Why You Need Attic Insulation & How to Install Attic Insulation
Table of Contents:
- How Attic Insulation Benefits You and Your Roof
- The Types of Attic Insulation
- Cold Versus Warm Insulation
- How to Insulate an Attic
- Insulating an Attic With a Low-Pitched Roof
- Insulating a Roof Without an Attic
- Getting a Roof Replacement? Now is the Time To Update Your Insulation
Disclaimer: This basic guide to insulation is not meant to act as a substitute for a professional opinion. Homeowners should talk to experts and refer to their local building codes before they choose their insulation type and quality. Installation of insulation should be left to professionals.
Should you insulate your attic roof? Insulation is a wise choice to increase the energy efficiency of your home. Quality insulation will make it more cost-effective to heat and cool your home, The Department of Energy’s estimates range from a 10% to 50% savings, depending on several factors. However, attic insulation isn’t just about heating. Proper attic insulation can also keep your roof in better condition by helping to prevent ice dams and condensation.
Your building codes may require you to have a certain quality of insulation. However, installing even better insulation is to your advantage and your roof’s advantage. Although, over-insulation can heat your shingles and shorten their life span. This is especially the case if your roof also lacks proper airflow. Balancing the two needs, one for insulation and one for ventilation is critical.
Almost all building codes and all asphalt roofing manufacturers require proper ventilation of a roofing system, regardless of the form of insulation used. Some forms will impact not only the life of your roof but the coverage your roofing manufacturer provides under your warranty. You should read and understand your roofing warranty and the limitations it has relating to air flow and roofing insulation.
Discover what you need to know about attic insulation and how it affects your roof.
How Attic Insulation Benefits You and Your Roof
Here is how proper attic insulation can benefit your roof:
- Helps prevent ice dams: Heat from your home escapes through your ceiling into your attic if you don’t have insulation. Therefore, during winter, your shingles are at a higher temperature. Warmer shingles may melt the snow sitting on top of them. As temperatures drop, or as the meltwater finds its way to the eaves (which are colder), it refreezes as ice. This is called an ice dam. Ice dams can have a negative impact on your roof performance and shingle life. They increase your risk for leaks and may damage your gutters if they spread into them. Proper insulation is the best way to prevent damage from an ice dam. You should ensure your attic is properly ventilated and install an ice and water protector, such as StormShield®.
- Prevents interstitial condensation: Interstitial condensation occurs in between the layers of your roof. It occurs when warm and cool air meet and create condensation or water droplets. These droplets can build up and damage your roof materials. However, adequate insulation prevents heat transfer through the roof and therefore minimizes the risk of condensation between its layers.
- Prolongs shingle life: With proper attic insulation, your shingles should not be exposed to ice dams and will experience less temperature fluctuation. This helps them perform for longer.
- Prevents gutter damage: Without insulation, your roof deck experiences more dramatic changes and may expand and contract faster. Over time, this expansion and contraction can shift your gutters and loosen your gutter fasteners.
Beyond its effect on your roof, proper attic insulation can also make your home more comfortable and benefit you in other ways, such as:
- Easier to heat and cool: When you have quality attic insulation, more heat stays in your home through the winter, and less radiates down from your attic in the summer. This resistance to heat makes it more affordable to heat or cool your home to the temperature you’re comfortable with.
- Longer life from HVAC appliances: Furnaces, air conditioners and other HVAC units may last longer when they don’t need to work as hard. In contrast, furnaces that run all the time to keep up with heat loss through your attic are more likely to develop problems and may have a shorter life span.
- More consistent temperatures: Attic insulation keeps conditioned air in the home, instead of allowing it to escape through your ceilings, which may make your rooms a more consistent temperature from ceiling to floor. This can make you more comfortable in your home, especially if you have cathedral ceilings.
