Home Preservation

Lakewood Heritage Advisory Board

In Lakewood, many houses were built with little or no insulation in the walls, ceilings, and roof spaces. While the lack of insulation causes some draftiness, the open space between wall studs and roof rafters allows air to circulate throughout the internal structure of the house. Good air circulation is especially important in keeping a building dry, because moisture is created both inside and outside the house. Sources include bathing, cooking, laundry, damp basement floors, and weather conditions such as snow, rain, and humidity. As moisture moves through the walls, condensation can form. This typically occurs on the inside of the exterior siding. Air circulating through the house framing will dry out the condensation. If air cannot circulate, the moisture build-up can cause peeling paint and mildew growth on the exterior, as well as rotting wood on the interior of the structure.

Houses lose most of their heat through the roof. Before investing in wall insulation, consider insulating roof and attic spaces, as well as caulking cracks such as those found around doors and window framing and at the top of foundation walls. Access to attic and roof spaces is typically easier, and provides an opportunity to install baffles for proper air circulation and a vapor barrier to eliminate the movement of moisture into the insulation. It is often difficult to adequately ventilate and install a vapor barrier with wall insulation without damaging interior or exterior materials and finishes. If wall insulation is installed, be sure to understand the importance of ventilation.

It is important to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of each type and method of insulation. Keep in mind aesthetic considerations, too. If wall insulation is installed from the outside, remove a piece of siding for access and then reattach it. Don’t have the holes plugged with plastic caps. If wall insulation is installed from the inside, don’t damage interior woodwork.

The Lakewood Heritage Advisory Board was established to serve in an advisory capacity for the purpose of educating, informing and making recommendations to City officials, departments, boards and commissions, and the community on matters relating to historic preservation

The Lakewood Heritage Advisory Board may be contacted through the City of Lakewood Department of Planning and Development (216/529-6630). Information in this publication may be reprinted. Please credit the Lakewood Heritage Advisory Board, Lakewood, Ohio.

© 2005 Lakewood Heritage Advisory Board

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