Draftproofing occurs before, during, and after an insulation upgrade. Draftproofing is an important part of maximizing the lifespan, efficiency, and effectiveness of the insulation being installed. Effectively draftproofing your home can reduce heat loss and minimize moisture-related problems.
Draftproofing prior is a practical first step – trying to draftproof after insulation has been installed can be difficult. For attics, this is especially important.
The timing of draftproofing for different areas of your home varies. Ensure you speak to your contractor about air sealing plans. For attics, draftproofing around plumbing or other piping, around wires and ceiling light fixtures that penetrate the attic floor, and around ducting that enter the attic first minimizes air flow into, and through, your insulation.
For walls, it is often possible to install air and vapour barriers using sealed drywall and the air barrier and paint or sheets of polyethylene as the moisture barrier. Polyethylene sheets are installed after insulation but before drywall is put up, and paint is applied after both the insulation and drywall has been installed.
For basements, draftproofing all air leakage paths before insulating is important in providing the primary air barrier. Once the insulation is installed, finishing often includes additional draftproofing. Different homes require different draftproofing plans, ensure you speak to your contractor about draftproofing requirements for your home.
In accordance to the BC Standards of Practice Guide for Air Sealing and Insulation Retrofits, air sealing work must be completed prior to insulating your home. Adding insulation to walls, roofs, and floors prior to air sealing can put your home’s structure at risk of condensation wetting, high relative humidity conditions or moisture entrapment. Condensation and moisture-related problems can occur within concealed spaces if air leakage and vapour diffusion is not properly addressed (through air sealing), or incorrect materials are used.