- Soundproofing: Attic insulation can also reduce the amount of outside noise that comes into your home. This extra benefit can be helpful if you live near busy roads, construction or other sources of noise. However, if your primary goal is soundproofing, wall insulation is typically a better option.
The Types of Attic Insulation
Not sure which type of attic insulation is best? Here is a rundown of the typical options for attic insulation in residential homes:
- Loose-fill: Also called blown-in insulation, loose-fill insulation is made of small particles that are blown into the attic cavity. Loose-fill can be made of fiberglass, mineral wool or cellulose. It is a great option where there are multiple small holes in the space you are insulating.
- Batts and rolls: Batts and rolls are also called blanket insulation, as they look like thick blankets. This insulation can be made of natural fibers, plastic fibers, mineral wool or fiberglass. Fiberglass is the most common option for attic insulation and may come precut to fit typical attic trusses and rafters. Blanket insulation may also have an air and vapor barrier on one side to prevent condensation and to make fastening the insulation to the attic easier.
Each type of insulation and specific insulation product are available with different R-values. The R-value is a measurement of how much the material can prevent heat from moving through it, per inch. Higher R-values are better insulators. Although you can get better performance from any insulation simply by installing a greater thickness of it, the Department of Energy recommends you have more than an R-30 rating on your attic insulation. Those in very cold climates may need even higher R-values.
Rigid foam boards, such as polyisocyanurate, often offer the best R-value per inch. However, these materials are typically used in commercial applications and not for homes. Although, some rigid foam boards, such as IKO’s Enerfoil®, may be used in residential applications where thinness and quality are of top importance. For example, attic hatches don’t have much space for insulation, but are often major contributors to heat loss, making them great candidates for rigid foam board. Similarly, cathedral ceilings may not have space for other types of insulation.
Cold Versus Warm Insulation
You may hear the terms cold insulation and warm insulation when you’re researching your options to insulate your attic. These terms do not refer to a type of insulation or a material. Rather, they refer to where the insulation is installed. Cold insulation is installed on the floor of your attic. If you have cold insulation, your attic will remain cold in winter, as it is exposed to outside temperatures. You should only install cold insulation if you have an unfinished attic and plan on keeping it that way.
Warm insulation is installed on the underside of the roof deck at the top of the attic, just below the roof decking. When you have warm insulation, the attic space is kept warm in the winter, as the heat from the furnace can reach it. If you’d like to finish your attic, you will need warm insulation. Otherwise, it will be very challenging to keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Warm insulation has an impact on shingle performance. Warm insulation results in a “hot roof,” or a roof without ventilation between the shingles and the insulation. On such a roof, the shingles will be hotter than those with cold insulation. Such heat stresses the shingles and prematurely ages them. In addition, a hot roof deck is more likely to create roof ice dams or allow for condensation and mold growth.
How To Insulate an Attic
You should always get an expert to install your attic insulation. There are many safety precautions that professionals must take during installation that homeowners may not understand or may simply not have the equipment for. Plus, common mistakes made by homeowners who attempt to install their attic insulation themselves, such as blocking air vents or using improper installation techniques, can be very costly to repair.
While the professionals will do the work, here’s what you can expect from the process of installing insulation in your home:
- Assess current insulation: Together with an expert, you should inspect and consider the condition of your attic’s current insulation, if it has any. This is an important step, as you may find roof problems or rafter damage, which a roofer should correct before you install new insulation. Otherwise, roof leaks may damage the new insulation. Your professional may also be able to guess the quality of your current insulation, so you can ensure that your new materials will be an upgrade. During the inspection, your professional will assess how much room you have in your attic, as certain types of insulation may be too thick to be properly installed in your space.
- Choose new insulation: Next, you should go over your insulation options with an expert. They may have a recommendation for you based on how much room you have in your space, budget and what kind of R-value you hope to achieve. If you’re not sure what kind of insulation and R-value are best for your climate, find out what your building codes demand and explore recommendations based on your province or territory in the Canadian Insulation Codes and Standards and other building codes. Americans should refer to their IECC climate zone. After you decide and sign off on an estimate, the work can begin.
