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Foam Insulation for Attic Spaces in Alberta

Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation can be used in two common ways to insulate your attic space and protect your home from other weather and moisture related damages.

Traditional Building Science
Spray Foam Insulation in the Attic Floor (Vented Attic Spaces)
spray foam in attic spacesThe method of use for spray foam in the attic is often dictated by the building science and design principles your architect and/or builder subscribes to. In a traditional vented attic, insulation is used on the attic floor to insulate the ceiling from the seasonal heat and/or cold. Spray foam is used where traditional fiberglass batts, or cellulose is used; between the floor joists. The rest if the attic is left un-insulated and highly vented through gable, soffit, and ridge vents in the roof structure. This type of engineered system is the most common throughout the US, but may not be the most effective.

New Technology Building Science
Spray Foam Insulation in the Attic Floor (Non-Vented Attic Spaces)
In this application, considered the most effective, by most of the SPF industry, the foam is sprayed directly to the underside of the roof between the joists, down around the rim and into the soffit areas, on the gable wall ends, and effectively sealing off and insulating the entire attic space from any air infiltration.

The traditional practice of insulating the underside of the roof in the attic has raised much debate in the building industry because "standard" roofing and design techniques call for the attic to be ventilated in order to reduce moisture problems and heat build-up in the hot summer months.

However, a vented attic situation it will become approximately 130-degrees in the summer. There's no reason for your air-conditioning and vent-ductwork to have to work in that type of severe conditions. There is also opportunity for moisture to form due to condensation on these appliances.

By applying spray foam directly to the underside of the roof deck, it now insulates the attic space from the extreme heat that once radiated thorough the hot shingles sheathing and roof. The severe temperatures no longer exist in the at stic. In short, the attic now becomes a "conditioned" space of the house that is just as comfortable as any other room in the home.
Most builders and designers will tell you that this system is no good because wood needs to breathe and that the shingles on your roof will now overheat, get too hot and curl off.

foam insulation for alberta atticsWe have done a great deal of research on the “breathing wood” issue and have found that most furniture manufactures actually kiln dry wood before use. They claim that if any wood is permitted to "breathe" this adds to deterioration over time. Kiln dry wood, used in all furniture, contains a small amount of moisture. If that moisture continues to dry out you will start to see cracks and splits. They take extra precautions to make sure that wood is sealed completely. Wood must be totally sealed. Properly finished and maintained furniture will not have this problem. Perhaps this is why we paint our house, and our fences, and everything else. I put up a fence a few years ago, left it to breathe, and now it is falling down because it is rotten. So much for breathing wood…

I recently met with an ELK Premium Building Products rep at a trade show last year, and they claimed their shingles have no problems whatsoever being used over an un-vented roof deck. So much for curling shingles…

A roof system insulated with spray foam reduces energy several ways. Energy loss from ducts located in the attic is essentially eliminated. The top of the building is much tighter resulting in less infiltration and exfiltration, so excess moisture isn't pulled into the attic. Infiltration through the ceiling is also reduced. In addition, the attic temperature is lower, which further reduces energy loads.

In a standard insulation system, ceiling insulation reduces the transfer of heat from the attic to the living space (in the summer). Attic temperatures can often approach 140F during the day. Most of this heat enters the attic space through a multi-step process. First, solar energy warms the shingles and sheathing. The hot sheathing then transfers heat to the rest of the attic through conduction, convection and radiant heat transfer. The 140F temperature of the underside roof surface drives the heat transfer process.

By insulating the roof surface with spray foam, the surface temperature exposed to the attic (the temperature driving the heat transfer) is reduced by as much as 40F. Both conduction and convection heat transfer are proportional to a temperature difference, so that heat transfer will be reduced proportional to a drop in surface temperature.

The benefits of including the attic in the insulated space are:

Further information is available from ASHRAE (8700-527-4723) in a publication titled "Vented and Sealed Attics in Hot Climates"

Within this Canada regional spray foam site, you will find information and specifications on spray foam insulation and spray foam roof systems contractors including closed-cell and open-cell insulation information. Alberta spray foam insulation adheres to just about everything so it can be installed over concrete, wood, steel, and most existing roof systems which saves on the expense of roof removal and landfill fees. SPF Roofing installers can spray apply a tapered roof system with the foam which eliminates the need for costly tapered insulation systems. The cants and vertical wall terminations are also spray applied making them an integral part of the roof system and minimizing additional component costs.

The city of Alberta provides spray foam insulation for use in both homes and commercial buildings. Spray Foam can be applied in Attics and Wall Insulation as the most common place in the house. We also see insulation in Canada for Basements, Roof Insulation, and Floors and Garages.

Choosing the right Canadian Spray Foam Contractor in Alberta is easy by using this website. MB insulation contractors are used to provide Energy Efficiency to your home or office. Insulation contractors Seal Air Leaks, create Air Barriers, Sound Reduction, and Building Strength. Improved Air Quality can also result from insulation improvements and weatherization assistance programs. Spray Foam provides a Vapor Barrier, seals and caulks cracks and gaps in your home or buildings structure.