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Old 02-03-2013, 09:31 AM   #1
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Attic Insulation


So, i went into my attic to check it out (the insulation and stuff). the reason i did that was to try and understand why i have a temperature difference my main floor and my upstairs. Roughly 2 degrees celcious.

I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and its winter right now. So, i went upstairs and measure the depth of the insulation, 9-10 inches in 90% of the area, the edges, where the roof meets the house doesn't really have any. And some random small areas are also less than 9" in depth of coverage.

The temperature in the attic is 2 degrees celcious. Is that considered normal? It felt like winter (like being outside without a jacket) up there.

Is that all normal, should i have an insulation company come in and inspect?

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Old 02-03-2013, 09:45 AM   #2
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Attic Insulation


i believe R49 is the minimum for your area. requirements might be something different entirely.you should have the baffles at the outsides ( eaves where venting is ) 9 inches is not enough for R49. what type on insulation is in there now?

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Old 02-03-2013, 10:02 AM   #3
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Attic Insulation


Keep in mind these are the bare minimums to pass code.
http://greenzone.com/general.php?section_url=12

If it's uneven just use a hard rake upside down to smooth it out.
Unless some one air sealed all the holes where plumbing and wiring was run through the top plates and around all the ceiling light and fan fixtures your still leaking air.
And yes it's suppost to be about the same temperature in the attic as outside. If not your loosing heat.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:43 PM   #4
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Attic Insulation


+1 to the above posts.
- Your attic should be very cold, if it was warmer, that would mean that you are losing too much heat into the attic.
- You need insulation dam and baffles at your eaves. That will prevent the wind wash which has blown insulation away from that area.
- You could probably use some additional insulation, and air sealing as well if that was not done. We are usually going R50-R60 around here.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:19 PM   #5
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Attic Insulation


Thank you everyone for the reply.

I don't have any baffles (i googled them, as i didnt know what they were) installed in my attic. nor insulation damns, which i think are the same things as baffles. I could see how wind running up the inside of the roof would push the insulation.

the insulation right now is just the blown in stuff.

Is it worth getting an attic insulation company in, or could i do this myself.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:09 PM   #6
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The insulation dams block the flow between the soffit and attic space and prevent the insulation from blowing/falling. The baffles are placed to allow that ventilation without messing up the insulation... This is all fairly doable DIY stuff as long as you educate yourself thoroughly on the subject first.
Here is a nice illustration:
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Last edited by HomeSealed; 02-12-2013 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:21 PM   #7
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Yeah, that pic looks about right and what i mean about that, my roof (attic) doesnt have that.

I am going to have to do some exploration in the attic, ie. actually climb in, take some pictures and roll up the sleeves to get it (the attic) up to a higher standard. I probably will have to air seal (as i high doubt thats been done), probably have to install the baffles and damns.

My house does feel drafty, especially the second floor. I wonder if working on the attic would fix the drafty issue and temperature difference between first and second (at least 2 degrees)

thanx for the input.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:55 PM   #8
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Here is a handy table to convert thickness to r-values. As previously stated in our area building code is r-40 but it is being changed to r-50 for new builds.
Your 9 inches is not enough. You need at least 25 inches.

You will notice an immediate difference in comfort and energy savings

Insulation

Type of insulation R-value
per inch of thickness
Vermiculite, loose fill 2.08
Perlite, loose fill 2.7
Fiberglass, blankets and batts 3.33
Fiberglass, blown loose fill 2.2
Fiberglass, boards 4.5
Rock wool, batts 3.66
Rock wool, blown loose fill 2.93
Polystyrene boards 3.45
Cellulose, blown loose fill 3.6
Urea-formaldehyde foam 4.48
Urethane foam 5.3

Last edited by creeper; 02-12-2013 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:54 PM   #9
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so i need at least 25 inches of blown in insulation to get R-50?

i think i am reading conflicting information. Could someone please clarify?

R30 - how many inches
R40
R50

what i did notice is that there is a piece of paper on my attic that has r-30 circled, but the depth of insulation is 9" or less, depending on the area.