- Wear protective gear: When it comes time to begin the actual installation, your professionals will don protective gear. The exact personal protective equipment they wear will depend on the type of insulation. But you can expect them to wear clothing that covers all their skin, plus goggles and a face mask.
- Apply according to manufacturer’s directions: Your professionals should diligently follow the insulation manufacturer’s instructions for installing their product. However, these processes differ wildly. For example, the outside temperature affects some insulation types during installation. If so, your professionals must delay work until conditions are right for your specific insulation type. Or, when installing roll insulation, your professional will need to take extra steps to ensure your attic fixtures and vents do not become blocked. You may be curious about how long the installation will take, but this too varies depending on the type of insulation. Your contractor should be able to estimate how long your specific installation will take.
- Check your gutters: A few days after attic insulation has completed, it is wise to ask a roofer to come to take a look at your gutters. As the roof decking and fascia are now protected from the conditioned air in your home, their temperature may have changed quickly, causing swelling or shrinking. Your roofers may need to adjust your gutters to keep them draining water effectively. Or, if the gutters have been warped, they may need to be replaced.
Insulating an Attic With a Low-Pitched Roof
Roofs with low pitches present a challenge for insulation installation. Where the attic ceiling touches the floor, around the edges of the attic, there is often not enough room for much insulation. This is especially true if your roof has a soffit vent with a baffle to keep the vent open. In this case, Natural Resources Canada suggests that there may be as few as 4 inches to add insulation.
Therefore, you may need to install higher-quality insulation that can provide a high R-value even when very thin. Rigid foam board is usually a good option. Batts and rolls may also be an option, and they are easier to install in these cramped spaces than blown-in. Still, an experienced contractor may be able to install those insulation types if they can find one with a sufficient R-value.
In order to save money on insulation in attics with low-pitched roofs, you may be able to install a very thin, high-quality insulation around the edges of the attic (and any other critical areas) and install a different, thicker and more cost-effective insulation in the rest of the attic. You’ll have to talk with a professional to determine if this is a good option for your home.
Insulating a Roof Without an Attic
Homes that have cathedral ceilings or no attic space also have less room for insulation than the typical home. This may pose a problem for the longevity of your roof, as these ceilings also typically do not have enough room to allow for proper air flow of the roof. While builders should design cathedral ceilings with room for insulation and air flow, the space they have left may not be adequate. This is especially true for insulation types that are typically applied thickly, such as batts and rolls.
Further, ceilings have several holes in them for electrical and plumbing fixtures, which makes space a challenge to seal properly. A professional can walk you through a few options that could work in these circumstances, including:
- Install rigid foam board into the ceiling. This material is thin and typically has impressive R-values.
- Install high-quality blown insulation into the ceiling. This material fills up the gaps around plumbing and electrical elements very well.
Getting a Roof Replacement? Now is the Time To Update Your Insulation
Roof replacements are optimal times to update your attic insulation. If your roof was leaking, your insulation might have been impacted. Your insulation is especially likely to be water-damaged if your roof decking has developed wood rot, as this means moisture has been present in the roof for some time and has likely intruded on the insulation. Although, some types of insulation, such as closed-cell insulation, are not affected by moisture. You should replace other types of insulation when they get wet as they will not function properly.
Also, during a reroofing job, your roofer may need to add new ventilation to your roof to ensure you get the best life span from your shingles. If that’s the case, they may need to remove some of your insulation anyway. Although, if the floor of the attic is insulated, a new vent opening can be easily cut into the roof deck without removing or disturbing the insulation.
It’s highly beneficial to consider if you could benefit from better insulation before you get a flat roof installed. Once you have a flat roof installed, you may need to remove it to add new insulation.
Ready to reap the many benefits of proper attic insulation? Reach out to a roofer to discuss your attic insulation options through IKO’s Contractor Locator.
