to seal the space where our front
porch meets the foundation of the house, because the
cold air from that space finds its way into the front
walls of the room we refer to as the library (because
the television is there, it is the place once known as a
"den"), as well as our living room (which has
a fireplace and the piano but is otherwise unused).
windows tend to be the worst cared-for in a house, so
you want to be sure too much air isnít escaping
through them. I have new windows, but I use weather
stripping to tighten them up a bit.
you canít make a basement too tight, Haven said.
basement is the source of replacement air," he
said, especially in houses in which stud-wall cavities
run from basement to roof.
is better to seal spaces that run from the basement
along interior walls and out, such as utility chases and
other openings, so that the heat doesnít escape."
you work with foam insulation, or insulation of any
sort, for that matter, wear a mask, gloves, a hat, and
insulation in your hair is worse than bubble gum, by a