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Welcome to Fall in Colorado, We'll be your Guide

Attic Insulation

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Preferred Vendor of the Month: Poudre Valley Air

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Home Inspection Blog: Welcome To Fall In Colorado, We’ll Be Your Guide

The fall season in Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor and all of Northern Colorado can be the most enjoyable time of the year. Fall hikes and outdoor activities are still available with cooler temperatures and very scenic with the color changes in the trees. Autumn seems to ease on us as we transition out of summer but winter will unpredictably begin soon and can make home maintenance projects difficult, so start now.

Enjoy your fall and don’t let housework stress you out by getting prepared and follow these maintenance projects and tips this fall.

  • Clear your gutters and downspouts of any leaves or debris. Maintaining a functional roof drainage system is going to be important when heading into winter.
  • Check your roofing shingles for cracks, curling, or loose areas. While cleaning the gutters take a good look at your roof covering and repair any areas in need before you see leaks from the inside.
  • Trim back any tree branches hanging over your home. Snow and rain mixed with any leaves not yet fallen can create more weight than the limbs can handle and could lead to major damage and a safety concern.
  • Winterize your irrigation system. Have sprinklers turned off and blown out before the freeze.
  • Apply new sealant around windows, door, and any other exterior wall penetrations to prevent unwanted energy loss in your home.
  • Prevent pest intrusion. When it gets colder, mice and insects invite themselves indoors. Call for professional pest control to keep unwanted guests out this fall and winter.
  • Schedule a service for your furnace or other heating systems. Have a professional clean and lubricate your system to make sure it’s working at its optimal level (or working at all). And don’t forget to change dirty air filters.
  • Inspect and sweep your fireplace and chimney. Your damper must be in working condition and chimney cleaned before it’s safe to use your fireplace again as a heating source.
  • Add more insulation and save on your heating costs. Older homes rarely have enough insulation in the attic. Find out what kind of insulation you have and get up to an R-Value of R-38.

For any projects you don’t want to tackle yourself visit our website to see out preferred vendors list. We trust each company listed on this page will take care of your needs with honesty and integrity.

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Image of the Month:

WH/furnace vents oppose

The water heater and furnace exhaust flues were improperly configured; vent connectors for each appliance opposed each other where they jointed the main exhaust flue. This condition has resulted in poor functioning of both exhaust flues and backdrafting of the water heater. Backdrafting can result in the release of the invisible, odorless, tasteless, toxic products of combustion into the living space. Excessive exposure can lead to serious illness or death.

The Inspector recommends by a qualified plumbing or HVAC contractor.

Preferred Vendor of the Month:  Poudre Valley Air

Keeping your home warm in the winter is also very important. The team at our HVAC company can answer your questions about whether radiant floor heating or geothermal heating and cooling options are sensible possibilities to upgrade your home. Let us help you choose from a range of heat pumps that are available on the market, too. In addition, we can fix your furnace with our thorough heating repair service.

970-372-0292 | http://pvair.com/

Monthly Home Maintenance Tip

Attic Insulation

Heating and cooling costs can be slashed by up to 30% per year by properly sealing and insulating the home. Insulating the attic should be a top priority for preventing heat loss because as heat rises, a critical amount of heat loss from the living areas of the home occurs through an unfinished attic. 

The lack of adequate ventilation in insulated attics is a common problem.  Ensuring that there is a free flow of outside air from the soffits to the roof vents is key to a well-functioning insulation system. Look behind the baffles to see if there is any misplaced insulation obstructing the natural air flow, and check the roof vents to make sure that outside air is exhausting properly. Also, look for spots where the insulation is compacted; it may need to be fluffed out.  If loose-fill insulation is installed, check for any thinly spread areas that may need topping up. Finally, look for dark spots in the insulation where incoming air is admitting wind-blown dust and moisture into the material.  Any unintended openings or holes caused by weathering or pest damage should be repaired first.