How to properly insulate an attic in 4 easy steps – EcoFoil
Properly insulating your attic is essential for running an energy-efficient home. If your attic isn’t insulated properly, chances are:
- You’re experiencing cold spots in certain areas of your home
- You’re seeing a buildup of ice dams on your roof and in your gutters
- You’re missing out on hundreds of dollars in annual savings on your energy bill
If you’re looking to address any of these issues, the secret is to combine traditional insulation with a radiant barrier. Installing a radiant barrier on top of your traditional insulation will provide your attic with an effective 1-2 punch that keeps your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, all while saving money on energy bills. Insulating your attic is a relatively simple process that most do-it-yourselfers can do in a weekend. Plus, many utility companies will even offer rebates for installing radiant barrier, which may offset your install costs altogether and save you money on energy bills.
Step 1: Assess the status of your attic insulation
Take a peek in your attic to see if your attic is already partially insulated. If it is, you’ll most likely see spray foam insulation or the more traditional “fluffy” fiberglass insulation.
Spray foam example:
Tradional (Batt) insulation example:
If your attic has no insulation whatsoever, it’s time to get to work. Before you start you need to ask yourself two questions:
- What R-value does my first layer of insulation need? This question is a relatively easy question to answer because your local building codes require a certain R value for attics. It is always important to make sure you are aware of all current codes for your area.
- What type of insulation am I going to use? The second question is a matter of choice. There are two types of traditional insulation you can use:
Loose Fill Insulation is the most common type because it is less expensive, faster to install, and provides better coverage than batt insulation. Loose fill insulation is usually blown or poured in and it is best to hire a professional contractor to do this.
Batt Insulation is much easier to install, and it requires no special training to know how to install insulation in attic.
Step 2: If necessary, install your first layer of attic insulation
Before you do start your insulation project, make sure you are wearing the proper safety equipment, especially when working with fiberglass insulation. Fiberglass insulation, also known as glass wool, is made from tiny fibers of glass, which can damage your skin, eyes, and lungs. Always wear gloves, long sleeves, safety glasses, and a dust mask to avoid potential health hazards, or hire a professional to install your insulation for you. It helps to create a walkway and work space with boards so that you don’t step onto and fall through the ceiling below you. It’s also a good idea before you begin to consult an electrician and eliminate any electrical hazards.
Step 3: Install the radiant barrier foil on top of your first layer of insulation
Once you have positioned your insulation, it’s time to install your radiant barrier. When installing radiant barrier in your attic, make sure to use perforated products that allow condensation to pass through, preventing buildup of mold and mildew in your first layer of insulation. Because of this “breathability” in perforated products, we do not recommend using tape to seal the seams when installing perforated radiant barrier in your attic, as tape could trap moisture and lead to mold or mildew.
Radiant barrier installation can be installed directly on top of your first layer of insulation (on the floor of your attic) or in the rafters (on the ceiling of your attic). In some situations, you will want to install radiant barrier in both locations.
Installing radiant barrier in warm/hot climates
Radiant barriers excel at radiating heat back to its source, and if you live in a climate that is warm/hot, most of the time you will want to install the barrier on your rafters (on the ceiling). This blocks heat from entering your home through your roof, reflecting the heat back towards its source. Using a staple gun, staple the radiant barrier directly to the rafters, allowing a 1–2″ overlap between sections.
Installing radiant barrier in moderate/cold climates
If you live in a cold climate, you will want to trap heat inside your home. You can achieve this by rolling the barrier across the floor of your attic, on top of your first layer of insulation. If your insulation doesn’t completely protrude above your floor joists, you can use a staple gun to keep the product in place, although this is not necessary.
However, a large portion of the US experiences both.
Don’t forget to insulate any duct work that may be present in the attic, which is a common practice in homes without basements or crawl spaces.
