Home Remodel Projects: Regulations for Insulation Testing in the US

Insulating your home is essential to reduce heating and cooling costs, improve comfort, and prevent heat flow. To determine if you need to add insulation, you must first find out how much insulation you already have in your home and where it is located. A qualified residential energy evaluator will include an insulation check as a routine part of a whole-home energy assessment. An energy assessment, also known as a home energy audit, will also help identify areas of your home that need an air seal.

Before you insulate it, you should make sure that your house is properly sealed.The United States government has an official website with recommendations on best practices for indoor air quality when remodeling your home. For homes built before 1978, always hire contractors who only use certified, lead-free renovators. Before starting any conversion of basement space into living space, check the basement for leaks or other signs of moisture problems. Because damp basements promote biological growth, including molds, they are not healthy places to live.

Therefore, any moisture issues should be corrected before continuing.Correcting moisture problems can be as simple as redirecting downspout runoff away from the base or re-leveling the floor around the house so that it tilts downward, away from the foundation. It may also involve venting the dryer to the outside (something that should be done in every home). However, sometimes there are more extensive problems that can be costly to correct. In any case, issues must be addressed before starting other work.You should also test your home for radon.

The EPA recommends testing for radon on the lowest inhabited level of a home, even if you've been tested before. If you haven't done it in the basement, you should be tested again since fixing a radon problem is often easier and less expensive before the basement is finished.Good ventilation protects your health and your home. The basement should be included in your home's ventilation strategy. If your home currently doesn't have mechanical ventilation, this may be an opportunity to install a system.

General recommendations for the safety of combustion should be followed. As the basement is changing and affecting the way air moves in the house, you should have a professional check the operation of any combustion equipment, both pre-existing and new, once you have finished working in the basement to ensure that it is not going backwards.Not only must floors be resistant to water damage, but they must also prevent water that comes into contact with the ground from penetrating the area immediately below the surface (e.g., concrete slabs). In fact, this is a situation that may be more likely with carpeting which insulates the slab making it even colder. In this situation, moisture in the air can condense on the colder plate exposing the carpet to moisture and promoting mold growth.For bathrooms, ASHRAE 62.99 recommends extracting 25 cubic feet per minute (cfm) with a fan that runs continuously or 50 cfm with a fan that turns on and off as needed.

Ventilation is especially important in bathrooms to eliminate unwanted moisture which helps prevent the growth of mold and mildew which can cause allergic reactions and exacerbate lung diseases such as asthma.During the renovation, be sure to check that your bathroom fan is working properly. Not only does this mean that the motor is noisy or that the fan is running but it also needs to draw a sufficient amount of air and expel it directly to the outside and not just to an attic or some other space in the house.If you don't have an exhaust fan for the bathroom or if your current fan isn't working you should install one. In cold climates bathroom exhaust fans can be used as part of a strategy to provide ventilation to the entire house.It should be obvious that every effort should be made to avoid problems with water in the bathroom. Wet walls must be constructed to effectively prevent water from penetrating cavities in walls and floors.

Despite good ventilation moisture-filled air from bathrooms can still enter cavities in walls and ceilings.A bathroom remodeling project may present an opportunity to improve air sealing. Electrical plumbing and ventilation openings must be sealed where they are accessible or on any wall that is open. Depending on how they were built ceiling lamps can be difficult to air-seal but if you're replacing bathroom accessories or cabinets you may be able to access a space that would otherwise be difficult to access.Not only should floors have a good degree of protection against water damage but they must also prevent water that enters ground from penetrating subsoil and into space below. Do not install carpets near water sources or areas where there is permanent moisture problem such as around sinks tubs showers and toilets.To reduce potential for microbial growth at joints of hard surfaces or porous floors installed near water sources be sure to seal entire surface.Cooking in kitchen generates lot of humidity and odors and requires ventilation.

While there are several ventilation strategies for kitchen extractor hood is by far most common. Extractor hood must be used to capture and expel products of combustion and vent them directly to outside.These extractor hoods must be the right size, installed correctly and vented directly outside so they can effectively remove odors and humidity from kitchen.

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