Attic insulation helps ensure indoor comfort and roofing longevity. Despite being a common roofing component, some myths about it still persist. Today, we debunk common myths and misconceptions about attic insulation.
You Only Need Insulation During Colder Months
While attic insulation does slow down radiant heat and helps keep your home cool during the hot summer months, it also works both ways. Since attic insulation slows down thermal transfer, it also helps retain indoor heat during cold months and reduce indoor heating requirements. A properly insulated attic can help reduce your heating costs and can also prevent ice damming on the roof.
Vapor Barriers Trap Moisture
Moisture that comes from attic condensation or a roof leak can damage attic insulation. A vapor barrier is a type of plastic sheeting that protects insulation from direct contact with moisture. However, unlike typical plastic sheeting, vapor barriers are “breathable,” which means they allow moisture to evaporate. In addition to preventing damage to insulation, vapor barriers also help prevent mold and mildew growth as well as moisture-related damage to the roofing support structure.
Spray Foam Insulation Is Toxic
Spray foam, when it was introduced in the 1970s, contained urea formaldehyde. Authorities at the time didn’t fully understand the dangers of exposure to urea formaldehyde, and the use of foam insulation was banned for a time. Today’s foam insulation products, on the other hand, have been tested to be safe for use in residential applications, even in finished attics, where it can be in close proximity with occupants.
Batt Insulation Is Good for Finished Attics
Batt insulation is made of rolls of fiberglass wool and is typically used for stuffing exterior walls. Finished attics are spaces that are converted into a living area, which could be an extra bedroom, recreation room or a home office. With little space between the roof and ceiling, a finished attic needs to have the most efficient insulation possible; stuffing the ceiling with batt insulation is not enough. This is why foam insulation is used as roof insulation: it fills the smallest gaps and creates an insulated barrier that’s virtually leak-free.