Winter Proofing Your Roof with Attic Insulation Upgrades
Published on November 14, 2019
In Toronto, where frigid winters can get quite extreme, attic insulation upgrades can make a huge difference. When the temperature dips to -20 Celsius, indoor heat loss and inconsistent heating can make a home very uncomfortable. More than that, if attic insulation is not sufficient enough (or underperforming), then the furnace is working overtime and simply wasting valuable energy.
In a residential home where attic insulation has deteriorated over the years, turning up the heat in winter can only be a short-term solution. The problem is that heat is escaping through the roof. In fact, it’s easy to see – if you notice patches of melting snow on the roof it’s a sign of “heat loss”.
By upgrading attic insulation, you’re solving the problem long term, and gaining many benefits.
There are a host of benefits when upgrading attic insulation
Probably the most important “thermal barrier” in a residential home is the insulation material that covers the floor of the attic. In winter, this insulation material prevents warm air from rising up into the attic. In summer, the insulation prevents warm attic air from seeping into the home.
In cities like Toronto, where frigid winters are common, inadequate attic insulation allows warm indoor air to escape through the attic. This makes for a drafty and uncomfortable environment inside the home. Even while the furnace is trying to provide heat, the home rarely feels warm.
In the attic, it’s most important to stop air leakage
By nature, warm air rises, and if the attic is not properly sealed, then warm air can easily escape from the home. The idea of just adding new attic insulation is shortsighted – even new material will not entirely stop warm air from escaping. Hard to believe, but in a typical home, the amount of air leakage is the same as leaving a window open throughout the year (that’s wasting energy).
For professionals, stopping air leakage is part and parcel of any insulation upgrade. At the very least, there needs to be an air barrier to keep the attic space separated from the rest of the home. With a professional install, an air barrier will keep the attic air out of the home, and home air out of the attic. In many cases, this installation is required in order to be building-code-compliant.
Preventing the accumulation of winter ice dams
Ice damming occurs when roof snow melts and then refreezes. If an attic is poorly insulated, the warm indoor heat rises up through the roof cavity and causes the roof snow to melt. Once the melting snow refreezes, ice dams form along the edges of roof. This cycle of melting/freezing is what perpetuates ice damming. Not surprisingly, ice damming can cause extensive damage.
The key to preventing ice dams is two-fold – effective insulation and proper ventilation. While good insulation will ensure an efficient “thermal barrier” in the attic, it’s the ventilation that will allow warm air to be vented out properly. With warm air being vented, and air circulation much improved, there is no potential for roof snow to melt, and thus create the conditions for ice dams.
Creating comfortable home temperature
When attic insulation is professionally installed, and everything is performing at peak, indoor comfort is enhanced throughout the year. There won’t be any more hot spots or cold spots in the home, and indoor temperature will be better balanced. Effective insulation also stops those odd temperature fluctuations – there is a seasonal comfort consistency during winter and summer.
A well-insulated attic will also control excessive air moisture in the home – definitely a source of discomfort. On the flip side, a home with poorly performing insulation will affect indoor comfort negatively. This is especially true during extremely cold winters and extremely warm summers. However, with the right upgrades and retrofits, the benefits are noticeable almost immediately.
Attic insulation upgrades from the professionals at EcoComfort
In Toronto, EcoComfort Insulation & Contracting is your reliable insulation professional. We are experts when it comes to blown-in cellulose insulation – we provide high quality products and superior installation service. Whatever the size of the project, we guarantee everything we do.
Improving attic insulation is one of the most cost effective ways of improving energy efficiency. When insulation performance is dramatically improved, far less energy is wasted, and utility bills are reduced. In fact, heating and cooling bills can be reduced by up to 40% throughout the year.
If you’re a homeowner living in an older home, improved attic insulation can make a very big difference. In most cases, old and deteriorating insulation will be under-performing. With new materials installed, the savings on energy will make the investment of upgrades well worthwhile.
At EcoComfort, we specialize in blown-in cellulose insulation. It’s an excellent product for attics because it works so well in the space. The product is made of plant cellulose and manufactured with various amounts of recycled paper. Because of its content, it’s considered eco-friendly.
Blown-in cellulose is an effective “top up” when existing attic insulation is still in good shape. It will boost R-Values and provide enhanced insulation performance. As long as the existing attic insulation is adequate and uncontaminated, blown cellulose is a cost-effective installation.
For the team at EcoComfort, blown-in cellulose is a top-notch product – it’s fire resistant; doesn’t contain asbestos; and has no added chemicals. The material can be treated with boric acid (a well regarded antiseptic and insecticide) in order to provide resistance to insects, animals, and mold.
EcoComfort operates in the Greater Toronto Area and in neighboring communities. We manage your attic insulation project from start to finish, and make every effort to meet your expectations. We install only high quality products, and recommend solutions that satisfy your requirements.
For a FREE home inspection and price estimate, use our handy online contact form, or call one of our insulation experts at 416-333-4554. For more information about EcoComfort and our range of products and services, visit our company website.