Do You Know What Type of Insulation Is in Your Attic?

Many homeowners have good knowledge about the interiors of their home, but when it comes to things like their attic, they may be may not be as informed. An attic is often a mysterious place, where homeowners rarely venture, and if they did, who knows what they would find there. What kind of insulation is in a home’s attic is often a surprise.

There are different types of attic insulation and they each have their pros and cons. Some types of insulation are found in older homes and some of them may no longer be used. New types of insulation are used in newly built homes and might be more ecologically friendly. It’s a good idea to know what is in your attic. Let’s look at some of the different types of insulation.

Fiberglass

The most well-known of fiberglass insulation is the one that was marketed in pink, so it is easy to spot in an attic, although there are varieties that come in other colours. Fiberglass is an effective insulation material because glass is not a good conductor of heat. It stops the conduction of heat through solid objects, such as walls. It is one of the materials that has been used for insulation the longest and is still being used.

It has a good overall R-value, but that value can be lost if the fiberglass gets wet or is compressed. A high R-value represents higher insulating power. Fiberglass also has 20%-30% recycled content. It comes in soft batts or it can be sprayed.

Mineral wool

In many ways, mineral wool is a better insulation choice. It has a higher R-value and contains 70% of recycled content. It is over three times denser making it better for sound insulation and it can be easier to install. It does not absorb moisture, so mildew or mold is not a problem and it is fire-resistant. Also, because of the way a wool fiber is constructed, wool insulation can improve indoor air quality by removing dust particles that can contain harmful chemicals like formaldehyde.  However, it is more expensive and is not always as widely available. A

Vermiculite

Vermiculite is a natural mineral that was used as attic insulation in homes from the 1920s to the 1970s. It is silver-gold or grayish brown in colour and when it’s in its natural state, it is shiny and flat. If vermiculite becomes heated, it puffs up and creates pockets of air making it a great insulation material. It was a popular choice because it does not burn.

One of the issues with vermiculite is that it may contain asbestos. If a home has vermiculite in the attic, it should be tested by a professional to find out if asbestos is present. If asbestos is detected, it can be removed safely although this process can be complicated. Many homeowners are understandably upset when they find out that vermiculite is present in their attics, but it is important to remember that asbestos may not be present.

Cellulose insulation

Cellulose is made from 80% recycled newsprint, making it a good ecological choice. When it comes to the ability to insulate, it has a higher R-value than fiberglass. Moreover, cellulose is a better choice in cold climates such as our own because fiberglass loses up to 50% of its R-value in cold conditions. Cellulose is a great air blocker since it is blown in, covering all gaps, voids and cracks. Most heat loss in a home is through these types of cracks and gaps. The downside of cellulose insulation is that it is more expensive than other options.

Spray foam insulation

This type of insulation offers the highest R-value making the best choice for cold climate homes. When installed professionally, it covers all the nooks and crannies creating a perfect air barrier to prevent heat loss. The biggest disadvantage is the cost as it is the most expensive insulation option. Spray foam insulation should be performed by a professional, so not an ideal choice for a do-it-yourself handyman.

Homeowners should know what type of insulation is in their attics. It can lead to surprises if they have decided to sell their homes and discover, following the inspection, that there are issues to address. Some homeowners have expressed anger and disappointment when they are told that their homes have an unexpected type of insulation. To avoid these kinds of surprises, consider a pre-sale inspection by a professional home inspector such as Mose Home Inspection. Our goal is to make sure you know everything you need to know about your home.

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Anna Lising
Anna Lising
00:07 16 Oct 21
Carol was easy going and made us feel at ease from the first second we met. She is knowledgeable. We appreciate the... little tips and tricks she gave us. Would definitely recommend 👌🏽 Thank you Carol!read more
Lay Chan Wee
Lay Chan Wee
01:19 31 Aug 21
I was impressed with the service provided by Rui Su. He was organized, explained in detail area that I am not familiar... with. He provided a good report. I will recommend him if you need home inspection.read more
Mary Jane Caro
Mary Jane Caro
14:25 27 Aug 21
I am always pleased to recommend Carol Mose from Mose Home Inspection Services to my clients who have had offers... accepted on residential real estate properties. She is knowledgeable, thorough, provides clear explanations, and delivers comprehensive reports.read more
Massimo Pannunzio
Massimo Pannunzio
22:05 25 Aug 21
Michael has got to be on of the best home inspectors in all of Quebec. It was amazing working with him and he had my... best interest at heart when making a life changing decision. He made sure I had all the answers and made it easy to work with him. I will be using Mose inspection for any moment that I need an inspection done that's for sure!read more
Amanda Lee
Amanda Lee
19:14 16 Jun 21
Amazing experience with Carol Mose who helped me with a pre-purchase inspection! She was very approachable and... observant, and informed me of all her first impressions on-site. This gave me greater understanding of any conditions as I was able to ask any quick questions on the spot. Her reports are the most thorough that I've seen and include diagrams to help explain what any physical signs mean and potential consequences. Could not have asked for a better inspector!read more
Maeghan Banks
Maeghan Banks
15:38 14 Jun 21
Carol was wonderful to work with for our pre-purchase inspection. She was professional, thorough and communicative,... taking the time to explain her findings as we went through the house. After the inspection, we felt we had clear knowledge of the condition of the house (both pros and cons), allowing us to move forward with the purchase with confidence. Highly recommend!read more
Ryan Chalupovitsch
Ryan Chalupovitsch
13:43 01 Jun 21
Carol Mose is the best home inspector in the business. Approachable and extremely knowledgeable. She did an... inspection for me and really took the time to explain her findings and help me understand the home I was looking to purchase. Cannot recommend her enough. Don’t hesitate.read more
Elisabeth Faure
Elisabeth Faure
21:16 29 Apr 21
This is the second time I have used MOSE, and they are always really amazing. Very nice, very professional. they came... to have a look at my roof and let me know if we were due for a repair - I was very satisfied with everything and would recommend them to anybody!read more
Hannah S
Hannah S
22:05 16 Apr 21
I had a great experience with Mose home inspection. My husband and I are first time homebuyers and so had a ton of... questions about the process. Everyone we talked with was really informative and helpful. Michael was our inspector and was phenomenal. The inspection was very thorough and he explained everything in detail with realistic next steps for us to take. We came out of the inspection feeling really informed. Plus, he is just an absolute delight! He had very contagious enthusiasm and made the inspection a really positive experience. Would highly recommend!read more
Gabriel Lukuc
Gabriel Lukuc
03:05 16 Apr 21
Michael was amazing. He took the time to explain to us what’s really important and the reasoning behind it. We’re not... very handy nor savvy when it comes to home construction so we really appreciate him taking the time to explain to us all aspects of the inspection. Also, Michael was friendly, professional and timely; he provided the report over a holiday and a weekend.read more
Stephanie Ballard
Stephanie Ballard
14:24 19 Mar 21
MOSE is the best in the business. Once again we were happy with their inspection services - they are professional,... friendly and knowledgeable. Would not hesitate to recommend to friends and family (and have)!read more
Rodrigo Morales
Rodrigo Morales
18:27 10 Sep 20
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