Step 4: insulate your attic opening
If you enter your attic through a set of folding stairs you can use an attic stair insulator to insulate the opening. If you have a simple door or small entrance you can affix a piece of insulation to the attic side of the door. Sealing this entry way will add a final layer of protection and help keep the air in your home separate from the air in your attic, allowing your insulation and radiant barrier to work its magic.
Final Thoughts on How To Install Insulation in an Attic
Now that you know how to insulate an attic you can feel good that you made your home more comfortable and more efficient, and at the same lowered your energy bills for years to come.
For questions on our products or installation techniques, contact our friendly product specialists at (888) 349-3645. Our team is available every weekday 7am–5pm CT to help answer any questions you may have about your particular application.
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what is better to insulate and why?
In Russia, at least 5 months a year (in the northern regions – all 8) in any residential area of the house the heating system works. And in the open air at this time – a noticeable cold. And, if we are talking about the attic, which has the largest area of contact with the open atmosphere, then you should take this seriously. After all, in winter there is a serious temperature difference on both sides of the roof and attic gables, which is why the heat flow always moves towards the source of cold – out. And the task of insulating the attic is to stop this flow and minimize heat loss, for the purpose of which materials with low thermal conductivity are used.
First of all, it is important to decide which insulation is best for the attic – based on the materials of manufacture, the planned operation and the expected internal temperature. Let’s try to figure it out.
To get started, we suggest you watch a video clip with general information on attic insulation:
So, what kind of insulation can be called the best for a mansard roof? It all depends on what exactly you expect from it, because for the thermal insulation of the attic of baths and saunas, where fire-resistant chimneys pass, it is difficult to come up with something better than basalt insulation that can withstand up to 1000 ° C. But for warming an ordinary attic of a summer house, basalt is not the best option – it can be eaten by mice.
Each material has its own valuable properties and its disadvantages. When choosing a material for attic insulation, most people are interested in such aspects as:
- Thermal insulation qualities.
- Ease of installation.
- Water repellent.
- Noise isolation
But let’s approach this issue from a professional point of view. Of course, the most valuable quality is still the ability of the insulation to retain heat:
Another important point: is it possible to insulate both the pitched walls of the attic and the floors with the same insulation? Therefore, pay attention: if the name of any insulation contains the word “universal”, then it can be used both for roof insulation and for walls, floors and ceilings. For finishing the attic, this is the best option: we buy the material we like and immediately finish the walls, the gables, and the floor. Quickly, and less problematic – now all insulation will have the same properties and the same long service life.
And now about sound absorption. But why is the roof soundproofing, because behind it there are no neighbors, no footsteps? Let’s put it this way: those in whose house the roofing is made of metal (corrugated board, metal tiles) and at least once it rained, such questions do not arise. It is clear that a non-residential attic can still be left without sound insulation, but when arranging a residential attic, it is important to understand that comfort is, first of all, silence.
Also, the choice of insulation for the attic directly depends on what its supporting structure is made of: reinforced concrete, metal or wood. And the more combustible the material of the same rafters, the less combustible the insulation should be so that the attic space does not flare up like a match.
And, finally, for attic insulation, due to the presence of constant water vapor in the room, the most valuable quality is hydrophobicity:
What kind of insulation is most suitable for the attic roof of your particular house.
The most popular materials for attic insulation are mineral wool and fiberglass based insulation, and newer and little studied in everyday life are ecowool, foil boards and natural materials.
Glass wool: both want and prick
Fiberglass wool is one of the most inexpensive options. Its installation is simple, there is no toxicity to humans when closed, and the lack of organic matter makes such a heater unattractive for small rodents. And most importantly, glass wool has a second degree of fire safety, which is quite a lot.
The only significant drawback is fine glass dust that gets on the mucous membranes of the eyes and causes damage, and the skin begins to itch badly. Therefore, during such work, one cannot do without special closed clothing, gloves, a respirator and goggles. Clothes after installation work will have to be destroyed – no washing will save them. Note that those who have ever, through negligence or stupidity, worked with glass wool with their bare hands, then bypass it all their lives.
