Attics are often undervalued as parts of a home. Though an attic space that is properly maintained and protected from external damages can be very beneficial for Albertan homes. High-quality attic spaces can even be turned into another fully functional room in the home.
Attic insulation plays a large role in getting the most from the space as well as in protecting the space from moisture, mold growth, wind and more. A non-insulated or under-insulated attic can increase your home heating or cooling costs while making the space very vulnerable to damage. DonÕt let your attic space become a burden on your home.
There are several different types of attic insulation that can each provide great benefits to your home. More insulation is not always the answer, as too much insulation can trap air and moisture. Leave your attic insulation needs to an experienced professional to ensure tat the ideal type and amounts of insulation are installed, with professional levels of service and craftsmanship.
Why Do Homes Need Attic Insulation?
The weather that Albertan homes are forced to face in a single year can range from double digit negative to positives. Weather conditions can create winds that reach upwards of 80-100 km/h and over 50 inches of annual snowfall. An attic space that lacks insulation can account for nearly half of a homeÕs heat or cool air loss in respective seasons. Without the proper insulation, your attic space can become vulnerable to leaks, mold, damage and increased energy bills.
Attic insulation can help protect your home and make it a more Ògreen propertyÓ. Insulation decreases the amount of airflow in your home, which leads to a more consistent air temperature. With less air temperature changes required, less energy is needed to keep your home comfortable. This leads to a lower carbon footprint and lowers energy bills in you home. Insulation can also protect the space. Insulation can create buffer points to protect from roof leaks, as well as can promote airtight seals to effectively limit moisture from ever entering the space.
Types Of Attic Insulation
Different types of attic insulation can be better for varying individual budgets, attic needs, current insulation levels and more. Insulation batts, loose-fill insulation, spray foam insulation and radiant insulation barriers can all be used in an attic space.
* Batt & Blanket Ð These are the most commonly used types of insulation. Batts are sold and or cut to fit snugly between attic joists. The insulation can offer an R-value of roughly 3.5 per square inch. This insulation is cost-effective and efficiently installed but can become damaged with moisture leaks or with residual moisture in the attic space.
* Loose-Fill Ð Loose-fill insulation can be the most effectively installed form of attic insulation. Insulation pads are broken down and sprayed into the area by a large machine and hose. Bags of pre-broken down insulation can also be sold and spread effectively into hard to reach areas. Mineral wool, fibreglass and cellulose can all represent the base component of loose-fill insulations. Loose-fill, blown in insulation offers an average R-value of 2.2-3.8 per inch depending on the insulation base material.
* Spray Foam Ð Spray foam insulation offers the most complete insulation seal. Spray foam is sprayed through a can onto the underside of the attic space. Spray foam can be used to seal crevasses or cracks, or can be used as a powerful and complete attic insulator. Spray foam can offer R-value upwards of 6.5 per inch of thickness. Spray foam needs to be used with an effective attic ventilation system to prevent air and moisture from being trapped by the powerful insulator.
* Radiant Barrier Ð Radiant barriers are most effective in warmer climates. These barriers help absorb and deflect heat that enters through via your roof. This helps reduce heat gain and lowers summer cooling costs by up to 10%.
In addition, rigid foam boards can be used in specialty attic areas, such as hatches or other entry points. Consult a professional contractor to make sure you use the tight kinds of attic insulation.
How Much Insulation Is Enough?
Your attics current insulation levels and types, coupled with your home location and average external air temperatures will dictate how much insulation your attic needs. Most Canadian homes are advised to carry an average attic R-value of R-40 or higher to combat the commonly cold temperatures. This means that if your select insulation batts system that provides an R-value of 3.5 per inch of insulation you will need 12-inch insulation batts. More attic insulation is not always the answer. Have a professional provide an initial inspection to define the ideal amount of incaution for your attic space.