Case Study: Brooklyn Home Gains Comfort and Efficiency with Targeted Insulation and Air Sealing

This case study details a project undertaken by Zavza Seal LLC to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of a Brooklyn property. The project focused on two key areas – the vestibule and the kitchen south wall – identified as potential sources of air leaks and drafts.

Observations:

The homeowner in Brooklyn reported feeling drafts in their living space, particularly near the entryway and the south-facing kitchen wall. This suggested potential air leaks around the vestibule door and within the kitchen wall cavity.

Diagnosis:

A thorough inspection by our team confirmed the homeowner’s observations. We identified the following issues:

  • Vestibule Door Leaks: Gaps and spaces were present around the vestibule door frame, allowing uncontrolled air infiltration from the outside.
  • Kitchen Wall Insulation Gap: The area behind the south-facing kitchen cabinet lacked proper insulation, creating a thermal bridge and potential air leakage point.

Solution and Implementation:

To address these issues, our team implemented a targeted approach using high-quality, environmentally friendly insulation materials:

  • Vestibule Air Sealing: Our team meticulously sealed all gaps and spaces around the vestibule door frame using a combination of appropriate caulking and weatherstripping materials. This effectively blocked drafts and improved the overall thermal envelope of the home.
  • Kitchen Wall Insulation and Air Sealing: The kitchen cabinet under the south window was carefully removed to expose the wall cavity. We then performed the following actions:
    • Free Inspection and Plumbing Assessment: The exposed cavity was inspected for any potential plumbing concerns. Based on the assessment, recommendations were provided to the homeowner regarding pipe insulation.
    • Insulation Installation: High-performance, environmentally friendly insulation meeting a Class 1 fire rating was installed throughout the entire cavity behind the cabinet. This material offered superior thermal resistance, reducing heat transfer through the wall.
    • Drywall Installation and Finishing: Above the cabinet, a section of drywall was installed to create a complete and insulated wall surface. The installed drywall was then professionally taped, compounded, sanded, and painted to seamlessly blend with the existing wall.

 

Sealed joints to contain cold drafts

Sealed joints to contain cold drafts

 

Air sealing the wall

Air sealing the wall

 

Insulation and air sealing in progress

Insulation and air sealing in progress

 

Benefits and Client Satisfaction:

By implementing these targeted measures, we achieved the following benefits for the homeowner:

  • Improved Energy Efficiency: Reduced air leakage and enhanced thermal resistance in the identified areas will lead to improved energy efficiency. The homeowner can expect lower heating and cooling costs.
  • Enhanced Comfort: Eliminating drafts will significantly improve comfort levels throughout the living space, especially near the entryway and the south-facing kitchen wall.
  • Reduced Noise Transfer: The chosen insulation material also provides sound absorption qualities, potentially reducing outside noise intrusion into the home.
  • Environmentally Friendly Approach: The use of eco-friendly insulation materials ensures a sustainable solution while contributing to a healthier indoor environment.

This case study showcases the effectiveness of a targeted approach to insulation and air sealing. By focusing on specific areas identified through careful inspection, we were able to significantly improve the energy efficiency and comfort of the Brooklyn home. This project demonstrates our commitment to providing homeowners with practical solutions that enhance their living space and contribute to a more sustainable future.

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