Popular brands of glass wool for attic insulation are Izover and Ursa.
Izover as a heater is valuable not only for its thermal insulation qualities – it has high sound absorption. That is why, if you are going to equip the attic of your house for a nursery or a home cinema, then opt for this insulation. Then your evenings will be calm!
It’s all about the special air lenses of this insulation. Materials of different densities together make it much more difficult for sound vibration to pass through. For example, after the roof is insulated from a metal tile by Izover, the sound from the rain will no longer be heard.
As the manufacturer promises, Ursa insulation is made from natural materials – fiberglass and quartz sand. There is nothing harmful or dangerous for humans and the environment here. At the same time, the material perfectly stores heat, absorbs noise, and insects and rodents do not like the taste due to its inorganic origin.
Mineral (basalt) wool: heat is a priority
Mineral wool consists of basalt fibers. Due to its low weight, excellent vapor permeability and low hygroscopicity, this material cannot be overestimated. On sale you will find it in the form of plates of various sizes and thicknesses – from 50 to 150 mm.
Heat is retained in mineral wool due to its multi-layer structure, in the layers of which air is retained. At the same time, such a heater is also vapor-permeable, i.e. “breathes”.
Mineral wool quickly collects dust and may slightly absorb moisture. As for the fire safety of mineral wool, quartz sand is even able to hold fire if such a nuisance happens.
The safest and best known type of mineral wool is basalt. Let us remind you that basalt is a natural material, a stone that is melted in the factory and turned into thin fibers. Yes, this insulation really does not burn up to 1000 ° C – after all, this is the melting point of the stone. But mice, however, can gnaw it.
Among the popular brands of basalt wool is Rocklight: excellent heat and noise insulation, incombustibility, ease of installation. In addition, the price of this insulation is pleasantly surprising, because. the quality is high enough. The fire safety of this insulation is at a height: the ability to withstand for some time even a temperature of + 1000C.
In addition, Rocklight is quite durable, does not caking, and its vapor-permeable properties are preserved throughout the entire service life. A fungus never starts in this insulation, the walls “breathe”, which is important for the attic.
Extruded polystyrene foam: an easy solution
Extruded polystyrene foam is attractive to many due to its simplicity and ease of installation, complete water tightness. The process of warming itself looks like you are putting together a puzzle. But the price of this heater will surprise you a little – its cost is quite low.
But the attic is rarely insulated with expanded polystyrene alone: this material is more valuable in combined insulation. Like in this example:
Styrofoam: cheap, cheerful and risky
One of the most inexpensive roof insulation. Styrofoam is first of all good because it can be easily installed with your own hands without calling any craftsmen, and it is especially convenient for sloping walls of an attic or roof.
Styrofoam has several density levels. That is why this material has good sound insulation, and therefore it will be possible to forget about the loud noise of drops knocking on the metal roof. Styrofoam is also good because it does not shrink over time.
The stiffness of the foam used determines how strong the material will be in compression and bending. But the denser the material, the greater will be its flammability, so do not try to choose the most rigid heaters for roof insulation.
PPU: reaching the most hard-to-reach places
When the attic is insulated from the inside with sprayed PPU – polyurethane foam – the space under the roof will be completely habitable. And, I must say, this is really excellent thermal insulation, as well as some other advantages:
- Polyurethane foam has excellent thermal insulation performance: only 2. 5 cm will protect the attic from the cold in the same way as 8 cm of mineral wool. For comparison, expanded polystyrene copes with its task almost twice as bad.
- Another valuable advantage: when insulating with polyurethane foam, you will not need a frame or special fasteners. The sprayed polyurethane foam has no seams, since these are always cold bridges.
