On the eve of winter, many are wondering how to insulate a country house for winter living. Here we will try to analyze all modern and traditional methods and technologies.
Why insulation is needed and why you should not neglect it
If you have already decided to break away from the bustle of the city and spend the winter time in your own country house, you need to thoroughly prepare it. Installing a heating system should not be the only undertaking. Good thermal insulation of a country house will help to significantly increase energy efficiency and significantly save on heating. In addition, living in a properly insulated house will be much more comfortable. The absence of drafts and cold walls is also healthier.
What is better to choose
Basically, the choice is between two main methods of insulation: external and internal. Ideally, the building should be processed both outside and inside, but in order to save money, you can limit yourself to one thing. The choice largely depends on the climatic conditions, the existing finishes, the chosen heating method and structure, and the available funds. So, if the internal premises are already fully decorated and there is no possibility and desire to make new repairs, it is better to insulate the house from the outside. Accordingly, one should act in the opposite case as well.
However, exterior finishes are more difficult to install, often more expensive, and the possibility of installation is highly dependent on weather conditions. This makes it less suitable for cases where work needs to be completed on a tight schedule. It is possible to insulate the cottage from the inside, even if the cold has already come.
External thermal insulation
First of all, when deciding how to insulate a country house, you should think about insulating the walls from the outside. The most common outdoor insulating materials are styrofoam or expanded polystyrene boards and stone wool. Today, the building materials market offers a lot of other materials, but these are the easiest to work with, affordable and time-tested. Mineral wool is usually laid under the siding, panels made of expanded polystyrene can also be covered with siding, or covered with plaster and various decorative coatings. Today, these methods of exterior decoration are the most popular.
If the house itself is wooden, then before starting any work it must be treated with special compounds that increase the moisture resistance of wood and reduce the fire hazard, as well as an antiseptic!
To compare these materials, consider an approximate installation scheme for both:
To finish the facades with siding panels, a crate is first constructed from a metal profile or wooden bars. The selected insulation is laid in the resulting chambers. Well, if there are no gaps. Decorative panels and other necessary elements are fixed on top.
When working with glass wool, be sure to use a respirator and protective gloves!
Installation of polystyrene boards
For insulation with polystyrene panels, it is necessary to prepare the walls. They should be fairly even, without large distortions that can provoke breaks on the canvas. Also, the walls must be treated with a primer. The panels are glued and fixed to special dowels with wide plastic caps. You can also use special adhesives or those recommended for tiles. Then the resulting surface can be plastered and a reinforcing mesh and a finishing decorative coating applied.
Read also: How to properly insulate a brick house from the outside?
Internal thermal insulation
Internal insulation of the room is also carried out by laying heat-insulating materials under the decorative coating. Due to the fact that indoor conditions are much milder, the choice of materials and finishing methods is much larger. As for external thermal insulation, the same insulating materials are suitable for insulating the cottage from the inside: mineral wool, foam or polystyrene panels, and others. You can also use blown heaters.
The installation of the frame structure also begins with the processing of the walls themselves, depending on what they are made of. Be sure to treat the walls with a special composition against mold. When erecting such structures, it is not necessary to level the walls, this will help save time and materials significantly. After the frame is erected, a layer of foamed foil vapor barrier film should be laid. It also has a heat reflective property. If the wall is wooden, then you can fix the film with ordinary nails, but a construction or furniture stapler will help save a lot of time and effort. Then the heat-shielding material itself is laid directly, which is sewn on top with sheets of fiberboard, chipboard, OSB panels, drywall sheets, MDF panels or other materials. Such a kind of multilayer sandwich helps to save heat in the room.
Be sure to first insulate those walls that are in contact with the street. Unheated rooms, such as balconies or verandas, may not be provided with such thermal insulation if they are not used in winter, but you should pay attention to the walls adjacent to such rooms. The layer of insulating material for them can be chosen thinner if the veranda is warm enough. It makes no sense to insulate partitions and walls inside the house itself, except to increase sound insulation. Insulation of the external premises adjacent to the house will allow them to be used in the cold season and increase the heating efficiency of the entire house.
