Attic and Insulation

We are writing this blog about a way to save you money on your heating and cooling bills. When we think of our attics we think about  storage and maybe the unknown area of the home. But the attic is really a place for the house to breathe. So lets begin.

Back in the early days the attics were sealed off. The soffit was plywood and you had small vents to control. The area was just there. Then later on, as building technology came upon us, the attics were becoming a storage area. Some were becoming more additional rooms. But this was not helping with the transfer of heat or cool. In your attic, a lot of builders are using blown insulation instead of the traditional rolled insulation. Now, both will give you the same R value, but which is better.

insulation-diagram_summer1.png

The rolled type of insulation is your traditional kind and you can usually finish the attic with. The blown type to obtain the same R value you will need higher thickness, like 9″ of insulation through out the attic. Additionally the insulation has to stay pliable. Meaning you can not walk on it. Nor store items on top of it. The advantage of the blown type, it is a bit more economical then the rolled. (I prefer the rolled type as to finish off the attic.)

Now, lets talk about the remainder part of the attic. You have a ridge vent, maybe gable vents and your eaves. Its important to make sure that the vents are not clogged. Additionally, if you have a power vent or cyclone make sure the area is not full of debris. The other vents are important to allow the air flow from ground up. And yes it is normal for the attic to be over a 100 degrees in summer but allowing the other vents to be open it will help cool the home. Remember, you do not want to over insulate your home either. This will cause condensation and possible failure of other elements in the home.

Lastly, the insulation you choose, should be environmental friendly and I recommend that a pest deterrent be applied or is added to the insulation. Varmints will try to get in the attic someway and the insulation with the deterrent will help keep them out.

And we at Pasco Home Remodeling & Repair, are starting this new service for Zephyrhills, Holiday, Land O Lakes and Lutz Florida. For more information feel free to call us at 352-437-5300. Or look us up on the web at www.pascoremodel.com  Thank You.

 

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Insulation

Good Morning Everyone. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. This weeks blog is about adding insulation and when not too add insulation. So lets jump right on in and lets begin.

When you have your home, a lot of times the insulation in the walls and other places you may wonder is it enough? Some people have asked why aren’t all the walls insulated? Or my favorite is, can I put R-30 in my walls instead of R-13? We are going to answer them questions and more in today’s blog.

Insulation whether its in the attic, crawl space, walls or the bathroom wall needs to be the proper type. You can not have R-30 in an exterior wall. It just wont fit. And you do not want to buy R-13 insulation for the crawl space. Just a waist of money. Your exterior walls will normally be a faced insulation of R-13 or R-11. The attic will normally have un-faced insulation and will be R-49 type. And the crawl space will be R-30. When we are doing a remodel project for the bathroom we will usually install insulation on the bathroom interior walls. One reason is sound proofing but the main reason is to have the bathroom insulated for the colder months of the year.

Now you maybe asking what the “R” means with the insulation. The “R” means, An insulating material’s resistance to conductive heat flow is measured or rated in terms of its thermal resistance or R-value — the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating effectiveness. The R-value depends on the type of insulation, its thickness, and its density. When calculating the R-value of a multilayered installation, add the R-values of the individual layers. Installing more insulation in your home increases the R-value and the resistance to heat flow.

So, as you can see there are ways to add additional insulation as well. If you have an attic and maybe the insulation is a blown type and its flat. The insulation will not be effective to reduce the heat flow. You will want to add more. Below is a chart of the recommended type of insulation. This will help in determining the R value. One thing you do not want to do is over insulate. By doing so you will make the walls condensate on the interior and cause damage.

In closing there are types of insulation that are faced and un-faced. Some are organic and some have chemicals in the insulation. There is a type, celluloose which is a blown type. And then you have a new style which is organic, rockwool. When we are insulating we prefer the organic style insulation. Has no chemicals, easier to work with. We normally will use a faced type for exterior walls, and crawl space. And a unfaced type for the attic and other areas.

For more information about insulation and other services, feel free to contact us anytime. 352-322-2700 or on the web, www.pascoremodel.com  We gladly do this type of service and many more in Land O Lakes, Clearwater, Tarpon Springs and Zephyrhills Florida. We will service other areas was well.

For insulation recommendations tailored to your home, visit the Home Energy Saver tool.

Zone Gas Heat Pump Fuel Oil Electric Attic Cathedral Ceiling Cavity Insulation Sheathing Floor
1 R30 to F49 R22 to R38 R13 to R15 None R13
2 R30 to R60 R22 to R38 R13 to R15 None R13
R30 to R60 R22 to R38 R13 to R15 None R19 – R25
3 R30 to R60 R22 to R38 R13 to R15 None R25
R30 to R60 R22 to R38 R13 to R15 R2.5 to R5 R25
4 R38 to R60 R30 to R38 R13 to R15 R2.5 to R6 R25 – R30
R38 to R60 R30 to R38 R13 to R15 R5 to R6 R25 – R30
5 R38 to R60 R30 to R38 R13 to R15 R2.5 to R6 R25 – R30
R38 to R60 R30 to R60 R13 to R21 R5 to R6 R25 – R30
6 R49 to R60 R30 to R60 R13 to R21 R5 to R6 R25 – R30
7 (Florida) R49 to R60 R30 to R60 R13 to R21 R5 to R6 R25 – R30
8 R49 to R60 R30 to R60 R13 to R21 R5 to R6 R25 – R30

Moisture Intrusion

With the rain storm we are experiencing in Florida this week, I wanted to share about water leaks and what you can do to prevent and/or repair the area.

