All homes, both old and new, experience wear and tear. Your home ages from both internal use and from external weather. As your home becomes more and more “broken in,” building science progresses and new mechanics evolve. Thankfully, you have plenty of options for home improvements in both categories: from insulation and air sealing to upgrading your heating system. As you adjust your home to fit the “green” advances in the industry, beware of seemingly smart upgrades that can be detrimental to your home.
Homes can now be tightly sealed with highly controlled airflow. Sounds perfect, right? Unfortunately, homes with spray foam insulation in their attic are finding that attic ventilation and foam do not mix. Homes with previous ventilation systems in their attics, such as power attic ventilators, are finding that spray foam causes more air leakage than sealing.
One home was recently sprayed with foam insulation, but the homeowners still felt a cold winter draft in their home. When the owners had their attic inspected again, they discovered the hole where their attic ventilator used to be. This hole defeated the foam’s purpose and allowed for constant air leakage.
The ventilator was installed post-foam installation, and was later removed. The homeowners decided to upgrade their home: a common act among us. As your home ages, you need to maintain it while making improvements. This home did not want the attic ventilator, and had it removed. Unfortunately, their insulation did not want to follow these changes.
The homeowners decided to install the attic ventilator after the foam insulation was installed. This was not the best decision, but their decision in insulation type was what ultimately led to their attic’s leakage. The homeowners installed a ventilator, only to remove it later. Spray foam is more rigid than your home’s structure, so it does not adjust to installments or detachments such as this. With spray foam, your home must remain how it is when the foam is installed.
If a homeowner decides to install spray foam above their heads, their attic will solidify, in the sense that they can no longer make any home improvements. Spray foam prides itself on its ability to air seal, but if it cannot conform to changes in your changing home – this is what causes leaks.
Cellulose insulation is more malleable than foam. If you want to make any improvements in an area insulated with cellulose, you can. As our knowledge about building science improves, you will want to upgrade your home as well. Cellulose allows for this option.
As much as we sometimes hate to admit it, change is inevitable. That tree outside will grow; you will find a new favorite (or second favorite) ice cream flavor; your home’s technology will outdate itself. Give yourself the option to keep up with the changes by installing loose fill cellulose. Cellulose is a non-intrusive insulation that blends with your home’s structure. Instead of the insulation sitting in your home, your insulation becomes a part of your home. Contact Dolphin to learn more about your options to upgrade.