Attics are probably the first place that homeowners should consider when looking to upgrade the insulation in their home.
Heat tends to rise and a properly insulated attic will help to retain as much heat as possible. It is not uncommon to have homeowners say that they have never looked in their attic or that it has been years since they did. Having an Alpine representative look at your attic is a quick and easy way to check for potential problems with your roof, pests, ventilation, bed and bathroom fan performance and venting, skylights, air or water leakage and the state of your insulation. An inspection by our professionals will provide information on much more than just your insulation.
The current BC Building code calls for R40 insulation in attics, while BC Hydro is recommending homeowners install R50. The depth of insulation that is required in an attic depends on the type of material that is used to insulate an attic. See the table below for some general guidance on attic insulation:
||R value per inch
||cm's for R40
|Fibre Glass Batts
||3.3 - 3.9
||25 - 30
||Light, move-able, less compaction when disturbed, higher cost to install, needs to be fitted
|Blown-in Fibre Glass products
||2.2 - 2.7
||35 - 43
||Light, hard to move, less compaction when disturbed, cheaper to install, can be blown over existing material
|Blown-in Cellulose products
||3.2 - 3.8
||25 - 30
||Heavier, dusty, hard to move, can be flammable, can be blown over existing material, cheaper than batts
|Blown-in mineral/rock wool products
||3.0 - 3.3
||29 - 33
||Light, hard to move, compacts more than FG, finer particles, cheaper to install
It is very important that attics are well ventilated to avoid damage from moisture, mildew or odors. Soffit and roof vents are critical components of a roof system and when insulating, precautions should be taken to preserve the flow of air from the soffit, above the insulation, to the roof vents. Alpine estimators and installers will inform you about your existing ventilation situation and what they can do to either preserve it or improve it.
The ceiling below your attic is full of holes, gaps and penetrations. Warm moist air escapes through cracks, gaps and holes in your ceiling into your attic. When this moist air meets the cold air in your attic it can condense which can lead to
significant moisture issues such as mold, mildew and rot. While a properly insulated attic will help to slow down your heat loss, further actions can be taken to minimize the movement of warm moist air into your attic. Sealing air leaks is one of the more inexpensive home improvement activities you can undertake and yet it yields some of the highest paybacks in terms of time and money spent.
Alpine Insulation offers draftproofing services with every attic installations that it does.
Prior to adding insulation, crews will take a Hilti gun with a long nozzle and spray low expanding sprayfoam into and/or around fireplaces, electrical wiring, holes or penetrations in the ceiling, potlights and other areas. Energy auditors have identified draftproofing as “one of the best bangs for your buck when insulating your home.” Ask your estimator to provide you with a quote to have this work done before you add new insulation as trying to come back and do it later is more expensive and difficult.