Also, i could simple add blown in insulation to the existing correct? Should i even bother to lay down fibreglass batts instead (between joist) and then lay loose afterwords (but this would require me to remove the loose). dont know how to do that.

PTMD
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:59 PM   #10
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Attic Insulation


Quote:
Originally Posted by Amitabh View Post
Thank you everyone for the reply.

I don't have any baffles (i googled them, as i didnt know what they were) installed in my attic. nor insulation damns, which i think are the same things as baffles. I could see how wind running up the inside of the roof would push the insulation.

the insulation right now is just the blown in stuff.

Is it worth getting an attic insulation company in, or could i do this myself.
You can do it yourself Home Depot will let you use their machine for free if you buy ten bags of insulation to blow in I would go to r-60 which is a total of 25 inches.
Here is two links that can help you out.
http://insulation.owenscorning.com/a...13ed87dd2d.pdf
http://www.greenfiber.com/step_one_-...o_install.html
But pound for pound I would go with fiberglass. Read the amount you have use for each one. you will use more cellulose then fiberglass and as a green stand point cellulose takes paper out of the recycle loop to the tune of 2.3 million tons per year that is green fiber numbers. That 2.3 million tons of paper could still each year be made back in to paper and news print or cardboard stock. So 188,253 trees each year have to be killed to meet the needs of insulation. Fiberglass yes it itchy, yet they use 50% post consumer glass equal to the amount of 2.2 billion tons of glass that would have ended up in the land fill and glass made from sand is the most sustainable resource the planet has. Just my two cents worth.
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Old 02-12-2013, 04:04 PM   #11
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I know without a doubt that you need r40 to r50 in our area.
It is possible that at the time of installation it was r30 but overtime it has compressed down

I would just go ahead and add more blown in on top. Do not remove the old unless its wet.

http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/mah...efcosa_002.cfm
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amitabh View Post

My house does feel drafty, especially the second floor. I wonder if working on the attic would fix the drafty issue and temperature difference between first and second (at least 2 degrees)

thanx for the input.
It will definitely help. You did not mention (or I didn't see) what your existing material is, but for cellulose you want about 15-16"(total) , and closer to 19-20"(total) for fg.
On material, both sides make a lot of wacky claims about the other, but at the end of the day, either will do the job. Most pros prefer cellulose as despite being dustier, it does not itch, it is cheaper, and more dense. FG has some major marketing $$$ behind it, and is only getting more expensive as its market share is eaten away by cellulose and spray foam.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:37 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by HomeSealed View Post
It will definitely help. You did not mention (or I didn't see) what your existing material is, but for cellulose you want about 15-16"(total) , and closer to 19-20"(total) for fg.
On material, both sides make a lot of wacky claims about the other, but at the end of the day, either will do the job. Most pros prefer cellulose as despite being dustier, it does not itch, it is cheaper, and more dense. FG has some major marketing $$$ behind it, and is only getting more expensive as its market share is eaten away by cellulose and spray foam.
Thank you everyone for their feedback. To be quite honest, i am just going to go to HD or Lowes and pick up whatever loose fill in they carry. From HD website in Canada, i see AttiCat and Weathershield Cellulose Fiber. Price difference is huge, AttiCat is $33, Weahtershield is $8.5.

As for the material already being used, i will get a picture up this weekend hopefully. My two toddlers dont give me much free time. But i can tell you its a bunch of white fluff.

As for the attic baffles and dams, could i bend the venting mechnasim so that it creates the dam/wall and maintain its venting ability. Or should it be more like the picture, a rigid foam dam wall and the vent simple stapled to the roof.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amitabh View Post

As for the attic baffles and dams, could i bend the venting mechnasim so that it creates the dam/wall and maintain its venting ability. Or should it be more like the picture, a rigid foam dam wall and the vent simple stapled to the roof.

there are some made that bend like you propose.

accuvent is one brand.
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:24 PM   #15
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Not sure on what the rule is here, but couldnt i simple use this product

http://www.lowes.ca/insulation-acces...ductItemsImage

its a rafter vent and dam in 1. That way i only have to staple the product in, as oppose to making dams from rigid foam.

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