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chris martin 08-11-2010 10:22 AM

Icynene on floor of attic-good idea or bad
I had a few leaks in the roof in the past year. The roof is now fixed (for the first time in 60 yrs the roof has 5 roof vents), so now the question is the attic insulation. The house is a 60 yr old brick bungalow.

I am told by some contractors that I have to remove the old insulation in the attic due to the leaks and replace the insulation, up it to R50. My questions are:

1. Should I have the attic insulation replaced - there is the original batt insulation with cellulose on top of that put in place some 7 yrs ago.

2. If I do have to remove it, what kind of insulation should I put in instead?

3. One contractor recommended cellulose - AND ALSO putting icynene on the floor of the attic to prevent moisture escape - with the cellulose on top.

One fussbudget contractor said it was a real mess up there and had to be tidied up - and THAT was before the worst of the leaks....(does it really matter if it's a mess in the attic or does it make a difference to the insulation?)

Some other contractors said I should just leave it alone, don't remove it, it will dry out on its own, just blow the cellulose on top.

Another contractor, an old hand, said forget foam period, as it becomes solid and you have to hack it out if you need to do any work. But he was quite happy to remove the existing insulation and replace it - HE said he prefers fiberglass, as it is inert and does not collapse over time as cellulose does. But he can do either.

One website I saw said there is a class action in the US regarding icynene - it does the job of sealing well, alright, so well that in one case mold had built up behind it and the people living in the house had problems as a result and had to do major tear outs to get rid of the foam and deal with the mold problem.

Since I saw that, I am very wary of foam - but maybe on the floor of the attic it would be OK? The foam would add about $1000 to the cost.

Any ideas of what to do here?

Thank you for any advice you might have.


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