Category Archives: Attic Insulation

The Dangers and Risks of Attic Voids

Whatever the shape or size of a particular home, it’s technically a “box” – with walls, a roof, and a floor. Insulation professionals refer to it as a “building envelope” – and it essentially separates us from the elements. Importantly, it provides a defense from winter cold and summer heat. In the top most portion of the home, the attic provides unique protection from the elements. But even when insulated, “attic voids” may exist – poorly insulated/sealed or empty spaces that provide little to no protection or defense.    Continue reading

Does Spray Foam Insulation Affect Electrical (or Other) Work in the Attic?

While there may be debate between individual contractors about spraying foam insulation over electrical wires, industry guidelines state that spray foam insulation can be applied directly over electrical wiring. The fact is, when wiring is properly sized and housed, there should not be any temperature issues as a direct result of the spray foam. As for applying spray foam to seal up recessed lighting fixtures (or other fixtures), this may necessitate some air circulation to ensure cooling. There are a number of construction options that will accommodate this. Continue reading

Effectively Insulating Low-Slope Roofs

When it comes to insulating low-slope residential roofs, it’s important to do it right and to ensure longevity for the installation. For the most part, these roofs are gently sloping, mostly flat, or completely flat. And in terms of construction, these roofs come in a wide variety – some with attic space, others with very little. Without getting too technical, this is insulation work that must be done correctly – with proper sealing to make the space airtight and with appropriate ventilation.

Insulation contractors usually deal with the inadequacies of a roof before insulation is installed.   In general, roofs leak air, and attics suffer from poor ventilation – both these conditions require retrofitting to make sure that installed insulation will perform. Failing to seal tight and properly ventilate will set the stage for undesirable moisture throughout the space, affecting performance levels of insulation. Building code or not, the space should be made as airtight as possible.

Cutting corners by not installing proper ventilation in a low-slope roof is a prescription for future problems. In fact, moisture can be the biggest enemy – from saturating the existing insulation, to compromising R-Values, to creating a home for mold. All of this considered, it’s better to install an insulation “system” correctly the first time, rather than risk roof damage that might require re-construction. Simply put, a good “system” comprises sealing, insulation and ventilation.

For some insulation specialists, low slope roofs are ideal for applying spray polyurethane foam.  It’s an application that seals the space airtight; blocks unwanted air leakage; prevents moisture collection; and provides thermal insulation – all at one time. Along with appropriate ventilation, most every building inspector will be satisfied with the results. At the same time, this is clearly not a DIY project – there are just too many moving parts for the uninitiated to manage.

Professional insulation contractors understand the full extent of insulating a low slope residential roof. They understand moisture dynamics – they understand the capacity of different products to perform – and they understand the importance of code-compliant ventilation. Quite importantly, they also know what to do when repairs and retrofitting are required prior to the installation of any insulation. Indeed, this may be a good scenario, since starting from scratch has benefits.

With highly specialized projects like low slope roofs, installers must be highly qualified, with the capacity to work collaboratively with other trades. This is especially true when retrofitting is part of the overall project work. Working in any other way will compromise the quality of the project, while risking the performance of the installed insulation. Simply put, effectively insulating low-slope roofs will depend wholly on the experience and expertise of a professional approach.

As for product options, whether the installation specifies blown insulation, batt insulation or spray foam, a quality approach is recommended. This includes following applicable building codes, installing everything according to manufacturer specifications, and doing it all right the first time around – it will simply guarantee the best in short term and long term outcomes.

The Benefits of Insulating Multi-Unit Residential Buildings

The benefits of insulating a multi-unit residential building are basically bottom-line benefits, with residents and owners both saving money. For the most part, this is work that will require the services of a professional insulation contractor. It’s work that requires expertise with building structures, and with high performance insulation products. To ensure the best long-term results for the life of a MURB building, premium insulation products should be professionally installed. Continue reading