Insulation and Vapor Barriers
Insulation is what keeps your home warm, apart from additional heating systems. It is subject to the “Law of Diminishing Returns” which means more isn’t always good. By installing more insulation, you will only notice a small difference to heat loss and it will be many years before the capital cost is recovered. Exposed foam insulations can be a significant fire and smoke hazard and should be removed or covered with a fire resistant material such as drywall. Poor insulation can result in ice damming.
Vapor barriers are kraft paper, polyethylene or incorporated into the insulation material. It must always be on the warm side of the insulation. When standing inside your home, the sequence should be:
Insulation (in wood stud wall)
Exterior veneer (bricks or vinyl)
Vapor barriers are also used to protect wood products from moisture. A common area is where wood framing is installed on concrete floors (especially basements).