Water leaks are a mess, this we all know. It cost money, time, aggravation and most of all it can ruin some family heirlooms.  So you may noticed water getting in crevis and cracks that you never thought of.  So if you notice after the rain, the water getting in thru windows, maybe water stains on the drywall, or into the garage. Also, if you have a modular home the crawl space is very important to make sure that that area is dry. So, lets begin about this topic.

If you notice water getting in the windows when they are closed there is likely the window seals have expired or the window is not closing all the way. Some windows with the balances control the window to stay closed and used to keep up. The balances may need replacing, the tracks need cleaning, the caulking on the exterior needs to be re-done. This is just few examples of what is occurring. Now if the that is not the case, there is times where especially on modular/mobile homes the water gets behind the siding and can cause damage to the framing and drywall. If that is the case, then normally there is no flashing around the windows or moisture barrier on the sheathing.

So, with heavy rain, we also get roof leaks. If the shingles are about to expire and heavy rain is occurring  this will be a sign to replace the shingles. Additionally, the vents and the flashing on the roof may need to be re-tarred or replaced. Alot of times, with heavy rains, the drip edge and soffit is not secured to the home.

Lastly, we all will experience some water entering the garage. This can be prevented with either sand bags, a drain in front of the door, or the rubber seal not being dry rotted.  Also, gutters on homes will assist with land erosion around the foundation and diverting the water away from the foundation.  Making sure the gutters are not clogged is essential for this rain season.

So, I hope this helps with any issues. Of course feel free to call my office if you notice any issues with your home. We always provide free estimates and schedule our work in a timely manner. www.pascoremodel.com or 352-437-5300 We service areas from Zephyrhills to New Port Richey. From Holiday to Dade City. We are centrally located in Land O Lakes, Florida.

Water Damage

This weeks blog is about water damage and what to do if you have a flood or moisture intrusion. Water damage can be very costly and doing some preventive maintenance around the home can save you time, money and headaches of costly repairs. So, lets begin.

When we have a flood say maybe from an appliance in the kitchen or the toilet leaks water goes everywhere. The biggest thing to do is shut off any water supply and then get all the water up that you can. Next is to dry the area with fans. Now keep in mind that you want to try keep the area dry and a fan maybe need to run for a day or so. But if you start to see buckling or stains in the floor product, then you want to call a contractor immediately.

When having to remove the product due to water damage, then this may add some cost to your budget. But noticing it immediately, the contractor may save some of the floor, if possible. But now lets talk about some preventive maintenance measures that may help you identify if there is an issue and some tips.

First, did you know that any shut off valve should be replaced after 5 years of service. Yes that is true. Another tip, once a month it is a good idea to inspect the underside of cabinets for any moisture stains. A small drip noticing know from the drain pipe or valve will save you costly repairs down range. Its also a good idea to check the piping at the shower faucet. This is an area that is always over looked. Some of this can be done when you are doing the monthly major clean of your home.

So, you may say ok, great advice. But what about water entering the home from the exterior. These few good tips may help you as well. If you experience a heavy rain then it maybe advisable to enter the attic. Take a look around where there maybe vents or nails penetrating the sheathing. Wet spots will be noticeable immediately. Another area, check the exterior walls around the windows and doors. You may notice a small water stain that could be a minor re-caulk around the window. Or the gutters are clogged and water ran into the soffit.  Moisture intrusion will start immediately if there is a gap or hole. Small notices of this may not be seen for a while. But there are always a sign that this happened.

So, if you think you see a small stain that just appeared for no reason or want us to check certain areas please give us a call or email. We perform these type of repairs all the time in Land O Lakes, Zephyrhills, Trinity, and Hudson Florida. We are always here for you. 352-437-5300 or pascoremodel@gmail.com    Thank You.

#RoofLeak, Roof Leaks, Moisture Intrusion

Moisture Intrusion

This weeks blog is about Moisture Intrusion and inspecting.  Since we are about to enter the rain season here in Tampa Florida this I felt would be a great source of information
Moisture intrusion can be the cause of building defects, as well as health ailments for the building’s occupants. Pasco Home Remodeling & Repair, LLC have an understanding of how moisture may enter a building, and where problem areas commonly occur. This is mainly true about older homes such as the ones along the beach area of Largo Florida.
Some common moisture-related problems include:
  • structural wood decay;
  • high indoor humidity and resulting condensation;
  • expansive soil, which may crack the foundation through changes in volume, or softened soil, which may lose its ability to support an overlying structure;
  • undermined foundations;
  • metal corrosion;
  • ice dams; and
  • mold growth.  Mold can only grow in the presence of high levels of moisture. People who suffer from the following conditions can be seriously (even fatally) harmed if exposed to elevated levels of airborne mold spores:
    • asthma;
    • allergies;
    • lung disease; and/or
    • compromised immune systems.

