If your home currently requires insulation to be installed, you may be wondering whether it is best to hire a professional or install it yourself. Before deciding one way or the other, you will need to consider a number of key factors. These factors include the space you want to insulate, potential safety concerns, and your personal skill level. If you are considering a DIY insulation job, it is especially important to think through these aspects in detail.
The most common DIY insulation spaces are under the house and in the ceiling. Bear in mind that installing insulation in these areas means crawling around in dirty confined spaces, often hunched over for several hours. That means the first step is to determine whether you are actually physically capable of carrying out the work in these spaces. It is also recommended to inspect these areas beforehand and identify if there are any safety risks.
Below are a few potential hazards which can cause DIY insulation work to go wrong if not managed properly.
The first risk you must be aware of is electrocution. Any work done around electrical wiring needs to be done safely, with the appropriate precautions taken. Besides wiring, existing foil insulation conducts electricity as well, so work around this requires extreme care.
If your existing insulation is damp, this is an indicator that there may be some kind of leak. Other moisture problems may be indicated by mouldy or rotting ceiling rafters/underfloor beams. In either of these cases, it is recommended to call a professional rather than install insulation yourself.
If part of your DIY insulation job will involve replacing old insulation, you must be very careful when handling it. Believe it or not, asbestos was once commonly found in insulation products, right up to the 1970s. If your home was built before this time, it is possible that your existing insulation contains asbestos. In this case, a professional should be contacted, as they know how to appropriately manage the safety risks.
When insulating your home, it is vital to make sure the job is done right. If the installer lacks the appropriate experience and/or knowledge, your home’s energy efficiency may suffer. It would be a shame to invest all of the effort and costs, only to be let down by subpar installation. For example, if there are gaps in the insulation where there shouldn’t be, even as small as 1mm, it can compromise the project as a whole. Similarly, if there are no gaps left where there should be (such as around downlights in the ceiling), this can present other risks.
As you can see, there are many things to think about If you’re considering DIY insulation work. If you’d like some professional advice as to whether your spaces are safe enough to install insulation yourself, get in touch with our team. We offer free home assessments all around the Bay of Plenty and Waikato regions. Our experts can advise which risks require the most attention in your home, and whether or not a professional will be required.