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Attic Insulation in Atlanta - a Hot Topic

Dec 9, 2007
For nine months out of the year, it's difficult to even broach the subject of one's attic in Atlanta. It can become as "hot as Georgia asphalt" and so for the most part, we all leave that lonesome area of the house alone most of the time. The subject is more palatable as the winter rolls around because it offers a nice level of warmth to counteract the cold outside. But cold or hot, when was the last time you ventured up there? We can't forget that part of the house as a valuable area of temperature control year-round for the floors beneath.

And that's what I want to focus on. The truth of the matter is that many homes in the metro Atlanta have poor insulation, which is really a shame. It's a shame because in exchange for a relatively small amount of time and effort, the rewards are great in a short period of time. Put more succinctly, by insulating properly you're saving in heating and air conditioning costs immediately.

My experience as an Atlanta area roofing contractor is that if your attic even has insulation, it is only in the ceiling and it's probably fiberglass or cellulose that was blown in. If you look closely at it you will see that it has settled and lost a large portion of its insulating value. The cure here is to spend some time in moving some of the insulation around on your own or hiring someone to do it. (If you choose to do this on your own, we highly recommend that you wear the proper clothing to protect you from the insulation--latex gloves, eye protectors, jeans and long-sleeve shirts.)

If the insulation hasn't spread and has deteriorated over the years, you may need new insulation. There are a couple of ways to determine whether you need new insulation. One is to climb up there and do a visual inspection. Another is to take note on whether you're AC/heating units are having to work harder in the summer/winter times of the year. If you've notice these bills go up, then the insulation may be the big culprit.

I recommend that you do a check once every year...along with checking the vents and any roofing issues you may have. This will keep things in check. And instead of just "maintaining" the insulation you now have, why not look for further ways to save...such as insulation in other areas of the attic...along the walls, etc.? You may be able to save more than you've ever experienced.

And don't forget about the advancing technology of the insulation materials either. There's a new product out now called polyurethane foam roof insulation and it has twice the insulating or "R" value of the conventional insulation you have in the attic. It's applied on the surface of the roof under the roofing material. The benefit of this arrangement is that you don't see it (doesn't detract from the roof's aesthetics) and it adds yet another level of insulation and savings. Other benefits- it lasts for the entire life of the home and helps to seal against roof leaks that are inevitable with the roof's age. I highly recommend this option for homeowners who are considering a new roof.

The bottom line is this...take stock in what's going on up in your attic. It can be an expensive area when unchecked. Conversely, it's an area where you can potentially save money where you never expected or anticipated saving.
About the Author
Giovanni Rueda owns iRoof, an Atlanta roofing company that helps area homeowners with their roofing, siding and gutter needs. For more information on proper roof care go to the company's website at
http://www.i-roof.com
, or call 678-967-3489.
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