Cold Floors Above Crawl Spaces

The Problem

If you have a room over an exposed crawlspace instead of an enclosed basement, you probably have a cold floor in the winter.

The Reason

Over time insulation succumbs to gravity and falls away from the floor and ends up hanging down or completely falls to the dirt floor below. Now it is no longer in touch with the underside of the finished floor above as it was meant to be and therefore no longer doing its job as intended.

The Fix

Fill the entire floor cavity (to avoid settling) with fiberglass batt insulation and then apply 2” thick rigid foam board insulation to the underside of the floor joists. When installed properly, rigid insulation adds a seamless layer of additional warmth and acts as a protective air barrier, crucial to sealing the warmth in and the cold out. No more cold floors!

Cold Floors Above Garages

The Problem

Cold floors in rooms above garages is one of the most frequent complaints we hear. Often these frigid floored areas are used as bedrooms.

The Reason

Problem is over time the insulation succumbs to gravity and falls away from the floor and comes to rest on top of the garage ceiling. The space that is now present allows frigid air from outside to continuously move between the finished floor above and the insulation below.

The Fix

Fill the entire floor cavity (to avoid settling) with densely packed energy saving cellulose insulation. When properly installed by a qualified technician there will be no settling and the difference between the floor before and the floor after will be like night and day.

Condensation in Your Attic

The Problem

While in your attic, if you look up visible moisture can be seen collecting on the underside of the roof sheathing. Other signs of excessive moisture are rusty nails, black stained plywood or noticeable drip patterns on the attic floor.

The Reason

There may be several reasons for this, but the most common is warm air moving into your attic from the living space below. The way homes were constructed in the past, no consideration was given to sealing off the attic from the living space. Another big concern are bathroom exhaust fans. It is common to find bathroom fans pushing warm, saturated air directly into the cold attic space above. Literally gallons of water traveling on warm air can enter your attic in this way each day.

The Fix

First and foremost, air seal the entire attic floor, creating a seamless barrier that warm air can no longer penetrate. Next, the bathroom exhaust fan is properly vented directly to the outside using the latest technology and materials.

Condensation, Mold, in Bathroom

The Problem

Visible moisture can be seen on the glass surface of your window, black stains on your ceiling over the shower or a damp musty smell that sometimes lasts for hours or never goes away at all.

The Reason

Often, it has to with a lack of proper ventilation. Many homes today have poorly functioning bathroom ventilation fans or have no ventilation at all. Before long mold and mildew appear and begin to grow.

The Fix

Install a high-quality bathroom fan and properly vent the moisture to the outside. Today’s bathroom fans are designed to be extremely quiet and to run continuously at low speeds. A good quality fan when properly used can make your entire home smell fresh.

Condensation on Windows

The Problem

Visible moisture collects on the glass surface of your windows. So much in fact that it drips on to the surrounding frame and woodwork.

The Reason

There may be several reasons for this, but often has to do with the quality and age of your windows. Consider this, during the winter a reasonably good window will be cold to the touch on the outside as you would expect and relatively warm to the touch on the inside. Now contrast that with an old or poor-quality window which is cold to the touch on both sides.

The Fix

Replace those old outdated windows with new energy efficient double pane windows. There is no need to buy expensive windows for this purpose as even average windows on the market today are built to prevent condensation.

Ice Damming

The Problem

During the winter months you experience excessive ice build-up along the eaves (roof overhang) just above the gutters. When the ice eventually melts, water finds its way through the sheathing causing stains and leaks on finished ceilings and walls below.

The Reason

The most common reason for this has to do with the exterior walls and the attic of your home. Warm air from inside your home fills the voids within the exterior walls and makes its way up to the attic along the eaves. If there were enough insulation in the attic over this area no damming would occur.

The Fix

Since adding more insulation is not an option due to the inherent tight space in this location, the problem can often be remedied by air sealing along the tops of the exterior walls from within the attic with spray foam insulation.

Lead Paint on Old Windows

The Problem

Old wooden double hung windows with ropes and weights are still common in many older homes in New England. The biggest concern for many owners of these outdated wooden windows is the potential for lead paint dust to be generated each time the window is used.

The Reason

There are several reasons why lead dust is an issue. In most cases lead paint on a window frame can be encapsulated by applying a good coat of modern paint. The real concern is the window sashes. Each time the window is opened friction between the frame and the moving sash occurs causing the potential for lead dust to be released into the air.

The Fix

Replace the wooden sashes with a modern replacement window custom built to fit within your existing frame. This will eliminate any potential lead dust, be very energy efficient and your new windows will be on par with windows being installed in new homes today.

Leaky Ducts

The Problem

In many older homes with forced air heating systems, the ductwork used to move the air can be very leaky. In many cases the leaks are extreme.

The Reason

Consider this, all seams, connections and registers even on newer systems will leak to some degree if not properly sealed using the right materials. Building codes have only recently required that these areas be sealed and tested. Step in the wrong place, bump the wrong thing and before you know it your system is sucking wind.

The Fix

Allow our technicians to seal all your ductwork seams, connections and registers. Fix all disconnects and then test your system using the latest in duct testing equipment. When we are done your ductwork will distribute air more efficiently, your furnace will run less and the air you breathe will be cleaner.

Why are My Energy Bills so High

The Problem

In many older homes high energy bills are a common occurrence. Whether in the heat of summer or the freeze of winter energy costs can account for a large slice of your family budget, second only to the mortgage for many people. 

The Reason

There are several reasons for excessive energy use. Most have to do with insulation and outdated heating and cooling equipment.
Many older homes contain no insulation, are grossly under insulated or contain insulation that has been poorly and ineffectively installed. A building under any of these conditions is going to leak conditioned air like a sieve.

The Fix

We look at your home as a system and provide a comprehensive solution custom fit to your needs and budget. The area’s most worth fixing and therefore providing the biggest bang for the buck include adding insulation to the attic, basement and walls respectively. Professionally installed insulation and air sealing in these areas will make a huge difference in your home’s energy performance. When combined with a brand new high efficiency heating a cooling system your older home will be on par with new homes being built today.