The forgotten area of your home – your attic insulation
When it comes to home insulation and maintenance, the attic is often forgotten, and this oversight could turn into a costly mistake. Attics should be inspected once a year. An annual attic inspection could save you money on expensive repairs as well as lower your energy bills. Here are a few key things to look for when inspecting an attic and attic insulation.
Signs of Rodents or Raccoons
While every creature has its rightful place, sometimes animals are enticed into spaces where they do not belong. Your attic is one such place. Rodents and raccoons are outdoor animals, but that doesn’t stop them from sneaking into your home.
These mess-making critters can inflict quite a bit of damage to your property as well as your health. Rodents and raccoons do more than leave feces and urine behind in their wake; they can also pack down your insulation, reducing its thermal resistance. They also love to chew electrical wires.
Safety and Structural Issues
Any safety or structural issues should be resolved prior to doing an attic upgrade.
Proper soffit air intake and roof ventilation reduces the chances of mold. Yes, the stuff that we should not breathe and that will devalue your home. Further, when mold is there, wood rot is not far behind.
Chances are that one day the plywood on your roof is going to have to be replaced and there is a risk of premature aging of your shingles. The bottom-side of shingles is not treated for mass heat exposure, and the heat from the poorly ventilated attic will cause them to overheat from the bottom up. Attic ventilation and attic insulation will help the overall performance of the entire home.
By having the forgotten area of your home inspected once a year, and having the attic insulation and attic ventilation upgraded, you can save on expensive repairs, save on energy, and, most importantly, live in a healthy, mold-free environment.
Deciding on an Insulation Contractor for Attic Insulation
So now that you have decided to have a peek in the attic, choose an experienced and trusted attic insulation contractor, who truly understands air movement in attics. Attic insulation installers, like Insta-Insulation, do this every day and have more experience than any do-it-your-selfer.
A well-trained insulation contractor must be able to demonstrate up-to-date knowledge in the insulation industry, including any changes to the building code by which they must abide. This means that in Ontario, an insulation contractor should be well versed in any relevant modifications made in 2017 to the Ontario Building Code (OBC).
If you are building a new home, and the permit was issued after 2016, an insulation contractor should advise you on the update to the insulation level requirement for attics, which has increased from R-50 to R-60. They should also tell you about the new requirement for continuous insulation in all new buildings. All this means is new constructions must have a monolithic layer of insulation to block thermal bridging, or heat loss, through structural wood or steel studs. Continuous insulation can be done following different systems, including foam board or spray foam. The most suitable continuous insulation system for your home needs will depend on structural design as well as the location of the insulation installation in your new home.
If you own an older home, these two new OBC rules do not apply to you. In fact, increasing attic insulation to R-60 in an older home could lead to moisture and mold issues as well as deteriorate the structural integrity of the attic space, including the top plate, soffit area, and roof sheathing. These problems can occur in older homes that do not have sufficient space over the outside wall plates for an R-60 insulation increase. In many cases, R-50 insulation is also too much. Simply following up-to-code ventilation processes may not be good enough to compensate for too much insulation. This is why it is so crucial for an insulation contractor to give you all relevant facts to your home’s specific insulation needs.
In addition to this, an insulation expert should also advise you on proper up-to-code soffit prep. Soffit prep is important to guarantee the wall and the top plate joint are insulated to avoid any deficiencies and soffits are free to intake air flow.
Only after a site visit can a real price be quoted and any commitment of support be given by a professional attic insulation contractor. The contractor will also be trained on any government rebate programs that might be available to you, which could save you from 25 to 40 percent on your energy bills. You might be entitled to a reimbursement from the government. It pays to hire a professional attic insulation contractor.
What Product do I Choose?
Pink fiberglass or cellulose insulation? This is the easy choice.
Fiberglass insulation holds heat. Once the insulation heats up, it reduces insulation effectiveness. Fiberglass also lacks the ability to deal with moisture and, with any attic, excessive moisture build up can become an issue.
Blown attic cellulose wicks moisture and then releases it slowly, which reduces the build-up of moisture in other attic components. This helps to reduce the chance of mold formation. This process explains why most attics with mold have fiberglass insulation and not cellulose. Cellulose fiber insulation is made primarily of newsprint, which is treated with fire retardants, such as borates, that also reduce mold formation.
Does Fiberglass Absorb Moisture?
The answer is no. The moisture sits at the bottom of the glass and could contribute to premature building degradation.
Properly upgrading your attic with a blown insulation top-up and an increase in attic ventilation will ensure a healthier home and protect your home investment.
Peace of Mind
Insta-Insulation has been the most trusted attic insulation provider in southern Ontario for 25 years, and for good reason: we provide professional solutions to keep you comfortable year-round, while also saving you money on your energy bills.
The Choice of Industry Leaders
We are HGTV Professional Contractor Bryan Baeumler’s insulator of choice and have worked with Mike Holmes for over 10 Years. Fully licensed and insured, Insta-Insulation is the right choice for your attic insulation upgrade.
For a free attic inspection and information on our Zero Interest Payment Plan for 24 months, please call us today at 1-800-668-0311.