Spider Webs and Drafty Basements

The American Society of Home Inspectors featured a article written by GGEC in their spring Newsletter. Full Text below!

Spider Webs and Drafty Basements

Let me start off with a little energy auditor secret: Spiders only spin their webs in drafty spots. As a home inspector, you know how often you come across cobwebs as part of your daily job.

Your customers look to you to provide knowledge and understanding of the new home that they are looking to purchase, which gives you a special opportunity to consider their comfort when evaluating their new house. Home comfort viagra for sale and energy efficiency go hand in hand, and by making simple suggestions to improve comfort, you can also help the homebuyer lower their energy bills and improve indoor air quality as well.

Here in Michigan we have an extreme environment. From bitter winters to blazing hot summers, most homeowners suffer from some sort of discomfort in their home as the seasons change. Typically speaking, homes that have lots of spider webs are draftier than they need to be, which is the leading cause of discomfort in American homes. In fact, the US Department of Energy estimates that up to 40% of energy loss in a home can be contributed to air infiltration.
For homes that have basements, one of the most common sources of drafts (and spider webs) is the rim joist area. More often than not, these cavities are either bare or stuffed with fiberglass batt insulation, which usually has spider webs close by. Why? You guess it, because these cavities are leaking air! The fiberglass batt allows air to pass through it, acting more as a filter than an insulator, which contributes to drafts and also brings in dust, dirt, other allergens, pollutants, and pests into the home.

There are a wide variety of solutions to stop unwanted air from infiltrating the home from the rim joist area. One way to do so is to pull out the fiberglass batt, seal the area and sill plate with caulk, then put the fiberglass back in place. A significantly more effective, but also more costly, solution is to completely seal and insulate these cavities with two-part closed cell expanding spray foam. By having the rim joist of the home properly sealed, anywhere from 5-15% of the overall unwanted air infiltration can be stopped, which will translate into a significant increase in comfort and reduction of energy use.

So the next time you are in a basement full of spider webs, consider letting the homeowner know that there is an ample opportunity to use less energy to be more comfortable by sealing up the air leaks in the basement of their new home.

Adam Duke is a founder of Go Green Energy Consulting, a full-service home performance company based in Southfield, Michigan. He is also a Building Performance Institute certified Building Analyst. Questions or comments? Please call at (800) 279-4777 or visit www.GoGreenEC.com.

Written by GoGreenEnergyConsulting. Posted in Press

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