The Biggest Insulation Mistakes Some Homeowners Make

Insulation makes your home warm or cool depending on the season. As long as it’s installed correctly, that is! Home insulation is a field of expertise, meaning you need to find a contractor skilled in that work to do a proper job. Many things could go wrong with your insulation, and you waste money while accomplishing nothing. Here are the biggest insulation mistakes some homeowners make

Installing the Wrong Insulation

There’re different types of insulation, each with a purpose and cost. Not every type can be installed everywhere. For instance, attic floors need cellulose or fiberglass insulation. The walls and ceiling in the same room might need closed-cell spray foam insulation. A homeowner may not know that closed-cell spray foam, one of the most expensive insulation type on the market, cannot be used on attic floors. 

Another thing to know is that a top-up insulation material should only be added to the same existing insulation material. Also, some insulation materials are flammable and should not be installed near furnaces, heaters, or light fixtures. A professional will know to install IC-rated fixtures to protect your home from the risk of fire. 

Finally, the insulation’s ability to defend against moisture is a concern. Fiberglass, for instance, is not suitable for basement insulation. The material retains moisture and facilitates mold growth. Spray foam is the most appropriate method in such environments because it’s mold-resistant, especially in your basement. Professionals know what material is best for every part of your home. 

Wasting Time and Money Removing Old Insulation

Removing old insulation is unnecessary unless you’re trying to get rid of existing mold. Many homeowners feel like pulling out old insulation is the reasonable and best thing to do to ensure the new insulation is more effective. But that’s not the reality of it at all! Removing old insulation makes a huge mess and serves no special purpose.

The material can also be hazardous, especially when blown into the air. Asbestos, for instance, was used in the 1950s as blown-in insulation. It is safe when left alone but can be hazardous if disturbed. If you have to remove the asbestos, then you’ll need the help of a professional to make sure there’s minimal effect on you and the environment. 

If your new insulation can be installed over the old one, that’s the best case scenario. If the manufacturer advises against it, you can remove the previous insulation or opt for an insulation type that can go over the older one. However, if the old insulation is wet or moldy, it is best to have a professional handle the removal. 

Ignoring Insulation Regulations

Home construction is highly regulated, and every home renovation must follow certain regulations. Georgia has its building code to regulate construction standards. The standards are regularly updated, but some homeowners are unaware or their knowledge is out-of-date. They end up neglecting the standards and installing the wrong quantity or quality of insulation. 

These regulations recommend a specific insulation thickness to provide full insulation benefits. Insufficient insulation may leave too many gaps. Your home’s structure will be subject to air and moisture leaks. 

And with air and moisture, you will lose enegry, and the HVAC system will need to work extra to provide the heat or air conditioning. This translates into a bigger energy bill, and more wear and tear on your HVAC unit. Plus, you’ll have wasted money on insulation that didn’t work!

Taking Shortcuts to Save Money

You should choose higher R-value insulation, but they don’t come cheap. Most homeowners don’t understand the importance of R-value in insulation. They choose the type of insulation based on what’s more affordable. A low R-value is only a drop in the ocean of regulating temperature in your home. The difference it makes to your energy bill is close to none.

Higher R-value insulation is expensive, but you could save big on energy bills. Plus, your home will better maintain a comfortable temperature. However, regardless of insulation type, you have to also address air leaks. Thus, the premier choice is Closed Cell Spray Foam which has the highest R-value and can seal gaps that lead to air leaks. And it must be installed by a professional!

Doing the Installation Yourself

Even though some DIYable insulation types exist, it’s best to leave crucial projects to professional contractors. They know all the regulations and are experts in insulation. Think twice before taking on such a challenge by yourself. 

There are all sorts of complications that can arise when removing old insulation or installing new insulation in less-used area of the home like the attic and basement. For example, it’s gross to think about, but you’ll likely encounter animal droppings, dead bugs, and even small dead critters. These hazards should be removed carefully. Aprofessional will vacuum these nasty things out while wearing protective gear. It’s tedious and icky work that will take time and put your health at risk if you don’t know what you’re doing. 

Takeaways on Insulation Mistakes Homeowners Make

Home insulation is supposed to to do its job and give you peace of mind. To ensure your insulation does what it’s intended to, hire a professional contractor to manage the project and avoid throwing money on the drain. Ideal Insulation offers the best service for insulation installation in the Atlanta area. Reach out today to get started!


What are the most common insulation mistakes made by homeowners?

Some of the most common insulation mistakes homeowners make include insufficient insulation, uneven installation, compression of insulation materials, leaving gaps or voids, improper sealing around openings, and using the wrong type or thickness of insulation for the specific application. These mistakes can significantly reduce the effectiveness of insulation and compromise energy efficiency.

