Keeping your Ottawa home cozy requires adequate insulation to keep the cold out and maintain the warm air inside. When insulation is not properly installed, it causes your home’s heating and cooling unit to work overtime to regulate the temperature in your home. During FineLines Roofing & Renovations’ roof and attic inspections we examine insulation for proper placement and R-value to determine its efficiency.
Effective insulation slows the movement of heat and prevents it from escaping through walls. To do this, an effective insulation system has the following:
An air barrier, which prevents the movement of interior and exterior air.
A vapour retarder, such as polyethylene sheeting, which prevents moisture from moving from warm interior spaces into a colder areas where it can be condensed.
The ability to release any moisture that gets into the insulation system (drying potential).
R-values are a rating system used to determine the effectiveness of insulation. The higher the R-value, the better it is at preventing the movement of heat. Canadian insulation products are labelled with R and RSI values (the metric equivalent of R-value).
When considering a renovation or new home construction it is important to check your provincial building code requirements to determine the minimum R-values for the intended application.
In the Winter
Interior walls cold to touch
High heating bill
Unbalanced heat distribution throughout building
Mold on walls
In the Summer
Hot indoor air
High cooling expense
Air conditioner working overtime
Mold in basement
To save on energy costs, the attic is often the most cost-effective place to insulate. In addition to spray or batt insulation, loose fill is often used over the top of ceiling joists.
During attic inspections we check that:
The air barrier at the ceiling line is tight to ensure warm moist air from the house does not get into the cold attic and condense in the winter.
Assess ceiling light fixtures, the tops of interior walls and plumbing stacks for air leakage.
Ensure that soffit vent is not blocked.
It is especially important that basements have adequate insulation. Basement walls need to restrict moisture flow both inside and outside the house. To prevent foundation drainage, the exterior basement walls are insulated with rigid fibreglass or mineral wool.
Properly installed insulation can help to regulate the temperature inside your home, making it more comfortable year round. Because the indoor temperature is adequately maintained when your home is insulated, your heating and cooling system uses less energy to keep rooms at a comfortable temperature. Regions which experience cold winters and hot summers may require insulation with a higher R-value.