When figuring out how to insulate a country house, in no case should you forget about the windows. Gaps, improper installation, poor sealing can also cause heat loss. Of course, modern plastic windows with multi-chamber double-glazed windows filled with inert gases are the most effective. But it is not always possible to spend a decent amount of money to replace them. Yes, and some «upgrade» sometimes does not hurt the new ones.
When properly installed, they should not require repair for many years. However, it does not hurt to inspect the places of their connection with the wall. Notice if there is a draft around the edges. Where it is, the voids should be filled with mounting foam. The slopes should be repaired from the outside and from the inside. It may be necessary to replace the rubber seals on the opening doors.
For high-quality repair of wooden windows you will need:
- Silicone sealant (if you take it in a special tube, you will need a glue gun);
- Mounting foam;
- Small spatula;
- masking tape;
- Unnecessary newspapers, magazines or film;
- Nails (small, you can take furniture) and a hammer.
If there are broken or cracked glasses, it is better to replace them. This also applies to staples. First, remove all old sealant, loose pieces of plaster and cement from the gaps between the frame and the wall and from under the ebb and window sill.
Before filling the holes with mounting foam, it is necessary to protect the glass and the surfaces surrounding the window opening with paper or film, securing it with molar tape. It does not leave marks on various surfaces and can be easily removed even from wallpaper. Carefully place a small amount of mounting foam into the gaps. Keep in mind that its volume will increase several times during the day, so do not lay it too much. After about a day, when the foam finally hardens, it will be possible to remove the protective tape and paper. Now you can trim off the excess. The easiest way to do this is with a utility knife. After that, you can level the surface with plaster.
Be careful when working with mounting foam! It is almost not removed from various surfaces and skin. Do not touch the uncured foam with your hands! Avoid contact with clothing, floor coverings, glass, frames and other surfaces.
If it is not possible to dismantle the corners, glazing beads from window frames, then simply glue the cracks with silicone sealant. It is necessary to plant the sealant as deep as possible into the holes. You can push it there and smooth it with your fingers moistened with water. Thanks to this, the glass will not rattle and there will be no draft.
A special sealing tape must be glued to the joints of the sashes and frames. The most convenient self-adhesive. The surface must be cleaned and degreased before gluing. It is best to try to glue in a continuous line without joints around the entire perimeter.
See also: warming the balcony and loggia with your own hands.
For maximum efficiency, doors, especially entrance and balcony doors, should also be insulated. If it blows strongly from the door, then it is better to separate the trim and fill the gap between the door frame and the walls with mounting foam. A special seal can be glued along the perimeter of the door leaf to the block. Now it is quite often found on sale. It is usually sold in rolls. For doors, it is best to use an adhesive-based rubber seal. Some of them provide for the possibility of fastening to nails. Silicone or foam rubber are not very suitable for entrance doors, as they are less durable and wear-resistant, in addition, they do not tolerate frost.
You can also insulate the door leaf itself if necessary. If the door is wooden and too thin or a simple metal one-layer, it will give a significant heat loss. You can insulate the door by attaching a crate to it, in the niches of which heat-insulating panels are placed. Also, the door can be sheathed with special materials, this will also increase the thermal protection of the door.
Roof insulation is very similar to wall insulation. For this, as a rule, the same materials and technologies are used, but there are some nuances. The correct installation sequence is important here. Of course, a quality and properly installed roof is of paramount importance. A waterproof vapor-permeable film must be laid, in addition, it has windproof properties. Then a layer of insulation is laid, followed by another vapor-tight membrane. There should also be a small free space for ventilation, which helps to avoid excessive humidity in the room. After all this is closed with plywood, drywall or any other suitable material.
Floor insulation is one of the most labor-intensive processes. First you need to dismantle the final floor covering. Then, if the logs and the subfloor are in a suitable condition, then a heater is laid and a finishing floor is laid. One of the best and modern methods is the underfloor heating system. But due to the rather high price and complexity of installation, it is not always applicable for a country house. In addition, it significantly increases the load on the power grid, which is not always designed for such systems. Therefore, the floor, insulated by traditional methods, is more common in country repairs.
Comprehensive insulation of the building will help to keep warm. The exclusion of freezing of the room, in turn, significantly increases its service life, and also helps to better preserve the interior decoration for a longer period. Yes, and furniture, appliances and other utensils will remain suitable for much longer. This will make your stay at your favorite summer cottage even more pleasant and comfortable.