Installing an attic barrier insulation seems to be a piece of cake; especially because there are zillions of tutorials to do it all over the web. In this light, you may be thinking in crafting your DIY project to install your own attic barrier insulation.
While simple to understand, not so simple to do. As experts in attic barrier insulation; we strongly recommend you to think it twice before doing such inversion in money and effort because; although installing barriers isn’t rocket science, it actually demands technical experience and a keen eye to do it well.
Let’s delve into the different layers of information and process we need to handle to properly install attic barrier insulation.
How Attic Barrier Insulation works
Attic Barrier Insulation basically consist in installing highly reflective material to expel out heat and moisture; and avoid absorbing and distributing them to the entire infrastructure of your home. There are three ways materials conduct heat across surfaces:
FORMS OF HEAT TRANSFER
Under the kinetic theory, the internal energy of a substance is generated from the motion of individual atoms or molecules. Heat energy is the form of energy which transfers this energy from one body or system to another. This heat transfer can take place in a number of ways:
- Conduction - is when heat flows through a heated solid through a heat current moving through the material. You can observe conduction when heating a stove burner element or a bar of metal, which goes from red hot to white hot.
- Convection - is when heated particles transfer heat to another substance, such as cooking something in boiling water.
- Radiation - is when heat is transferred through electromagnetic waves, such as from the sun. Radiation can transfer heat through empty space, while the other two methods require some form of matter-on-matter contact for the transfer.1
Naturally, hot surfaces gets cold once the source of heat fades away. As sunlight will always be there for better or worse, solution is simple: How to use it for your benefit? Simple: Creating a heat barrier to expel out heat from your home during summer, and trap it in during winter.
Like this, you profit nature forces for your own benefit while reducing your energy bills and your CO2 emissions. The next step is doing it well.
Why is it important to count on expert hands to install your Attic Barrier Insulation
Early at this point, you begin to realize the importance of knowing and recognizing the materials used to built your attic, floor, ceiling and roof; even for supporting columns; rafters; mantles and others components that seem not to directly intervene in your attic barrier insulation. Why? Because all of them whether conduct, convect or radiate heat.
From this moment on, things become more complicated as your add more factors to the formula:
- Is your attic in the best shape?
- Don't you have any problems with leaks?
- Is your roof totally sealed and rotten free?
- Do you already have installed any type of insulation? If so, what is the best? To take it off, or to reinforce it with a new attic insulation barrier?
- Are clear enough for you the local building and fire codes you have to follow?
- How much money and time do you expect to spend in this project?
Answering these questions will give you the right tools to portrait the big picture on how easy or difficult it results to install an attic barrier insulation at home. Let's keep on reading more on them.
Types of Radiant Barriers
The most popular reflective material for attic radiant barriers is aluminum foil, but not the regular one you use to wrap meals in your kitchen. It's a thicker type of aluminium foil combined with substrate materials that go from kraft paper to cardboard.
Usually, attic radiant barriers also count on air infiltration barrier material and, in our case; you can even count on attic fans to create your own attic shield.
Your attic's conditions
Even before going to buy the insulation materials, you need to first evaluate the real conditions of your attic. If you find any sign of leaks, discoloration, rotten spots or signs of pest/vermin infestation; you have to attack and correct these conditons first. Otherwise, your DIY project will not yield the expected results.
Buying the right materials and tools
Beside buying the reflective material in the right amounts to properly cover your attic; you also need a wide range of extra materials and tools that go from staplers to needles; tape and similar. Not having the right machinery and tools to do it represents an extra spend that you have to take into account, whether to buy or rent them.
As you may have already figured out; the effectiveness of your attic barrier insulation depends much on proper installation. Let's be honest, you probably have the best disposition, but... how about experience? Do you really have it? Or let's assume you actually have plenty experience... how about time? Do you really have time enough to devote yourself to this project from scratch to the very end?
So, be honest with yourself. If you answer negatively to one of these questions, the most intelligent strategy is hiring a certified installer. Look at this way: Installing an attic barrier insulation is a long-term inversion that you'll recover sooner if you do it properly. Saving some bucks now will probably make you spend more in the near future.
Count on our expert hands for installing your attic barrier insulation at home in South Florida; and save money from day 1 in a cooler home during summer, and warmer in winter.
- Zimmerman J., A. for ThoghtCo (2016) Introduction to Heat Transfer - How Does Heat Transfer? What heat transfer is and how heat moves from one body to another.