Important Things to Consider Before Attic Insulation
April 5, 2020
Most homeowners fail to realize that inspecting their attic and ensuring that it is in good condition is crucial in making a difference in their comfort as well as the energy bill. Studies show that proper attic insulation can help you save around 20 to 50 percent on your heating bill. In addition to this, it also aids in melting the snow more quickly after a snowstorm, thus reducing the load on the roof. Read on to learn how to get started with insulating your attic.
Things to Know Before Insulating the Attic
1. Examine the Attic
When evaluating your attic, consider the following aspects:
- Understand the conditions of your roof structure and the attic space. Are the trusses and decking secure? Is there any discolouration or open spaces?
- Look for damp or wet spots that may indicate moisture problems. If you find any, assess the cause and address the issue before installing insulation. Do you see stains on the floor or water lines down the walls?
- Inspect the rafters and ensure that they are not sagging or damaged. Try the touch test, if the rafters have a spongy feel they have been compromised by moisture. This condition will affect the structural integrity of your roof and is dangerous if left unattended.
2. Seal the Space Completely
When examining your attic, make sure it is air sealed. Eliminate any cracks, holes, or other gaps to maintain the desired temperature. Foam spray insulation is commonly used for air sealing. Also, check your attic and roof ventilation system to ensure there is some degree of insulation in your attic. Your attic should have a temperature consistent with outside temperatures plus or minus five degrees. Make sure that you have a functioning soffit to permit fresh air to be drawn into the attic to help with ventilation.
3. Select the Right Insulation
When choosing the insulating material for your attic, consider the following factors:
- R-value: It is the rating for the material’s heat resistance. The rule of thumb is that the higher the R-value, the better the insulation. It may also vary depending on your region.
- Area Available: Effective insulation also depends on the amount of space each type of material requires. Thus, it helps to consider the space available for insulation when choosing the type of attic insulation.
- Cost: Choose the type of insulation that suits your needs as well as your budget.
4. Other Key Prep Steps Before You Insulate
Adhere to the following to ensure that your attic insulation lasts for years:
- Fix Roof Leaks
Water damage often leads to the growth of mold and ruins the insulation. Look for signs of water leaks and get it fixed immediately.
- Keep Enough Gap Between Insulating Materials and Light Fixtures
Avoid fire hazards by keeping at least a 3-5 inch gap around all the fixtures, preventing them from touching the insulating material.
- Direct All Vents to the Exterior
Ensure that humid air doesn’t get trapped inside your home by properly venting it outside.
In addition to making a home more energy-efficient overall, adequate attic insulation can provide homeowners with the following benefits:
- Preservation of roof integrity and longevity
- Improvement of the air quality inside the home
- Prevention of expensive roof repairs/replacement
- Averting the formation of ice dams during the winter
- Extending the lifespan of heating and cooling systems
There are principally three types of attic insulation commonly in use today, including:
- Fiberglass Insulation – sheets or rolls that are sized to fit the spaces between floor joints and wall studs; they can be cut with a sharp blade to fit into irregular spaces or to permit pipes or wiring to pass through, and can also be treated with fire-resistant chemicals to provide added protection for home and occupants.
- Blown-In (Cellulose) Insulation – this form consists of loose fibers or fiber pellets that are distributed through specialized machinery; due to its loose-fill nature, it is a good option for attics with unfinished floors, as this material will readily fill/plug gaps and spaces.
- Spray Foam Insulation – a compound prepared by qualified spray foam insulation contractors and applied using special equipment; it acts as both insulation and an air barrier and is very effective in sealing cavities and gaps to prevent heat loss and cold air penetration. Additional benefits of spray foam insulation include its fire-resistant and insect-resistant properties, noise reduction, and its substantial long-term savings with respect to home energy bills; it is considered by many to be the best option of the three attic insulation types.
Experienced Spray Foam Installation Contractors Can Help Optimize its Benefits
Compared to the other types of attic insulation, foam has a higher initial installation cost. However, as noted above, foam insulation provides the dual benefits of inhibiting heat loss and preventing cold air penetration into the home, pivotal factors in reducing home energy bills.
To gain the maximum benefits from spray foam, the installation must be completed by experienced roofing and insulation contractors like the team from Integrity Roofers in Toronto; this would be particularly important if the existing attic insulation requires removal before the foam insulation is sprayed.
In scheduling a thorough roof and attic inspection by Integrity Roofers, homeowners will receive a detailed analysis of the energy efficiency, or, more accurately, the deficiency of this area of the home. In turn, Integrity Roofers can seal these leaks professionally prior to addressing the insulation itself.
Having sufficient attic insulation and effective air-sealing can have a major impact on the energy efficiency of your home. If you have questions about spray foam insulation (such as how much does spray foam installation cost?)
Our Professional Roofers Can Help with Attic Insulation in Toronto
At Integrity Roofers, we offer many roofing services, including attic insulation. We will conduct a complete analysis of your attic and recommend the proper attic insulation, including ventilation and air sealing. We can help you reduce your energy bills and increase the lifespan of your heating and air conditioning systems by providing reliable advice. In addition to this, we can also help you decide the most suitable type of insulation for your attic.
If you have questions about spray foam insulation, call the attic insulation specialists from Integrity Roofers today at 647.953.9365. For more information about our attic insulation services in Toronto. You could also fill out our online form to schedule an assessment.