You may have heard that attic insulation, when properly maintained, can last decades. There are many benefits to an installation, the main one being saving money on heat and energy! The undesirable effects of worn-out insulation can show up during the winters and in your energy and heat bills. In addition to bills, insulation that is more than 10-15 years old may not align with the U.S. Department of Energy’s guidance on proper insulation for homes.
As Western Washington’s leading Roof Replacement and Repair Contractor, we discovered that countless failing roofs were directly related to the condition of the corresponding attic and crawlspace. To better support our customers, we have developed a number of specialized services to proactively protect your home from dangers you might not be aware of!
In this post, we help you understand why it’s worth paying attention to your attic’s insulation, how to update it, and the costs involved. Guardian Roofing and Gutters can answer all your questions!
What is Insulation and What Does it do?
Heat always moves from warmer areas to areas with cool air. The more the temperature difference, the faster the heat flow to the cold area.
The heated air in your home rises to the ceiling and will move towards the attic unless there’s something to pull it back to recirculate. At the same time the hot air rises, cold air will fill the void. Insulation helps prevent this heat loss. It is a material (fiberglass, cellulose, or spray foam) with millions of tiny air pockets that trap air and slow down the transfer of heat from hot areas to cold regions. Insulation reduces heat loss or gain by acting as a barrier between your home’s interiors and the temperature outside. Ultimately, attic insulation will keep your home warmer and keep your heat and energy bills down.
Why is it Important?
Attic insulation – is it worth it? Absolutely. Updating your attic insulation will help you in two ways: keep your energy costs under control, and you warm and comfortable in the cold months.
With proper attic insulation in place, your HVAC system doesn’t have to work harder to warm up the incoming colder air and drive up your energy bills. Your attic insulation and HVAC air handler will work together to minimize heat loss and prevent nasty energy bill shocks.
The insulation in your attic will recirculate the warm air back into your living space, helping maintain a comfortable interior temperature. You’ll stay warm in winter, cool in summer, and comfortable in all seasons.
All too often the Attic and the Crawlspace of the home is overlooked, allowing potential health hazards like pest infestations and mold development to go unchecked. Dangers to the integrity of your home can also start in the attic or crawlspace, like condensation buildup, wood rot, and deficient insulation.
Why is it Necessary in Our Climate?
You’re no stranger to Pacific Northwest winters. Turning down the thermostat and wearing layers of clothing indoors isn’t the best option. You’ll be better off updating your attic insulation before brisk weather hits.
How Does it Help the Roof?
Good insulation prevents warm air from entering the attic, minimizing chances of condensation, and helping prevent wood rot. It also prevents hot air from rising to the roof. Prolonged exposure to high heat can cause the roof to become brittle and affect its waterproofing ability.
Can Insulation Be Seen from the Attic? How Can I Tell If it’s Good or Needs Help?
You can easily tell if you need more insulation. Look in your attic space. Can you easily see your attic joists? If you can, you should add more insulation. If your attic joists aren’t visible, which means the insulation is above them, then you may not need more insulation.
When is it Installed During the Roofing Process?
You can upgrade your insulation during your roof replacement. In case there’s any damage to the decking, you can replace the insulation after the roofer removes the decking boards.
What Factors Affect How Long Insulation Lasts?
A missing shingle or leak in your roof can cause water to seep into your attic insulation, affecting its effectiveness and attracting mold growth. If a bird or rodent decides to build a home in your attic, it can poke a hole in your insulation. Long bouts of inclement weather can also make your attic insulation vulnerable to damage. As attic insulation and energy efficiency go hand in hand, it’s best not to wait to replace damaged insulation.
Your Attic Space
Insulation addition or ‘top up’ is calculated on a per square foot basis. A bigger attic with little or no insulation will cost more than a smaller space that has some insulation.
The R-value of Insulation Being Added
The R-value of a material is a measure of its thermal resistance, that is, the extent to which it resists heat flow. A higher R-value correlates to better material heat resistance through it. According to the federal Energy Star insulation map. If you already have some attic insulation between joints, you should consider topping it with R38 to R49. Above R60, adding more insulation would be a waste of money.
What Else Affects Cost?
The going rate of labor will factor into the overall installation cost. If old insulation needs to be removed, the installation company may charge an additional removal and disposal fee.
We Can Help
Attic insulation is worth it. if you have a poorly insulated attic, updating your attic insulation will save you money and pay for itself in reduced energy bills. Guardian Roofing and Gutters offers insulation and air sealing services to homeowners in the greater Seattle Area. We can help you enjoy a comfortable room temperature and make your home as energy efficient as possible. If you’re in need of attic insulation inspection, contact us soon and prepare in time for the winter months ahead. Our attic insulation contractors will be more than happy to help.