Insulation Archives

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What You Need to Know About Attic Insulation in Portland Oregon

Whether you’re trying to beat the heat in the summer or keep warm in the winter, your attic insulation is a critical part of your home climate control. Quality attic insulation is particularly important in Portland, Oregon, due to the fact that the weather can vary so widely over the course of the year. If you’re thinking about putting new insulation in your home or just want to evaluate the insulation you already have, you’ll want to be able to make an informed choice. Here are the basics of what you need to know about attic insulation in Portland, Oregon.

How Insulation Works

Before you jump headfirst into any changes to your insulation, it’s worth knowing what it’s there for in the first place. The answer might seem obvious: it’s there to insulate your home. But how exactly does insulation help maintain the temperature of your home? In the most basic of terms, insulation helps contain the air your HVAC system is heating or cooling and prevents any heat exchange with the outdoor temperature.

In the summer it provides a shield from the relentless heat of the sun, allowing your air conditioner to keep your home cool with less energy. In the winter it prevents warm air from escaping into the attic, stopping you from losing valuable heat to the chilly outdoors. Many beautiful old homes also have drafty attics with poor insulation. If you’re not careful, your attic can make your home a climate control nightmare.

What to Look for in Any Current Insulation

If you already have some attic insulation, you’re ahead of the game. That being said, you need to be able to evaluate what you have to see if it’s still doing its job. Before you decide if you need any work done, take a look at what you already have. All you need to do is determine what material your insulation is made of and how deep it is, and you’ll be able to figure out how resistant to heat flow it is. This rating is known as its R-value.

If any of your attic insulation is moldy, damp, or compressed, it’s just not working anymore. Mold and dampness can indicate a leak in the roof, a serious problem that demands the help of a professional. If your home was built before 1990, take extra care when examining your insulation, as you might be dealing with asbestos. Get the material tested before pulling anything up, and have an expert remove and dispose of it safely.

Know What Materials Work Best for You

There are plenty of different materials available when it comes to attic insulation, but not every material is going to work for each individual home. Insulation can come in a few different forms, such as loose-fill, batt, or spray-foam. They can all be made of various materials, such as mineral wool, fiberglass, or cellulose. Each kind has its own pluses and negatives, so you’ll need to take stock of what you’re working with before committing. When trying to decide what form and material are right for your home, you should consider the target R-value, layout of your attic, and cost.

The Department of Energy recommends different R-values for different climates, so you’ll need to be sure you’re choosing a material that meets the standard for attic insulation in Portland, Oregon. For temperate climates like the Pacific Northwest, you’re shooting for an R-value of R-38. With that in mind, take a look at the actual space of your attic. If the joists are laid out in with standard spacing and there are minimal obstructions, batt insulation will work just fine. For attics with a more irregular layout, you may need to use loose fill to insulate every nook and cranny.

The available space can also affect the R-value of your insulation, as some materials require a certain number of inches of insulation before reaching the desired value. Loose fill requires fewer inches in general than batt to achieve higher R-values, so if you’re working in a cramped and uneven space, you might not have much of a choice.

Finally, that brings us to the cost. Spray-foam insulation is one of the most effective methods of insulation, but it’s also one of the most expensive to install. Batt insulation, by contrast, is much cheaper but requires more material to achieve the same R-value. Once you’ve determined your desired R-value, you can do the math to determine what material and method of insulation makes sense for you.

It Helps You Save on Your Heating Bill

More effective insulation might be more expensive up-front, but did you know it can lead to savings down the road? When you properly seal and insulate your house, the internal temperature becomes more stable. That means your HVAC system won’t be fighting the elements as much, allowing it to maintain your desired temperature with lower energy usage and less wear and tear on the system. That leaves you with a lower heating bill, as well as lower maintenance costs for the HVAC system. Between both, your new insulation can pay for itself.

You Can Get Money Back from the State

The Pacific Northwest is widely known for being an environmentally conscious part of the country. This green mentality is so ingrained in the population that you can even earn cash rebates for improving your household. Homeowners in Portland can receive money back for having attic insulation up to a certain R-value. If you can get your insulation to R-38, you can earn 25 cents per square foot of insulation as a rebate! This includes labor costs and can really take the sting out of paying for new attic insulation. On top of that, you’ll be doing your part to make our world just a bit greener.

Now that you have the basics, you can start thinking about the next steps. If you’re in the market for new insulation, give the Portland insulation experts here at Interstate Roofing a call to learn about all your options. We’ll help find the attic insulation solution that works best for you.

