Attic Insulation Installation & Service
Attic insulation is crucial in keeping your home energy efficient.
What is attic insulation and why do I need it?
Attic insulation installation is crucial to keep your home energy efficient. An uninsulated attic makes the heat from your home pass through the rafters and leave the building. Meaning that your HVAC and furnace will be pulling extra energy to counteract the airflow pulling out of the attic. Attic insulation works in the same way that insulation in lunch boxes and thermoses do. It keeps the hot things hot, and the cold things cold. If you’ve ever ventured into an uninsulated attic during the summer you know it’s a miserable feeling. It’s also proof that the cooling system in your house is being used more to negate the perpetual temperature flux in your home.
What are my options for attic insulation?
Your attic can be insulated using one of three methods: batting, blowing, or spraying. Each offer their own advantages and disadvantages as well as are applied due to different types of attic construction. If the attic contains your air ducts sprayed insulation may be the best fit for you.
Batting is the most commonly seen type of attic insulation. If you’ve ever been to a large home repair store you’ve probably seen the large pink and silver sushi looking rolls of batting with the Pink Panther slyly peeking out from behind the label. Batting is cut and laid down into the beams of the attic floor or sometimes on the eaves of the roof. Batting is made up of either fiberglass or cotton. The cotton ones are usually blue and made from recycled blue jeans. The disadvantage of batting is that there can be holes or voids to make room for wires, framing, exhaust fans and lights. Each hole makes batting a little less effective.
Blown insulation is either fiberglass or cellulose which is made from recycled newspapers. It’s usually preferred over batting when there are small sections that might be harder to reach, holes that need to be lightly covered but not smothered, or when there are gaps that traditional batting insulation wouldn’t normally cover. The process involves loading a large hose up into your attic and blowing out the insulation. It looks similar to a firefighter hose shooting out tiny pieces of packing peanuts. There are no real differences in the level of insulation between the two material options, and both provide high quality insulation.
The last of the three attic insulation is spray foam insulation. Similar to the expandable foam you may see around pipes, but on a much larger scale. There are two types of spray foam which have their own adherents. Open cell spray foam and closed cell spray foam.
Open Cell Spray Foam
Open cell polyurethane spray foams are the lesser chosen option. The insulation value is lower, heat resistance is lower, and doesn’t hold up in extreme temperatures as well. This doesn’t mean that open cell doesn’t provide good insulation, but that it’s less structurally sound. Open cell spray foam is often cheaper, but can lead to much more expensive repairs and maintenance over the years. Open cell does not have resistance to water, vapor, and air.
Closed Cell Spray foam
Closed cell spray foam is a denser and more popular choice among the two polyurethane spray foams. Closed cell spray foam offers not only higher levels of insulation, but also due to its density offers the most amount of resistance to water damage or water penetration. Closed cell spray foam is usually more expensive, but the benefits make it worth while. Having higher quality insulation, water barriers, and prevention against mold damage all lead to a longer lasting investment in insulating your attic.