How do I know if my home needs insulation?
You can benefit from re-insulating your existing home if you experience any of the following: ice dams, drafty walls, high heating/cooling bills, moisture in your attic, or if your furnace or A/C unit runs constantly. Please see Need Insulation?
What is an ice dam?
An ice dam is created under winter conditions when heated air leaks through attic bypasses into an unheated attic. This creates warm areas on the roof and melts the underside of the snow that has accumulated on your roof. The melted snow flows down the roof until it reaches a cold spot, such as the eaves, where it refreezes, forming a dam. Please see Ice Dams.
What is the best long-term solution to ice dams?
First and foremost, attic bypasses must be sealed. Then extra cellulose is blown into your attic, and ventilation added if necessary.
What is an attic bypass?
Bypasses are hidden air passageways that lead from the heated space into the attic. Because warm air rises, it continuously moves up the bypasses and escapes into the attic. Common attic bypasses are located around chimneys, ceiling light fixtures, heating ducts, kitchen and bath exhaust fans, plumbing, electrical wires, dropped ceilings and soffits. Please see Bypass Sealing.
Do I need to remove the existing insulation in my attic/sidewalls before my home can be re-insulated?
No. Even if you have moisture in your attic, once all bypasses are sealed (and/or your roof repaired by a qualified contractor, if necessary) cellulose is blown directly over the existing insulation. The existing insulation will dry once the cause of the moisture is stopped. Adding new cellulose insulation on top of existing fiberglass insulation is called "capping". If you have some insulation in your sidewalls, cellulose can usually still be forced in with the dense-pack method to achieve the desired R-factor.
Why should I choose cellulose instead of fiberglass insulation?
Cellulose is a recycled paper product that is chemically treated to be fire retardant and mold/mildew resistant. It does not loose its R-value when the temperature changes and it is a totally non-toxic product. Please see Cellulose vs. Fiberglass.
What is R-value?
A materials resistance to heat flow is called its Resistance-value or better known as R-value. Having high R-value insulation installed in the cavities of your home slows the flow of heat through walls, floors and ceilings. The higher the R-value, the more effective the insulation. Dense packed cellulose has an R-value of 3.8 per inch. Please see R-Value.
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