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The Role of Attic Insulation

By Clean Crawls on August 3, 2013

Did you know that attic insulation is the key to many problems regarding mold, rodent havoc, water damage and crazy AC bills?

Some homeowners might think the attic is the least important part of their house. In reality, however, the condition and temperature of any attic will affect everything that is stored in it and everyone living below it. An attic that is not properly sealed against the weather and temperature fluctuation will soon begin to suffer from damage inflicted by damp, mold, rodents, odors, ice, and heat.

attic blow-in insulation

Temperature fluctuation puts unnecessary wear and tear on the timbers and materials that support the roof. Additionally, it forces the air conditioning in the living areas below to work harder than necessary and accomplish very little. It’s because of this that the heating and cooling bills are so high. This is not only a problem in the summertime when an attic can reach a damaging temperature of 150 degrees but also in the winter when icicles can collect on beams and timbers.

Lowering the cost of heating and cooling bills have become one of the primary concerns of the modern homeowner. No matter how efficient your central heating system may be, hot air rises into the attic, whereupon it is instantly cooled. It then sinks back down into the ground floor, pushing more hot air to rise and cool. This means that you lose your heat almost as fast as you can generate it.

However, there is a solution! That solution is properly insulating your attic. Based on your particular needs, there are several different types of attic insulation from which to choose...

Fiberglass

As its name would suggest, fiberglass insulation is made of long glass fibers spun together and coated with an agent to bind it together. It is available in batts, as loose fill, and as rigid boards, depending on the size of the spaces you need to cover. It's very popular for household use because it is both fire resistant (very practical) and mold resistant, as well as being able to withstand a small amount of moisture without decreasing its R-value.

Cellulose

This insulation is constructed primarily of newsprint that has been chemically treated to stand against corrosion, rodents, fungal growth, and fire. In comparison to fiberglass, cellulose is only available in a loose fill form, making it the more obvious choice for filling attics, around air ducts, wires, nails, roof trusses etc. For those who live in areas that are subject to cooler temperatures and damp environments, cellulose would be a more efficient option.

Spray Foam

This insulation type is made up of a two-part liquid consisting of a polymer and a foaming agent. Spray foam insulation is applied by shooting the liquid through a nozzle into the area you are insulating. Because it expands as it dries, this foam is a very efficient means of ensuring the best quality of insulation in small or oddly shaped areas by completely sealing off unwanted airflow and moisture. Having an area that is properly air sealed can enhance the benefits of your insulation by up to 50%.

Insulation Is Not Forever

These are only three common options among many to choose from when it comes to insulation. After several years it may be necessary to check and be sure you are still receiving the best quality possible from your insulation. This is known as the R-value. It refers to the “Resistance” levels and efficiency of insulation. It is advised that you speak to an insulation expert such as Clean Crawls and arrange for an attic insulation check-up.

Again, having an attic carefully and professionally sealed is very beneficial to you as the homeowner. Not only does it preserve the quality of your materials, but it also raises the value of your house. Over half of the energy bill is spent on adjusting the temperature of your house; by regulating the temperature of your attic, you can ensure that the heating and cooling levels of your home are proving effective.

In the end, proper attic insulation will save you and your family money in both repairs and energy bills.

Clean Crawls
Attic and crawl space specialist since 2001.

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