How to insulate a cavity wall

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How to insulate a cavity wall

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Installing insulation in your walls during the process of building or renovating a house increases the energy efficiency of the building, which saves money on heating and cooling. Insulation also buffers sound. One of the most cost-effective ways to insulate your walls is by using fiberglass insulation. Use these steps on how to insulate walls in your home.


Step One

Take pre-installation measurements. Measure the height of your walls and the width between studs. Fiberglass insulation comes in pre-sized panels called batts. Batts come in a number of standard heights and widths, but you will need your exact wall measurements in order to purchase the correct batt size.


Step Two

Determine quantity of batts. Use the wall and stud width measurements. Decide on R-value of batts. The general rule is to use R-13 batts for 2x4 studs and R-19 batts for 2x6 studs. There are various grades of batts for different locations in the house (interior, exterior, attic or basement). The R-value of the batt is a meter of the thermal resistance. The higher the R-value, such as R-30 or R-36, the more effectively the batt insulates.


Step Three

Choose faced or non-faced batts. Faced batts are covered on the front of the fiberglass to make the process of installation easier. The facing material is also retards vapor.


Step Four

Purchase the batts and the other necessary installation tools. You need a utility knife to cut the batts, a staple gun to attach the batts and heavy duty staples.


Step Five

Cut the batts. Use the utility knife to cut the batts to the size of the wall cavities. You can skip this step if your wall measurements correlate exactly with the batt sizes.


Step Six

Place each batt into the cavity. Push firmly on the corners and edges to make sure the fit is snug. If you are using faced batts, the paper should be facing the inside of the room.


Step Seven

Pull the batt outward. Gently pulling the batt out fluffs the insulation so it can fill the entire space. Leaving the batts compressed inside the cavity will decrease the R-value.


Step Eight

Staple the batts to the studs. Use the staple gun to attach the batts to the studs. If you are using faced batts, there will be an extension of the paper that you can use to staple to the front of the studs. Staple about every 7 inches (177.7 mm).


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