Things to keep in Mind when Insulating the Attic

August 10th, 2012

The attic is often the most ignored part of a house and its insulation too is frequently overlooked. If you have decided to insulate your attic, that is one of the most judicious, energy-efficient choices you have made. Benefits of Attic insulation
  • Promotes comfortable and healthy living
  • Enhances energy efficiency
  • Lowers operating costs
Types of attic insulation The choice of insulation material depends upon its R-value or resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the better is your insulation. Keeping this in mind, you can choose from the following most widely used options.
  • Batts – These are available in fibreglass and cotton variants and are long interweaving fibres with adhesive binders. They are cheap but have low R-value.
  • Blown – Fibreglass or cellulose can be blown with a hose into the empty places. These insulate better because they come in smaller chunks.
  • Sprayed – These can be closed or open celled and are more flexible and insulate better than other materials, but are more expensive.
You can use a single type of insulation or a combination to give the desired effect. Things to keep in mind
  • If your attic has vermiculite insulation, chances are that it may contain asbestos. Leave it to a certified and experienced contractor to bring it down.
  • Seal any air leaks from the attic to home including exhaust fan openings, areas like fallen roofs or any other hole.
  • Cover all open areas with plywood on the attic side to nullify energy loss. For the tops of the interior walls use long lasting caulk for sealing smaller holes and foam or foam boards to cover larger holes.
  • You need to install blocking or metal flashing to meet fire safety requirement standards for the heat producing equipments like chimneys or exhaust fans in the attic.
  • The soffit vents should not be blocked by insulation.
  • Make repairs in the attic roof ceilings before insulating.
  • Before buying a product, read the label very well to find out if it is suitable for your installation and also meets the health, safety and fire-hazard issues.
  • Don’t place higher density insulation on lower density insulation.
  • If you experience periods of hot weather, it is advisable to install a radiant barrier along with the insulation.
Getting the right contractor Your contractor should:
  • Use latest building science technology
  • Inspect and evaluate your property
  • Recommend the most suitable and cost effective solutions
  • Tell you how much insulation will be required
  • Have the required license to operate
  • Provide after sales services and guarantee on the finished product
The basics of insulating attic can help you decide whether you will do it yourself or hire a contractor to do it for you. As the attic is an easy place to insulate, you can use DIY kits. However, the job is best done by a professional to give you years of peace and comfort.