- If hoods and chimneys pass through the attic, around which it is especially difficult to create a seal, give preference to this insulation. The same applies to any complex shapes and surfaces.
- PPU does not dampen and calmly contacts with any roofing material.
- Polyurethane foam has excellent adhesion to any surface.
- Unlike expanded polystyrene, which is close to polyurethane foam in terms of its thermal insulation properties, this material is vapor-permeable, i.e. “breathes”. What is a valuable quality for an attic.
- PPU is not eaten by mice, not sharpened by insects, it does not rot or become moldy.
The only disadvantage of such insulation is that it is impossible to spray polyurethane foam on your own, without equipment. You will either have to hire an entire construction team, or get a competent contractor.
Natural wool: environmentally friendly, but problematic
Yes, in some areas, especially in the Caucasus, natural wool and felt are actively used as roof insulation. And these are quite acceptable materials: wool felt is listed in SNiP as a vapor-permeable building material. And its insulation coefficient is the same as that of basalt insulation.
Most often, such wool is placed in bags, and they are already in dense rows along the roof. But sometimes they are used in a roofing cake as a full-fledged insulation, pre-treated from an unpleasant odor.
Wool in the Caucasian regions is very cheap due to the large number of sheep. Therefore, it is easier to insulate with this material, which is in excess, than to purchase ready-made and expensive. And the cons are quite significant: these are insects and rodents that simply adore everything natural.
Ecowool: simple and ecological
Another interesting innovation is the so-called ecowool. It is made from newspaper waste, finely cut and treated with antiseptics and flame retardants. And as for the fear of many that newspapers contain dangerous lead, this technology is long gone.
True, it is unlikely that you can insulate an ecowool attic with your own hands – this requires special equipment.
Now let’s move on to practice. One of the questions that you will ask yourself when buying insulation for the attic is to take it in mats or rolls?
In fact, in what form this or that insulation is sold, it plays a big role for many ordinary people. Someone prefers to work only with slabs as more convenient, but for the majority it is the rolls that seem rational: rolled out and fixed, what could be easier?
Roll material is really easy to work with. They rolled it out to the desired length, cut it off, and twisted the cut piece. They brought a new skein to the right place, rolled it out again, straightened it and fixed it. Roll insulation is also convenient in that with a standard distance between the rafters of 61 cm, the roll can be easily cut in half with an ordinary knife, and its halves will fit perfectly into their niches – just roll them out:
which has the most waste. But it is easier to transport, and the insulation in it does not bend, as in a roll, which is a critical issue for many materials:
And finally: when buying a heater, be sure to pay close attention to the integrity of the packaging, otherwise you will not end up with problems later. The packaging of the insulation must be completely sealed, slightly compressed, without a single scratch or torn film. Only in this way moisture will not get to the insulation before installation.
And now imagine what happens to insulation in low-quality packaging: moisture and water vapor penetrate into the material through holes and slots, the insulation gets wet in places and changes its geometry and properties. On the spot, you unpack the roll or slabs and proceed with the installation, and then it turns out that the insulation, swollen and heavy in places, does not fit in any way, the cracks are visible even to the naked eye. Having somehow suffered, you cover all this stuff with clapboard or drywall. As a result, the dry insulation is in a closed and dark space – an ideal place for the development of mold. The consequences are usually not at all pleasing to the eye, and you will know about their presence by an unpleasant smell after a few weeks.
Therefore, follow our recommendations, study our website – and you will be able to avoid problems.
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Mansard roof insulation | Insulation of the ceiling in a house with a cold roof
An attic is defined as an attic room used as a living space, the walls of which are roof slopes and gables, which may not be in the case, for example, of a four-pitched roof. Simply put, an attic is a residential attic. Residential means warm. Therefore, the primary task of arranging the attic is its insulation.
With all the variety of heaters, there are universal solutions that will ensure reliable thermal insulation of the attic in all areas. The best solution would be to insulate the attic with high-quality PENOPLEX ® boards made of extruded polystyrene foam.
