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Which Type of Attic Insulation is Best?

An attic is a valuable part of your house. It is considered to be an extra room that can be used in different ways. Some use their attics as additional bedrooms while others prefer to use their attics as storage spaces for some of their things that may only be used on special occasions. These are just some of the uses for attics which make it important for homeowners to ensure that they give their attics enough care and attention at all times. There are people who are unaware that their attics can actually be used as protective barriers against temperature changes. However, for this to happen, it is important that the attics are properly insulated with the best type of insulation materials created. This article aims to discuss which insulation materials are considered to be the best choice for attics.

Things To Know About Attic Insulation

Before discussing the best type of insulation material that can be used to insulate the attic, people should first understand the concept of attic insulation. Insulation has always been considered to be a crucial part of a house, especially if it is located in a country that is exposed to constant extreme climate changes throughout the year. For those who want to know more about attic insulation, you may refer to the following information:

  • Based on the natural movement of air, it is known that hot air will always try to transfer to areas that are colder. Insulation is used to deal with this by preventing this movement of hot air. The attic is usually the closest area to the roofing of the house. There is always the possibility that hot air that has entered through the voids and openings on the roofing structure would also escape into different areas of the house through some small cracks and spaces found inside the attic. Insulation deals with the prevention of hot air from flowing through to areas that have lower temperatures. This means that by insulating the attic, you can effectively prevent hot air from going into different rooms and areas of your house.
  • Attic insulation is usually done because homeowners wish to save on their energy bills. An attic without proper insulation causes inefficient use of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVAC) installed in houses. Inefficiency happens when the HVAC system is not able to achieve the preferred temperature set on the thermostat. Just like during summer, the hot air coming from outside the house will tend to enter your house through the spaces in the roofing structure. If this happens, the hot air that was able to enter will then try to go into different areas of the house with lower temperatures through the small cracks and openings located inside the attic. When hot air successfully enters the rooms with lower temperatures, hot air pockets are formed in those areas, and the air-conditioning system will detect that the room temperature is higher than what was set on the thermostat. This would force the air-conditioning system to keep on running until it reaches the preferred temperature. Since there has been no proper insulation set up, the hot air will keep on adding hot air pockets, and the room temperature will not be able to reach the temperature set on the thermostat. This causes the increased usage of electricity, which in turn increases the energy bills.
  • Insulation can be installed on various areas inside the attic. It is crucial that insulation materials are installed on areas where electrical switches and outlets are located. Other than the problem of hot air entering the attic, water and moisture can also leak into the attic. Water and moisture are dangerous if they suddenly enter these electrical sockets and outlets. Without proper insulation, water and moisture can cause corrosion to the metallic parts inside these sockets and outlets. Corrosion can degrade the quality of these parts and may become fire hazards. Another area that needs to focus with insulation is the access point of the attic. This is a great suspect for air from leaking out or into the attic. Drop-down stairs, doors and hatches need to be installed with insulation because there are small voids that may not be visible to a person’s eye. This area can be the main entry point for moisture and air to flow through to the different rooms of the house.
  • Another issue that attic insulation can prevent is the formation of molds and mildews inside the attic. People need to realize that water or moisture can enter the attic through the roofing structure or any cracks and voids on the walls of the attic. It is very important that molds and mildews should not be able to form inside attics because these can cause allergic reactions to the inhabitants of the house. Homeowners should consider the health of their family members at all times.
  • Attics tend to become dusty if they are not properly insulated. There may be voids or spaces large enough for dust particles to enter the attic. This is why some homeowners would regularly find their attics getting dusty even if they have not been used recently. The attic can be a place where a homeowner can store things that are not being used. To avoid getting allergic reactions with the dust and to avoid the need of constantly cleaning the attic whenever there is a need to get some things out of the area, insulating the attic will help the homeowner avoid these problems.

Related Article: What is the Best Insulation for Roof?

attic spray insulation

The Best Type of Attic Insulation

The insulation industry is currently filled with a wide variety of materials that can be used to insulate different areas of a house. Specifically, the roof can be insulated with various types of materials. However, it is crucial for people to realize that the best choice for attic insulation should be the most cost-effective one as well. Based on its benefits and advantages, spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is currently the most cost-effective type to insulate the attic. Even though spray foam insulation is one of the more expensive choices to apply, homeowners can clearly see the differences and benefits once the product has already been fully installed. The product is actually made from mixing two chemicals; resin and isocyanate. It is applied by spraying the product on the different areas that contain even the smallest cracks, voids, openings, and spaces. The product is able to penetrate these areas before it starts to expand and eventually harden. To know why spray foam is the best type of attic insulation, it would be best for people to know the following benefits and advantages:

  • For unfinished attics, spray foam insulation can easily seal any of the small voids that are not very clear. With its material, it is able to flow into areas that may be very hard to reach. Compared to other types of insulation that need to be cut and shaped based on the edges and curves found on different parts of the attic, the spray foam material can easily follow the shape of these areas. The insulation material can extend down the roofline up to the joists and soffit areas. This type of insulation material makes it possible for the product to completely cover the different areas in the attic. It also sticks more effectively to the surfaces of the attic which assures the homeowner that there will be no possibility of air or water from leaking through gaps between the surface and the insulation material.
  • R-value is a very important aspect of insulation. This is the best way to measure the capability of the insulation material to effectively resist thermal conduction. If the insulation material has a higher R-value, this would mean that it is better at preventing heat from penetrating through the insulation material. Spray foam insulation material has an R-value of at least 3.6 per inch. This would depend on the type of spray foam insulation that is going to be used. Open cell spray foam insulation has an R-value of 3.6 to 3.8 per inch. The other type, known as closed cell spray foam insulation, on the other hand, has an R-value of at least 6.0 per inch.
  • Durability ensures that spray foam insulation can last for at least 10 years. The end-product can actually last for more than 50 years. It is known to be unaffected by corrosion. This is why the product does not go through constant wear and tear. However, the product can be damaged physically by a strong external force. It may get damaged when scratched by pests, but without significant force, it is known to withstand any pressure from different weather conditions.
  • In relation to the problems caused by molds and mildews, homeowners will be happy to know that spray foam insulation is not a source of food for these molds and mildews. Compared to cellulose or paper-backed insulation materials, molds and mildews will not be able to survive having no source for sustenance with this type of attic insulation material.

Spray Foam Is The Most Cost-Effective Type Of Attic Insulation

As previously discussed, homeowners in Canada should consider the effects of extreme climate changes when it comes to the type of insulation material that they will be using for their attics. Installation and product costs should not only be used as their basis because the quality, effectiveness, and longevity of the insulation material are more important. It is highly advised to consult first with an insulation contractor before buying insulation materials. Hiring the services of a professional team of experts would ensure that the job will be done safely and efficiently. For any insulation concerns, you may contact the Spray Foam Insulation at (416) 880-1927.

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