If you are looking for ways to make your home more energy efficient, especially in sweltering Raleigh summers, sealing your attic with spray foam insulation is one of the best investments you can make. Insulation provides a thermal resistance to convective and conductive heat flow. Conductive is the heat that moves through materials, such as your roof, wood in your attic, and sheet rock in your ceiling. Convective heat flow is how heat circulates through your home, such as how warm air rises and cool air sinks. By using insulation in your attic, you're blocking the natural movement of heat flowing into cooler parts of your home, whether it's hot air from your attic leaking into your air conditioned rooms, or warm air from your living areas seeping into a cold attic.
What is Spray Foam Insulation?
Spray foam insulation is a fairly new material (compared to fiberglass and cellulose) commonly made from organic compounds used to make polymers. When the liquid polyol and liquid isocyanate combine and are sprayed, the liquids become a foam that can expand up to sixty times the size of the liquid. Foam insulation can be sprayed directly onto walls, between studs, and even into small gaps around electrical outlets, or where walls meet floors, windows, and doors. Not only does this provide a heavy-duty, long-lasting insulation, but it also provides a near-impenetrable seal against air and water leaks.
Insulation Effectiveness Based on R-Values
All types of insulation is given an R-value rating that shows how effective it is against conductive heat flow. For example, fiberglass batts that are unrolled into your attic have an R-value of 3.5, cellulose has a value of 4.0. Our open-cell spray foam insulation has an R-value of 7.0, meaning it is significantly more effective at stopping heat from moving from your roof into your attic or vice versa.
How Is Attic Foam Insulation Installed?
When a space is going to be insulated with attic foam, the first step is starting with a clean slate, so any old insulation is removed. Next, the installation technicians run a long hose to your attic that is connected to the two containers of liquid used to make the foam. As the techs begin methodically and efficiently spraying your attic walls, eaves, and, if you choose, the flooring, where the foam sticks to nearly every material, including wood, masonry, and metal, and expands dramatically, providing an airtight, water-resistant barrier.
The substance quickly dries after it reaches its maximum size. Once it's a solid material the techs cut off excess foam, and clean up the attic. The overall process is quick, but due to the complexity of the spray, it must be installed by a professional insulation company.
Benefits of Attic Foam Insulation
The number one benefit to using spray insulation in your attic is that it improves home efficiency. By sealing air leaks and drafts while also reducing heat conduction from your attic to your living areas, your HVAC unit won't work so hard. You'll see lowered energy bills, without having to sacrifice your comfort. Additional benefits include:
- A more eco-friendly option than fiberglass and cellulose
- Prevents mold and mildew growth by hindering moisture transfer
- It's rigid, strong structure benefits your attic's structural integrity
- Is not a food source for insects and pests
- Does not move or shift over time
- No dust, allergens, or particles to flow through duct work and aggravate breathing or cause allergic reactions.
The Fallacy of Attic "Breathing"
By using spray foam in the attic, we are often sealing up all open spaces, even the smallest cracks and crevices. This includes ventilation spaces.
Traditionally, ventilation in attics was thought to protect your home by keeping air circulating, preventing moisture from building up in the winter and allowing heat to escape in the summer. These vents were said to let your attic "breathe." However, it's only necessary to let moisture and hot air build up escape when it's entering through cracks and voids in the roof to begin with. When moisture and excess heat can't build up, there's no cause for concern.
Reach Out to Your Raleigh Attic Foam Insulation Experts Today!
If you'd like to learn more about creating a more comfortable, energy efficient home, we're here to help! In addition to caring for your attic, we also provide basement waterproofing and crawl space sealing to ensure your home is insulated, dry, and healthy. Give us a call at 919-847-7072 or fill out our online form, and schedule a no-obligation estimate today!