Note:  People who do not suffer from these ailments may still be harmed by elevated levels of airborne mold spores.

How does moisture get into the house?

Moisture or water vapor moves into a house in the following ways:

  • air infiltration. Air movement accounts for more than 98% of all water vapor movement in building cavities. Air naturally moves from high-pressure areas to lower ones by the easiest path possible, such as a hole or crack in the building envelope. Moisture transfer by air currents is very fast (in the range of several hundred cubic feet of air per minute). Replacement air will infiltrate through the building envelope unless unintended air paths are carefully and permanently sealed;
  • by diffusion through building material. Most building materials slow moisture diffusion, to a large degree, although they never stop it completely;
  • leaks from roof;
  • plumbing leaks;
  • flooding, which can be caused by seepage from runoff or rising groundwater; it may be seasonal or catastrophic; and
  • human activities, including bathing, cooking, dish-washing and washing clothes. Indoor plants, too, may be a significant source of high levels of humidity.
Climate Zones
 
In the northern U.S., moisture vapor problems are driven primarily by high indoor relative humidity levels, combined with low outdoor temperatures during the winter. In the southern U.S. (especially the southeast), the problem is largely driven by high outdoor humidity and low indoor temperatures during summer months. Mixed climates are exposed to both conditions and can experience both types of problems. Humid climates, in general, will be more of a problem than dry climates. Wind-driven rain is the main cause of leaks through the building envelope.

Inspectors can check for moisture intrusion in the following areas:

Roofs

A roof leak may lead to the growth of visible mold colonies in the attic that can grow unnoticed. Roof penetrations increase the likelihood of water leaks due to failed gaskets, sealants and flashing. The number of roof penetrations may be reduced by a variety of technologies and strategies, including:

  • consolidation of vent stacks below the roof;
  • exhaust fan caps routed through walls instead of the roof;
  • high-efficiency combustion appliances, which can be sidewall-vented;
  • electrically powered H.V.A.C. equipment and hot water heaters that do not require flue; and
  • adequate flashing. Oftentimes, inspectors discover missing, incorrectly installed or corroded flashing pipes.

Plumbing

  • Distribution pipes and plumbing fixtures can be the source of large amounts of moisture intrusion. If the wall is moist and/or discolored, then moisture damage is already in progress. Most plumbing is hidden in the walls, so serious problems can begin unnoticed.
  • One of the most important means of moisture management in the bathroom is the exhaust fan. A non-functioning exhaust fan overloads the bathroom with damp air. If the exhaust fan doesn’t turn on automatically when the bathroom is in use, consider recommending switching the wiring or switch. The lack of an exhaust fan should be called out in the inspection report. The fan should vent into the exterior, not into the attic.
  • The bathroom sink, in particular, is a common source of moisture intrusion and damage. Although overflow drains can prevent the spillage of water onto the floor, they can become corroded and allow water to enter the cabinet.
  • Use a moisture meter to check for elevated moisture levels in the sub-floor around the toilet and tub.
  • Bathroom windows need to perform properly in a wide range of humidity and temperature conditions. Check to see if there are any obvious breaks in the weatherstripping and seals. Are there are stains or flaking on the painted surfaces?
  • Check showers and bathtubs. Is the caulking is cracked, stiff or loose in spots? Are there cracked tiles or missing grout that may channel water to vulnerable areas? If some water remains in the bathtub after draining, it may be a warning sign of possible structural weakening and settlement in the floor beneath the tub.

Utility Room

  • The water heater tank should be clean and rust-free.
  • The area around the water softener tank should be clean and dry.
  • Check that all through-the-wall penetrations for fuel lines, ducts, and electrical systems of heating system are well-sealed. All ducts should be clean and dust-free. Inspect the air supply registers in the house for dust accumulation.
  • Filters, supply lines, exterior wall penetrations, vents, duct work and drainage of the cooling system must all be in good working order to avoid moisture problems.

Attic

  • Look for stains or discolorations at all roof penetrations. Chimneys, plumbing vents and skylight wells are common places where moisture may pass through the roof. Any such locations must be inspected for wetness, a musty smell and/or visible signs of mold.
  • Are there areas of the insulation that appear unusually thin?
  • Rust or corrosion around recessed lights are signs of a potential electrical hazard.
Foundations

Model building codes typically require damp-proofing of foundation walls. The damp-proofing shall be applied from the top of the footing to the finished grade. Parging of foundation walls should be damp-proofed in one of the following ways:
  • bituminous coating;
  • 3 pounds per square yard of acrylic modified cement;
  • 1/8-inch coat of surface-bonding cement; or
  • any material permitted for water-proofing.
In summary, moisture can enter a building in a number of different ways. High levels of moisture can cause building defects and health ailments.
If you like to know more about this subject feel free to contact us anytime at 352-437-5300 or email; pascoremodel@gmail.com