How Your Empty Attic Space Makes Your Roof More Efficient

Preserving heat, insulation, and roof integrity through proper attic care.

Did you know that a clean attic can improve your home’s energy efficiency?Damp, chilly winters in the Portland and Vancouver areas can threaten the integrity of roofs. Fortunately, proper attic care can provide protection for rafters and shingles while improving the efficiency of your home.

Empty Attic, Better Insulation

Attic insulation provides protection for the underside of your roof. However, if your attic is stuffed full of stuff, it’s hard to install or replace insulation anywhere in that space. Attics that are used primarily for storage are often neglected, leading to stagnant air that can result in damage when it comes in contact with heat or moisture from the rest of the house.

Attic Venting

Installing or upgrading attic vents may seem like the opposite of insulating, but proper air flow is essential to a healthy roof. Vented attics stay cool in the summer so the undersides of roof shingles don’t overheat and dry out. In the winter, ventilation prevents the buildup of mold-causing moisture that can lead to the rotting of roof components. When heat rises from the rest of the house, ventilation keeps condensation from turning into frost and prevents unwanted cycles of freezing and thawing.

Sealing Leaks

Poor insulation in the attic can lead to air and water leaks. An air leak not controlled by ventilation leads to a transfer of air from the attic to the outside and vice versa. This makes the attic colder in the winter and hotter in the summer, creating temperature fluctuations that can lead to internal roof damage.

Water leaks soak insulation, destroying its ability to resist heat radiating up from the rest of the house. Wet insulation lets in ambient heat as well as moisture which makes the attic environment not only inefficient but also unfriendly to your roof. As with poor ventilation, wet insulation can lead to mold growth which wears away at the rafters and may cause even more leaks. Plus, if you do store anything in the attic, leaks and changes in temperature will damage your belongings. Together, damage from poor insulation and leaks can lead to loss of property and high roof repair bills.

Installing or replacing attic insulation is a big job. Let Interstate Roofing preserve the roof in your home with the right amount and type of insulation. Our specialists are familiar with “R” value—the ability of insulation to resist the transfer of heat—and can choose the proper level to ensure roof safety and home efficiency. Contact us to request a free estimate or give us a call today to book an appointment. Your attic and your roof will thank you.

Where Are All Those Heating and Cooling Bills Going?

Common energy leaks and what you can do.

After investing in state-of-the-art heating and cooling equipment, people reasonably expect their utility bills to drop. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. If it seems like you’re endlessly running your furnace or air conditioner without ever achieving optimal indoor comfort, air leaks around the home are almost certainly to blame. They can occur anywhere from the basement up through the roof, but poorly insulated attics tend to cause homeowners the most grief.

The Importance of Proper Insulation

A well-sealed home is said to have a tight building envelope. The tighter the building envelope is, the more effective the heating and cooling system will be. That’s because conditioned air won’t be able to escape as easily, and outside air won’t be able to get in as easily. Furthermore, radiant heat, which is heat that builds up in the attic and then radiates down into the home, can be mitigated considerably through the use of first-rate attic insulation. When a home is well insulated, especially in the attic, HVAC equipment doesn’t have to work as hard, so energy bills tend to drop. However, it is imperative that you hire an experienced contractor to look at the overall functionality of your home. A tight building envelope can also wreak havoc on your home.

Is Your Attic Causing Your Energy Bill Woes?

Does it seem like the rooms below your attic never get truly cool and comfortable during the summer? If so, chances are that your attic isn’t properly insulated. As the sun beats down on your roof, heat starts bottling up in the attic. Proper ventilation can help to mitigate this to a certain extent, but proper insulation is even more important. With a good “buffer” of blown-in attic insulation, radiant heat won’t counteract your conditioned air nearly as much, so your equipment will be more efficient and effective.

Why Is Blown-In Attic Insulation Superior?

There are all kinds of options when it comes to attic insulation, but blown-in insulation makes the most sense in the majority of cases. It can be blown easily into hard-to-reach places, and it can be applied at any thickness and density. When installed properly, blown-in insulation acts as a highly effective thermal blanket. It won’t settle over time, so it maintains its R-value, which is its ability to resist the travel of heat. The best part of all is that blown-in insulation can reduce energy costs by 15% to 25%.

Lower Your Energy Bills with Blown-In Attic Insulation

Whether you have an older home with old, outdated insulation or a newer one with an attic that was never properly insulated in the first place, blown-in attic insulation is sure to make a huge difference. In Portland, OR, trust the experts at Interstate Roofing to install this highly effective insulation at affordable prices. Give us a call at 503-684-5611to learn more or contact us to schedule your service today!

