The cold drafts of winter are making Iowans think about insulation. MaryAnne Wiggers is owner of a central Iowa firm that adds insulation to new and existing buildings, and says there was a time when making buildings weathertight and insulated was an afterthought, or left out entirely when the structures were built. Many homes don’t have much insulation, structures built as recently as the 1950s, and owners could remodel to improve their energy bills. She says insulation’s invisible, and people don’t think about it until they’re too hot or too cold, but the utility bills reflect it. In both homes and business buildings, Wiggers says adding insulation can cut drafts and even the moisture that leads to mold and “sick building syndrome.” Moving air carries moisture, she explains, and inhibiting the air movement helps cut condensation and the growth of mold. Iowans are also realizing it’s worth it to put insulation into buildings besides just their homes and offices. Her company insulates a lot of shops and farm buildings, as she says it’s expensive to heat a metal building to the point where it’s comfortable to work in there. With modern materials and installation techniques, she says insulation’s allowing designers to make more elaborate and complex homes, as you’ll see by looking at the roof peaks and other design details of modern houses. Wiggers and her husband run “Prairie Foam Insulators” in Huxley.
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