What is weatherization and why is it so important?
For the purpose of this explanation let’s think of our homes as an “environmental separator” because that’s really what they are. We build a home to keep the heat, cold, wind, rain, snow, etc. outside while we are nice and comfortable inside, hence the term “environmental separator”.
In order to be a good environmental separator we have to, and again in simple terms, keep the outside out and the inside in. We accomplish this with a roof, ceiling, walls, and floor. How well our environmental separator works is based largely on two things:
- Pressure boundary
- Thermal boundary
Remember, we have one environment outside with its own temperature, humidity, air movement, etc. and we are trying to create a completely different environment inside our home with its own temperature, humidity, air movement, etc.
Below is an illustration of a very simple “environmental separator”, a cooler. Inside we have some food, drinks, and a block of ice. It is a hot summer day outside but we are creating a cold environment inside the cooler.
For the cooler to remain cold inside it must have good insulation in the top, bottom and sides. The insulation is our THERMAL BOUNDARY and it slows down the transfer of heat that’s outside from getting inside. The plastic that surrounds and encases the insulation is our PRESSURE BOUNDARY and it slows or in some cases stops air movement through the insulation.
If we open the lid of our cooler and break (provide an opening) the Thermal and Pressure boundary then we no longer have an effective environmental separator and our ice melts faster, food spoils etc.
Now, our homes are much more complex environmental separators than the above cooler but the basic principles are still the same.
“Weatherization is simply repairing and improving the performance of Thermal and Pressure boundaries in homes”
The average home may have hundreds of places where the thermal and pressure boundaries have been broken and compromised. Most of the “gaps and cracks” that must be repaired were left behind during construction when the home was being built.
Trained auditors working with skilled weatherization technicians can pinpoint and repair breaks in the thermal and pressure boundaries.
Weatherization can take on many forms from adding a little insulation in the attic, to caulking around outlet boxes, to fully encapsulating a crawlspace.
Please visit our crawlspace renovation and repair services pages for more information.