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Everything You Need to Know on Insulation and Gutters

Insulation

Insulation provides resistance to the flow of thermal energy, lowering heating and cooling costs. It can also be used to reduce noise and prevent condensation.

Adding insulation to your home can also increase its resale value. However, choosing the right type is essential. Different materials excel in different areas.

Insulation

Insulation significantly reduces heat loss and gain, allowing you to lower your energy expenditures while also creating a more comfortable house. Choosing the correct insulation for your home is a balance of building design, regional climate, energy costs, and budgets.

Different types of insulation are available, with varying R-values, ideal placement, and installation requirements. Check the product manufacturer’s installation requirements and ensure all gaps are closed, as even a small gap can significantly reduce insulating performance.

Foil-based bulk insulation (glass wool, polyester, or cellulose) is typically fitted between wood-frame studs and joists or rafters at standard spacing. It can also be blown into place or poured in for irregularly shaped areas or around obstructions. Although foam insulation is more expensive, it provides great thermal resistance. It produces an air barrier, removing the need for many other weatherization procedures (caulking, installing house wrap, or vapor barriers). Some spray foam insulation products are made from up to 80% recycled material.

Gutters

Gutters are troughs that sit at the edge of your roof to catch rainwater and guide it to designated drainage areas. They protect your home from long-term, costly issues, including basement flooding, foundation damage, and siding and fascia board rot.

Clogged gutters invite standing water, a breeding ground for mold and mildew. The moisture also seeps into the walls and wood trim, causing damage that’s both unsightly and expensive to repair.

Gutter systems with downspout extenders keep the water from your house’s foundation, preventing soil erosion and cracking. They are designed to support homes built on slopes, where water can collect around the foundation and cause leaks and damage. Gutters can be made from various materials, including vinyl, aluminum, galvanized steel, copper, and zinc. The most common types are K-style and half-round gutters. Gutters are also available in various colors to complement or enhance the look of your home.

Downspouts

During a rain storm, gutter downspouts carry runoff water away from the house. Depending on the house and yard design, this water is usually discarded into a municipal storm drain or diverted far enough away to prevent foundation damage.

Downspouts are available in several materials, including galvanized steel, aluminum, and vinyl. Regardless of the material they are made from, downspouts should be sufficiently secured to prevent them from pulling away from the house and becoming misaligned. It is also recommended that downspouts be re-sealed on an annual basis.

The point is to redirect the water flow from hard surfaces toward vegetated areas, allowing it to soak into the soil. This will prevent erosion, protect the foundation and walls of the home, and protect the local environment from nutrient and pollutant runoff. Homeowners can use various creative solutions to manage this water runoff, such as rain gardens, rain barrels, French drains, and dry wells.

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