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Is Your Insulation Up to Code?

by | Apr 26, 2018

Insulation isn’t just a good idea. It’s the law—at least if you’re building a new home.

Over the decades, builders and governments alike have come to understand the importance of effective building insulation in all climate zones. It’s not just about keeping people comfortable. It’s also about saving energy, reducing dependence on energy sources, and even improving public health.

As a result of this emerging understanding, in 2000 the International Code Council—an independent non-governmental association—first adopted a set of insulation standards known as the International Energy Conservation Code. Many of these standards have been incorporated into local, regional, and national laws and codes around the world, including within the state of Michigan.

For example, Michigan’s code requires all roofs and ceilings in new construction to meet a thermal resistance rating of R-49—the equivalent of roughly 8 inches of closed cell insulating foam, give or take. There are additional standards for wall assembles, mass walls, basement walls, floors over unconditioned spaces, and even slabs and crawl spaces. The exact minimum standards in some cases depend on where you live—the UP, for example, has a higher bar to clear in some areas than Southwest Michigan.

Now, this is all well and good. But there’s a bit of a problem, of course.

Most of these newer, higher standards have been enacted in just the last 15 to 20 years. The average home, however, is much older than that. In fact, Michigan has more existing homes built in the 1950s than in any other decade. And roughly 700,000 Michigan homes were built before WWII—the seventh largest such supply among all 50 states.

In other words, there’s a good chance you happen to live in one of these older homes. And if it hasn’t had any kind of extensive remodeling work done within the past couple of decades, it’s possible your insulation is lagging far behind modern standards.

Of course, you’re not legally required to get your existing home up to code, unless you’re remodeling or adding an addition. But you also lose out on the benefits of modern insulation, including increased comfort, sound dampening, protection against water damage and pollutants—oh, and a substantial savings on your heating and cooling bills.

And getting your home insulation up to (or beyond) code is pretty easy, too. You don’t have to remodel. You don’t have to rip out your walls. All you need to do is call us here at RetroFoam of Southwest Michigan.

Our namesake product, RetroFoam, is a high R-value insulating foam that can be injected directly into the wall cavity through a small opening. That means no mess and minimal disruptions to your life. It also means your entire house can usually be insulated within a day, maybe two. And you’ll get to enjoy a cozy, comfortable, code-compliant living space, even if your home is 50, 75, 100 years old (or more!).

To schedule your free consultation, click the contact button on in the upper right-hand corner of this page, or give us a call at (269) 751-2000 today.