25 Jan

Tips for Inspecting Your Attic Insulation

attic inspection

You should inspect your attic insulation at least twice a year. Early spring is a good time since most animals breaking into the attic happens during this time. Just before winter is ideal since you can repair or replace the insulation before the cold weather arrives.

You are mainly checking whether the insulation is in good condition. Some tips from professional installers include;

Prepare Before Ascent

Collect the materials that you will need before going into the attic. You will need;

  • Flashlight
  • Tape Measures
  • Protective Head Covering
  • Face Mask
  • Safety Glasses
  • Gloves

If you live in an older home, make sure that the attic does not contain asbestos insulation or other toxic insulation. Disturbing the insulation causes the asbestos fibres to go airborne which are then inhaled or ingested.  Asbestos exposure has been linked to various cancers including lung cancer. Call a professional attic insulation removal expert if you suspect you have asbestos or toxic insulation.

Visual Check

You can tell whether your insulation is sufficient by doing a quick visual check. You should not be able to see your floor joists if your insulation is sufficient. If you can see the floor joists then your attic is under insulated and you need more.

Make sure that the insulation is evenly spread through the attic. Uneven insulation creates cold areas in the living space below. The higher amount is usually in the center and thins out along the eaves.

Measure Insulation Level

The recommended R-value for attic insulation by the Ontario Building Code is between R-50 and R-60. This translates roughly to;

  • R-50 to R-60 Settled Cellulose – 13.7 inches and 16.5 inches respectively
  • R-50 to R-60 Blown in fibreglass – 19 inches and 23 inches respectively

Use your tape measures to check the thickness of the existing insulation and cross-check online or with your manufacturer/supplier to determine whether you have the right R-Value.

Inspect for Flaws

Check for obvious flaws and repairs or improvements that you might have to do. Common issues to look out for include;

  • The vapour barrier should face towards the interior of the home otherwise the insulation is installed upside down
  • Bathroom/kitchen fan vented into the attic might need to be redirected outside, the moisture may cause mould to grow on the insulation
  • Roof leaks and other moisture problems
  • Animal feces and urine on the insulation often needs to be replaced

Install Attic Card

Finally, install an attic card by stapling it to the rafter or truss close to the attic access. The card should be visible from the attic access. The card has markings that easily let you know the density of the insulation in future.

Hire a Professional to Inspect Attic Insulation

There is a good chance that your attic has been host to wildlife or rodents. Animal urine and feces is toxic and causes many serious diseases. For health and safety reasons, hire a professional raccoon removal Toronto expert and attic cleaning service to clean, disinfect and deodorize the attic. The job is not complete without thorough animal proofing to prevent a future invasion.

The professionals also do a thorough inspection of the insulation to make sure that it is up to code. They remove old, toxic insulation and dispose it safely while installing new insulation properly to help you get the most energy efficiency.