Woods Basement Systems, Inc. Case Studies: Home Insulation and Air Sealing in Collinsville, IL Makes for TOTAL Home Comfort

Thursday, July 18th, 2013 by Melissa Bednarz


The owners of this two story home were tired of running from the uncomfortable rooms in their home. Within nine months of living in their 12- year-old home, they had experienced the hot steamy days of an unusually hot summer, and the below freezing days of an early winter. With each changing season, yet another comfort issue arose--all too soon, the family was plagued with:

  • Hot, stuffy second story during the summer time---with the east-facing bedrooms being the most uncomfortable.
  • Cold, drafty living room floor---too chilly for their infant daughter to play on without wearing extra layers of clothing or being wrapped in blankets.
  • Allergy and pest issues! Sneezing and watery eyes while in the unfinished portion of their basement, along with finding stray insects and spiders

Ready to be comfortable in EVERY ROOM, these Collinsville, IL homeowners contacted Dr. Energy and had one of their BPI Certified Building Analysts perform a Complete Home Energy Check-Up. During the assessment, a blower door test uncovered that the home was more than 150% leakier than what is recommended by the building airflow standards! That means that along with being uncomfortable and suffering with allergies, they now had an idea as to why their utility bills were so high---They were practically paying to heat and cool the neighborhood with all of the conditioned air escaping their home!


To eliminate the hot, stuffy summertime issues of the second story, the homeowners selected several improvement options including: air sealing the attic, air sealing and insulating the large cantilevers in the master bedroom, and having the knee walls in the garage attic insulated and air sealed with spray foam insulation. With the attic penetrations being sealed, and the two bathroom exhaust fans being vented properly, the conditioned air will now stay contained within the living space as intended. The musty, damp air created during showers will also now be properly eliminated to prevent any mold or ventilation issues in the attic.

To ensure that outside air, allergens and unwanted pests did not enter the home through the basement’s rim joist, Jim and the crew air sealed and insulated this area with spray foam insulation. The dirty insulation bats (that were acting more like filters to the air and dirt instead of air blockers) were removed and the spray foam was applied directly to the rim joist itself---taking extra care as to work around any wires, ductwork or item in these areas.

Dr. Energy Saver’s specialist, Chad, discovered that the cause of the drafty living room floor was a very leaky fireplace chase! Once the problem areas were insulated with SilverGlo and sealed properly with a fire-rated sealant, the large air leaks were eliminated. For combustion safety purposes, Jim and the crew were careful not to eliminate all air flow, leaving just enough for the exhaust from the wood burning fireplace to circulate properly Check out the photos below for a step-by-step look at this process.

Project Summary

Installing Contractor: Dr. Energy Saver St. Louis

Production Foreman: Jim Jones

BPI Certified Building Analyst: Chad Kues

Services Utilized: Attic Insulation, Attic Penetration Air Sealing, Insulating Attic Knee Walls with Spray Foam Insulation, Air Sealing and Insulating Cantilevers, Air Sealing Fireplace Chase, Air sealing and Insulating Rim Joist in Basement, Correcting Ventilation Issues

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Woods Basement Systems, Inc.
524 Vandalia Street
Collinsville, IL 62234