Exterior Wall Insulation: Do You Need It?


No one enjoys a drafty cold home during the winter months. Adding insulation to your outer wall can increase whole home comfort by keeping warm air from escaping and help maintain a sustainable, cost-efficient, and cozy environment. A lack of exterior wall insulation can result in 35% energy loss, so check if your house requires additional insulation support and discover which product is best for your home. 

Before embarking on a quest to install more insulation, first evaluate the status of the existing insulation in your home.

Inspect Exterior Wall Insulation 

According to energy.gov, the best method to determine if your home requires additional exterior wall insulation is to inspect an electrical outlet on every floor to ensure your home is evenly insulated. Simply follow these steps:

  1. First, turn the power to the outlet off. This is critical for your safety. 
  2. Remove the outlet cover and use a flashlight to observe the exterior wall insulation. Doing so will help you determine the insulation thickness. 
  3. Pull out a piece of insulation from your wall to identify its type.
  4. Lastly, measure the thickness of the insulation in inches to determine the R-value. 

Types of Insulation

Choosing which type of insulation to install to your exterior wall is critical; you will want to select based on your home’s current state. If you are renovating your home’s exterior, consider installing batt insulation. If not, and your home has existing drywall in place, use blown-in insulation. 

Blown-In Insulation is optimal for closed wall cavities and will quickly provide added insulation in an existing wall. Our Optima® Blown-In Insulation is a loose fill fiberglass insulation that has excellent coverage and uniform application. It has great acoustical performance and thermal efficiency because it fills voids, resulting in a higher R-value per inch. We also offer a premium loose fill insulation called InsulSafe® SP. This fiberglass insulation provides full coverage that won’t settle, rot, decay, or absorb moisture. 

Fiberglass Batt Insulation can be installed during exterior siding renovation; the batts should have a tight fit within the wall cavity for a higher R-value, resulting in lasting home comfort. SpeedyR™ fiberglass insulation is known for its efficient installation process and improved productivity, all while providing strong thermal efficiency and acoustics. Our InsulPure™ Batts are also a smart choice for added insulation with its strong acoustical performance, and it will be sure to keep outside noise from affecting your whole home comfort. 

Don’t Forget a Vapor Retarder

Exterior walls are naturally colder than your home’s internal temperature owing to the winter weather. The clashing of hot and cold can create unwanted moisture build-up in your wall cavities, so it is important to include a vapor retarder to minimize water damage in your home. CertainTeed’s MemBrain™ Continuous Air Barrier & Smart Vapor Retarder is designed to remain tight during the winter months to reduce the risk of moisture entering the wall. 

Stay warm this winter and check out our exterior wall insulation: https://www.certainteed.com/building-insulation/products/

If you have any questions, we’re always available to assist you. Don’t hesitate to reach out!

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