Save Money by Insulating Your Attic

The Vampire in your attic… it moved in when your house was built.

Don’t worry, today’s blog post isn’t about a thirsty new pest that has invaded millions of homes. However, this metaphorical vampire could easily drain your bank account. An uninsulated attic can increase household energy bills and expose you to outdoor noise pollution.

Even if you have insulation, it may not be adequate. The Department of Energy urges homeowners in western Oregon to install about a foot of insulation in most attics. You might have too little if the R-value is below 38 or some surfaces remain bare, such as the trap door.

Important Benefits

Everyone knows that heat rises. Attic insulation slows it down, so your heating system doesn’t have to work as hard in the winter. More insulation allows you to spend less money on electricity, fuel and furnace repairs. It also reduces the air pollution that your home generates.

Thick insulation will cut your cooling expenses, too. An uninsulated attic becomes very hot when the sun shines on a roof during the summer. Insulation makes it more difficult for this heat to enter your home, so you won’t have to use fans or air conditioners as frequently.

A well-insulated attic may also come in handy if you decide to sell your property. Many homebuyers prefer to save time and money by selecting houses that have plenty of insulation. This upgrade will help you sell your home faster and achieve a higher selling price.

Insulated attics muffle distracting outdoor noises that normally penetrate a home’s roof. Rain, hail, thunder and wind won’t sound as loud. Likewise, insulation may block noise from airplanes or helicopters. This is a major bonus if you live near the airport in Portland, OR.

You might obtain a generous rebate or tax credit by insulating your attic. Some utilities, state agencies and nonprofit organizations offer such incentives in the Pacific Northwest. The government also allows many homeowners to claim federal tax deductions when they buy insulation.

Getting Started

To begin saving money and improving your quality of life, contact an experienced insulation contractor today. Interstate Roofing uses high-quality supplies and takes the time to properly insulate every attic. We serve customers in Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA.

For a free estimate or further details, contact us online.

Cold in the Winter, Hot in the Summer

Are you sick of watching your home’s energy bills skyrocket during the winter and summer? Although the Portland-Vancouver area enjoys pleasant transitional seasons, winter’s chill and summer’s heat are constant threats to local household budgets and home energy efficiency. Fortunately, there are several cost-effective steps you can take to reduce your heating and cooling bills without investing in costly new technologies.

Leaking Air, Leaking Money

Many older homes suffer from poorly sealed windows, under-insulated attic spaces and drafty doors. Energy-saving retrofits typically focus on three key areas: attic insulation, window replacement and whole-house weatherproofing. Let’s explore each of these in turn.

Keep It Comfortable with Affordable Insulation

Home energy efficiency depends on a variety of factorsAccording to the EPA and the administrators of the federal government’s EnergyStar program, homeowners can save as much as 20% on total heating and cooling costs simply by adding new insulation to their attics or updating existing insulation within their homes’ walls. This translates to total energy bill savings of as much as 14%.

What’s more, Oregon and Washington both offer additional rebates that may cover part of the cost of installing blown-in insulation in your attic. When it’s done by a professional, the installation process is fast, effective and non-disruptive.

Replace Outdated Windows

Window replacement is another important step. Like attic insulation, energy-efficient windows routinely attract federal and state tax credits. Modern windows use effective sealing technology to keep warm air inside during the winter and outside during the summer. In fact, the newest generation of energy-efficient windows doesn’t even require a second storm window to function properly. Instead, modern windows contain insulating buffers between “inside” and “outside” panes. Many models last for years, so you’ll enjoy ample returns on your modest investment.

Simple Weatherproofing Tips for Year-Round Comfort

Other weatherproofing steps may be even easier. Fireplace inserts effectively insulate your home’s chimney column and reduce heat loss through the roof. Programmable thermostats allow you to control how much heat or air conditioning your home’s interior receives at any given time. Meanwhile, costs for energy-efficient heating units and solar panels have plummeted over the past decade.

Interstate Roofing: Your Indoor Temperature Control Source in Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA

These aren’t the only things you can do to reduce your home’s heating and cooling bills as well as its impact on the environment, but they’re a great start. At Interstate Roofing, we’re proud to help homeowners across the Portland-Vancouver area put more of their hard-earned funds back in their pockets. If you’re ready to transform your house into the efficient, cash-saving envy of the neighborhood, give us a call at 1-800-ROOF-270 or contact us online today.