How can improper insulation installation affect the energy efficiency of a home?

Improper insulation installation can negatively impact the energy efficiency of a home. Gaps, voids, or compressed insulation allow for heat transfer, reducing the insulation’s ability to retain warmth in winter or hold the house cool in summer. This leads to increased energy consumption as heating and cooling systems work harder to compensate for the energy loss. Proper installation ensures optimal insulation performance and maximizes energy efficiency.

What are the signs of inadequate or poorly installed insulation?

Signs of inadequate or poorly installed insulation include:

  • Inconsistent room temperatures.
  • Drafts near windows or doors.
  • High energy bills.
  • Frequent HVAC system cycling.
  • Difficulty maintaining a comfortable indoor environment.

Cold or hot patch in specific areas of the house, condensation on walls or windows, and excessive noise transmission between rooms can also indicate insulation issues. Again, consulting with a professional can help identify and address these problems.

Can insulation mistakes lead to issues like mold or moisture problems?

Yes, insulation mistakes can lead to mold or moisture problems. Inadequate insulation or improper sealing can allow moisture to penetrate the walls, ceilings, or floors. Moisture accumulation can promote mold and mildew growth, compromising indoor air quality and potentially causing health issues. Additionally, insufficient insulation can result in condensation on surfaces, leading to water damage and structural issues. Therefore, proper insulation installation is crucial for preventing moisture-related problems.

What are the risks of using the wrong type or thickness of insulation?

Using the wrong type or thickness of insulation can have several risks. Insufficient insulation may not provide adequate thermal resistance, leading to energy loss and reduced comfort. Conversely, excessive insulation can restrict ventilation and trap moisture, potentially causing condensation and mold growth. Using incompatible insulation materials for specific applications can also compromise the insulation’s effectiveness and long-term performance. Therefore, choosing the appropriate insulation based on local climate, building codes, and recommended R-values is essential.

How important is it to properly seal air leaks before insulating?

Properly sealing air leaks before insulating is crucial for achieving optimal energy efficiency and insulation performance. Air leaks can allow drafts, moisture, and unconditioned air to enter or escape the home, undermining the insulation’s effectiveness. By sealing gaps, cracks, and openings, you create an airtight envelope that prevents heat transfer, reduces energy waste, and enhances overall comfort. Sealing air leaks should be done before installing insulation to maximize its benefits.

Are there any specific areas of the home where insulation mistakes are more common?

Insulation mistakes are more commonly found in specific areas of the home. Attics, crawlspaces, and basements are frequent culprits, as homeowners may overlook these areas or not install the proper insulation. Exterior walls, especially in older homes, can also be prone to insulation errors. Additionally, areas around windows, doors, and electrical outlets are common spots for insulation gaps or inadequate sealing. Thoroughly assessing and addressing insulation in these areas is essential for comprehensive energy efficiency.

Can DIY insulation installation lead to mistakes, or is professional installation always recommended?

DIY insulation installation can lead to mistakes if homeowners lack experience or knowledge in proper installation techniques. While some insulation projects can be successfully done by homeowners, complex facilities, large-scale projects, or unique building structures are best left to professionals. Professional insulation installers have the expertise, specialized tools, and understanding of local building codes to ensure insulation is installed correctly, avoiding common mistakes and achieving optimal performance.

What are some cost-effective solutions to fix insulation mistakes?

Cost-effective solutions to fix insulation mistakes include:

  • Adding additional insulation in areas with inadequate coverage.
  • Sealing gaps and air leaks with caulk or weatherstripping.
  • Using insulation foam or spray to fill voids.
  • Installing insulation baffles in the attic to maintain proper ventilation.

These solutions are relatively affordable and can significantly improve insulation performance. In addition, consulting with insulation professionals can provide specific recommendations based on your home’s unique needs.

Are there any long term consequences of not addressing insulation mistakes promptly?

Not addressing insulation mistakes promptly can lead to long-term consequences—poor insulation results in ongoing energy waste, leading to higher utility bills over time. Inadequate insulation can also contribute to increased wear on HVAC systems as they work harder to maintain desired temperatures. Additionally, moisture problems caused by insulation mistakes can lead to structural damage, mold growth, and potential health issues. Therefore, it is essential to address insulation issues promptly to avoid these long-term consequences.

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest

Proud To Serve In These Cities:

Metro Atlanta

College Park
Druid Hills

Flowery Branch
Forest Park
Holly Springs
Johns Creek
Lithia Springs
Mountain Park

North Decatur
North Druid Hills
Powder Springs
Sandy Springs
Sugar Hill
Union City
Villa Rica

Contact Us