Advantages of PENOPLEX
- One of the lowest thermal conductivity coefficients (up to 0.034 W/m•K), which determines the material’s ability to retain heat.
- Zero water absorption, which ensures the stability of the heat-shielding properties, the absence of fungus and mold.
- Durability (at least 50 years according to the results of tests at the Research Institute of Building Physics) and the ability to endure temperature changes, including alternating ones.
- Extruded polystyrene foam is environmentally friendly, i.e., safe for humans. It does not contain dust, soot, fine fibers, phenol-formaldehyde resins. The raw material for its manufacture – general purpose polystyrene – is also used in the medical and food industries, where sanitary standards are especially strict.
- Light weight. Pitched roofing should be as light as possible so as not to put too much load on the load-bearing walls. With high strength, PENOPLEX ® has a low specific gravity, which makes it very convenient for use on roofs.
How to insulate an attic
From the builder’s point of view, an attic is a combination of enclosing structures (pitched roof, gables and attic floor), each of which has its own practice of arranging thermal insulation. Attic insulation includes thermal insulation of the roof slopes, gables (if any) and the floor (attic floor) in some cases.
For the insulation of all attic structures, we recommend high-quality heat-insulating boards PENOPLEX COMFORT ® , the gable can also be insulated using PENOPLEX ® WALL, and the floor (attic floor) – using PENOPLEX FOUNDATION ® .
Attic floor insulation
Attic floor is thermally insulated in cold attics. In houses with an attic, this is done in the following cases:
if the attic heating system is autonomous, i.e., it is not shared with the heating of the lower floors of the house;
when installing a “warm floor”, the thermal insulation of which is highly desirable in order to avoid heat loss and unnecessary energy costs.
Schemes and procedures for insulating the attic floor are somewhat different depending on the base, which can be reinforced concrete (monolith or hollow core slab), as well as wooden (logs). Schemes and procedures for insulating the attic floor
Insulation of the inclined walls of the attic – pitched roof
During the construction of a house, it is more rational to equip the thermal insulation of the pitched roof from the outside; during reconstruction and the need to additionally insulate the pitched roof, it is necessary to resort to insulation of the attic from the inside.
Installation and insulation of a pitched roof has its own characteristics in certain areas of a pitched roof (ridge part, valley, gable overhang, junctions with walls and protruding parts). Fire safety rules prohibit the use of PENOPLEX ® boards at the junction with chimneys, where a so-called cut of non-combustible thermal insulation is required. Roofs.
Insulation of vertical attic walls – pediments
As for pitched roofs, external insulation is preferable for pediments, since in this case thermal insulation not only reduces heat loss, but also protects the wall itself from freezing and damaging alternating temperature changes.
The technology of pediment insulation is no different from the thermal insulation of the house wall, there are differences and features depending on the material of the pediment.
A pediment made of cast-in-situ reinforced concrete can be thermally insulated in two ways at the construction stage of a house. The first is a classic one with pouring the wall and its subsequent insulation after the concrete has hardened, the second is a technology with fixed formwork made of PENOPLEX 9 boards0150 ® , where the stages of concreting and insulation are combined in one stage. Read more…
When insulating the vertical walls of the attic from lightweight blocks (aerated concrete, foam concrete, cinder blocks and other cellular concrete), it is important to wait for the material to dry. These materials arrive at the site wet, and if they are immediately thermally insulated, then excess moisture will remain in the structure of the material for a long time, but such a development of events is best avoided for a number of reasons. aerated concrete
When insulating the gables of a house made of bricks and other ceramic blocks, as well as frame houses, we recommend that you follow the documents specially developed by our company’s engineers:
– Technological map for the installation of walls from ceramic blocks using PENOPLEX ® boards;
– Technological map for the installation of walls of houses with a wooden frame, insulated with PENOPLEX ® boards.