Can you add insulation to existing walls?
Can you add insulation to existing walls? The short answer is yes, but the long answer is a bit more complicated. Several factors go into determining whether insulation can be added to your walls.
At The Insulation Man, we blow exclusively cellulose into walls. Cellulose is a ground-up newspaper with boric acid over it, which makes it flame retardant. This can be dense packed into walls, has a high R-value, and resists air better than fiberglass insulation does. It also makes for a quick and non-invasive install as it can be blown in from the outside.
If you are looking for an insulation other than cellulose, for example if you want the higher R-value and water resistance of closed cell spray foam, you would need to remove the drywall in the walls you are looking to insulate.
One other thing that needs to be verified is the age of the home. In the state of Michigan, there were no energy efficiency requirements prior to 1977, so there was no standard for insulation, but homes built in the 1950s through the 1970s may have insulation even though it wasn’t required, so that age of home needs to be viewed with a thermal camera to verify that there isn’t existing insulation. Unfortunately, homes that were insulated a few decades ago may have some insulation but not what we understand to be sufficient or code these days, so you may have some insulation in your walls, but not enough to keep your home properly cooled or heated.
In this case, we cannot ensure a dense pack so we would not be able to blow in insulation into the walls. If this is the case, don’t despair - there are still a few things that you might be able to do without taking down your drywall. Often, insufficient attic insulation causes heat and cool to escape from your home, which is an easy fix that can be done with fiberglass, blown in cellulose, or spray foam. Additionally, a common problem especially in older homes is uninsulated rim joists in your basement or crawlspace. These are more simple fixes that can also be taken care of by our crews.
The biggest thing to know is that we will do everything we can to help figure out the best way to make your home comfortable and energy efficient. Even if your home was built after 1977, there are things we can do to help, so please call or use our free estimate form to set up an estimate with one of our knowledgable sales associates today.