Have you considered what a great opportunity you have when you remodel? Your home’s walls, floors, and ceilings may not have been open for decades, and when you're done, they'll be closed up for decades again.
Whether you're opening walls or adding new ones, working in the attic, basement, or crawl space, air sealing should be part of the job. Here are four reasons why:
Does a House Need to Breathe?
Have you heard that you shouldn’t air seal your house too tightly because it needs to breathe? It’s a common myth, but that’s all it is. Houses do need to be able to dry out when they get wet, but controlled ventilation is far more effective and healthful than having a house that leaks air randomly.
This myth probably originates with the supertight, superinsulated houses of the 1970s, when we hadn’t yet figured out how to look at the house as a system. Home builders and trade contractors, with the best of intentions, sealed up the houses to eliminate the energy wasted via air infiltration, but some of them overlooked one key detail: Tight houses need mechanical ventilation.
A house cannot be too tight. Yes, a very tight house can have problems, but it's not because of the air sealing. The problem is the lack of systems thinking. Here, then, are five rules we could substitute for this myth about houses needing to breathe: