Is your home ready for winter? Summer hasn’t even started yet, but like we said last time in Part 1 of this helpful series, now is the time to tackle those home improvement tasks you’ve been wishing you could knock out to save you money in the winter. And who doesn’t want to have a little more cash around? At GAMA Air we want all of you in the Beverly Hills, Culver City, Mar Vista, Miracle Mile, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Bel Air, Westwood, Downtown Los Angeles, Vernon, Huntington Park, Sherman Oaks, Encino area to have a home that is as comfortable and energy efficient as possible. And one of the most cost-effective ways to make a home more comfortable and energy efficient is by sealing and insulating it.
In the last post we talked about locating air leaks, a major source of energy loss. What’s next? The key to any successful home improvement project is good planning. So before you get started, gather your tools and supplies. If you are working in a basement crawlspace or an unfinished attic then you especially want to minimize how often you come and go from such work areas. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty, and your knees and your back and, etc. It’s gonna happen so you might as well accept it.
Here are some practical tips so you are prepared and the task goes well:
- Make sure you have a good work light with you, and have a flashlight handy in case someone accidentally pulls the plug on your extension cord.
- Use knee pads in the crawlspace, or for scooting across joists in the attic.
- Use a lightweight coverall suit, gloves and a hat. This will keep insulation off your skin and avoid that itchy, scratchy irritating feeling you could get from working around insulation.
- Wear a bump hat, or bump cap, which is similar to a hard hat but fits closer to the head. You’ll thank me later. If you don’t wear one while working in tight spaces with floor joists or roof rafters above you, then later you’ll understand why we suggested it.
More than anything else… Be Safe! Start early in the day for attic projects since they can get over 100 degrees on a sunny day even in the springtime. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Wear an OSHA-approved, double strap face mask to prevent inhaling dust, insulation, or other particles in the air. Be very careful moving around in the attic. Take your time to be sure really placing your foot or knee joists or trusses. One false step onto insulation with only drywall or sheetrock below it and you might find yourself badly injured on the floor of the room below; not to mention the ugly hole in the ceiling that will have to be patched. And don’t forget to avoid the sharp nails coming through the decking above you! (Did someone say “bump hat”?)
Did you already do the survey that we suggested in Part 1? Good! Now here’s a checklist of materials you may need:
- A batt or roll of unfaced fiberglass insulation and large garbage bags.
- A roll of reflective foil insulation or other blocking material such as drywall or pieces of rigid foam insulation to cover soffits, open walls, and larger holes.
- A tube of silicone or acrylic latex caulk for sealing holes that are 1/4 inch or smaller.
- A can or two of expanding spray foam insulation for filling larger gaps that are up to 3 inches big.
- A special high-temperature heat-resistant caulk to seal around flues and chimneys.
- A roll of 14-inch-wide aluminum flashing to keep insulation away from flue pipes.
And here is a list of tools and other helpful items you should plan to have handy:
- Caulk gun
- Retractable utility knife
- Sheet metal scissors
- Tape measure
- Staple gun, (or a hammer and nails) to hold covering materials in place
- PPE: Safety glasses, bump cap, gloves, and dust mask
- Flashlight or portable safety light
- Boards to place across joists, if needed
- A bucket to easily haul tools and materials
The better your preparations are, the easier your project will be, and the quicker you will get done. The next installment from GAMA Air about making your home more energy efficient is coming up so come back soon!
Do you need help right away with the central heating or cooling system in your house? Call GAMA Air at (310) 651-6936 or use our online form to schedule a visit at a time convenient to you for a service call. We have a 100% happiness guarantee.
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