3 Reasons to Replace the Existing Attic Floor Insulation in a Spray Foam Attic
December 27, 2019
In the area of attic insulation, questions abound. It seems to be the mysterious substance that is installed in an attic and forgotten. Depending on the product that was installed in the attic, you could see two different insulation products in your attic. Now, before I get too far down the road, I want to identify the products that insulate your attic. It will provide an understanding of what each tries to do. In the roof, you will see a batt product – a large rectangle that is fitted to close space to prevent heat loss and cold air invasion. On the floor, you will see loose-fill insulation, a product that stops heat leakage through the floor of the attic.
Upgrading your attic with new foam insulation means the old insulation needs to come out. Before you remove the old product, the new foam insulation you use needs to be identified to determine what works best. Here, I get asked several questions about foam insulation.
- What is an ignition barrier, and do I need one?
- Which is better, open or closed-cell foam insulation?
- Does open cell insulation damage my roof causing roof rot?
Here are my three reasons, in increasing order of importance
- To prevent moisture problems.
Open or closed-cell spray foam insulation are excellent products for the evisceration of moisture in the attic. The foam acts as a barrier that helps control humidity and condensation by maintaining a median temperature. Both products significantly reduce the amount of water vapour in your attic, providing a dry environment.
- To get a better air seal.
Foam insulation will provide an airtight seal. That is not subject to debate. As a chemical compound that reacts with the air, it expands where installed. The substance will fill holes, cracks, and crevices. Other products require a vapour barrier and can’t guarantee a 100 percent air seal, like foam.
- To reduce odours and improve indoor air quality.
Attic insulation in Toronto is beneficial for many reasons, as outlined above, but there is more. The improvement in air quality and the elimination of odours caused by mold growth creates a healthy environment. Here is how it works. Foam insulation stops air leakage, and that is a good thing, and it establishes a moisture barrier. Toxic air pollution, dust, and mold cause disease and odours that will permeate anywhere. Once the infiltration becomes more than an irritant, it becomes a hazard. Spray foam will provide a level of fresh or cleaner air that you don’t have now.
Closed Cell Vs. Open Cell Foam Insulation in Attics
The Basic Difference
Apart from the fact that the open type of foam is open, and the other is closed, it works this way. Closed-cell foam is dense and very hard, and open-cell has some cells that are open slightly. The performance of both types of insulation doesn’t vary much, as they both provide excellent insulation value.
Insulating Value And Strength
To understand insulation value, a quick refresher about R-value would serve the purpose. Simply defined, R-value is the capacity of the insulation material to resist heat flow. The higher the R-value, the better the insulating power. Closed-cell insulation has a higher R-value – 6.0 per inch. Open-cell contains an R-value of 3.5 per inch. The structural strength of closed-cell is better as it is firmer than open cell. As a softer material, open-cell is more flexible and less reinforcing than closed cell spray foam.
The cost of foam insulation is variable depending on many factors. The amount of foam you need, the labour to install it, the type of insulation you buy, and the region where you live. Climate and weather will drive the regional concern in your area. The costs for closed-cell insulation is in the range of $1-$1.50 per board and open-cell rates at $0.44-$0.65. The average price for a professional installation of spray foam insulation is about $2000.
Due to the slightly porous nature of open-cell spray foam insulation, small amounts of water can become lodged in the openings. But, the integrity of the foam isn’t compromised because of that situation. On the other hand, closed-cell spray foam insulation is impervious to any water – vapour or liquid – from any source inside or outside.
When you decide to retrofit your attic with spray foam insulation, contact us at Integrity Roofers. One of our residential insulation specialists will be happy to walk you through the advantages of spray foam insulation and how it will improve your financial bottom line and quality of life. For a professional consultation that comes with a professional estimate, call our office today at Integrity Roofers at 647.953.9365