Installing Attic Insulation
The objective in an attic insulation project is to insulate the living space of the house while allowing the roof to retain the same temperature as the outdoors. This prevents cold outside air from traveling through the attic and into the living area of the home. In order to accomplish this, an adequate venting system must be in place to vent the roof by allowing air flow to enter through soffit-intake vents and out through ridge vents, gable vents or louver vents.
 
If there is currently a floor in the attic, it will be necessary to pull up pieces of the floor to install the insulation. In this case, it will be easier to use a blower and loose-fill insulation to effectively fill the spaces between the joists. If you choose to go with blown-in insulation, you can usually get free use of a blower when you purchase a certain amount of insulation.
  
When installing fiberglass insulation, make sure that you wear personal protective equipment, including a hat, gloves, goggles and a face mask, as stray fiberglass material can become airborne, which can cause irritation to the lungs, eyes and exposed skin.
 
Before you begin actually installing the insulation, there is some important preparation involved in order to ensure that the insulation is applied properly to prevent hazards and to achieve maximum effectiveness.

Step 1: Install Roof Baffles
In order to maintain the free flow of outside air, it is recommended that polystyrene or plastic roof baffles are installed where the joists meet the rafters. These can be stapled into place. 

Step 2: Place Baffles Around Electrical Fixtures
Next, place baffles around any electrical fixtures (lights, electrical receptacles, etc.), since these may become hot while in use. Hold the baffles in place by cross-sectioning the rafters with 2x4s placed at a 3-inch clearance around the fixture.  Cut the polystyrene board to fit around the fixture and inside the wood square you have just created.

Step 3: Install a Vapor Barrier
If you are installing insulation with a vapor barrier, make sure it faces the interior of the house. Another option for a vapor barrier is to take sheets of plastic and lay them between the ceiling joists.  Then, using a staple gun, tack them to the sides of the joists.
 
Step 4:  Apply the Insulation
Begin by cutting long strips of fiberglass to measure, and lay them in between the joists. Do not bunch or compress the material; this will reduce the insulative effect.
If you’re not planning to put in an attic floor, a second layer of insulation may be laid at a 90-degree angle to the first layer. Do not lay in a second moisture barrier, as moisture could potentially be trapped between the two layers. This second layer of insulation will make it easier to obtain the recommended R-value. In colder climates, an R-value of 49 is recommended for adequate attic insulation. In warmer climates, an R-value of 30 is recommended. Fiberglass insulation has an R-value of roughly R-3 per inch of thickness; cellulose has an R-value of roughly R-4 per inch, but it doesn't retain its R-value rating as well as fiberglass.

If an attic floor is in place, it will be easier to use a blower to add cellulose insulation into the spaces. The best way to achieve this is to carefully select pieces of the floor and remove them in a manner such that you will have access to all of the spaces in between the joists. Run the blower hose up into the attic. A helper may be needed to control the blower. Blow the insulation into the spaces between the joists, taking care not to blow insulation near electrical fixtures. Replace any flooring pieces that were removed.

Loose-fill insulation, either fiberglass or cellulose, is also a good option in cases where there is no attic floor. In such circumstances, you won’t need a blower; you can simply place the insulation between the joists by hand. You may also wish to even out the spread with a notched leveler.

SiteLogic Home Inspections is a local and family owned business in Northern Colorado. Our inspections and reports are designed to be one of the most helpful steps in your home buying process. 

SiteLogic is a Certified Professional Inspection company. We are InterNACHI certified, so you can trust that our inspectors are among the most highly trained in the industry. Our professionally trained home inspectors use modern technology, tools, and techniques to identify deficiencies and effectively communicate exactly what it means to the current condition of your home. Visit SiteLogicInspections.com to learn more

 
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1405 Miramont Dr.
Fort Collins, CO 80524


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Copyright © 2016 SiteLogic Home Inspections, All rights reserved.
http://sitelogicinspections.com/newsletter-archive/

Our mailing address is:
1405 Miramont Dr.
Fort Collins, CO 80524


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