If you haven't checked your home's insulation in years, it could be time to bring in an insulation contractor to take a look in your attic. If your home is old, the insulation may be old and not as effective as it could be. A properly insulated attic improves your home's energy efficiency and your energy bills. Here are some things to discuss with an insulation contractor about insulating your attic.
Whether Your Old Insulation Has To Go
Insulation contractors can put new insulation over old insulation sometimes. The combined R-value improves heat control in your attic, but this is only a good idea if the old insulation is dry and in good shape. If your insulation is old, it may be compacted or moldy depending on the type of insulation you have. In that case, the old insulation may need to be removed.
The Choices In New Insulation
There are a few choices when it comes to the types of insulation suitable for an attic. They have different prices and modes of installation. Your contractor can offer advice on the right choice taking into account your climate and budget. You might want fiberglass, cellulose, or foam insulation in the form of batt, blown, spray, or boards.
What R-Value Means
R-value is a measure of how well insulation blocks heat transfer. This measures how well heat is held in your home in the winter and how well heat is kept outside in the summer. All types of insulation are measured with an R-value.
The higher the value, the better the insulation and the more it costs. You can increase R-value by making the insulation thicker. Your contractor can help you select the right R-value based on your climate.
How To Go About Sealing Air Leaks
To insulate your attic properly, insulation has to be put down and air leaks need to be sealed. Some insulation can seal leaks on their own. Spray foam expands and spreads, so it fills gaps around pipes and holes in attic wood as it is applied. If you choose batt insulation, your contractor has to seal leaks separately. They may use a can of spray foam to close cracks and gaps before putting the insulation in.
Whether New Insulation Will Affect Your Roof
If you've had ice dams in the past, you may worry about ventilation in your attic or you may wonder if new insulation will make your roof too hot in the summer. The important thing about protecting your roof is to ensure there is adequate ventilation in your attic.
Your insulation contractor may put baffles around the soffit vents so insulation doesn't cover and block them. As long as air can be pulled in the soffit vents and flow out the ridge vents, your attic should get all the ventilation it needs.