Since heat rises, you need insulation to keep the heat inside your house since that lost heat would waste energy and money and leave your house colder in the winter. Surprisingly, it can also help keep your home cooler in the summer, since it helps your house resist heat transfer from the weather outside. Insulation also keeps moisture and pests out of your attic. Because of its many purposes, it's important to know what causes issues with insulation in your house.
There are several types of attic insulation, but many of them retain water, which lets mold and mildew fester. Although fiberglass and many other types of insulation are not viable sources for mold growth, the spores can still grow on the surface of the insulation or on the dust that gets in there. This is a common problem that often goes undetected because the insulation is warmer than your roof’s framing or sheathing, so you might not see a mold problem unless you’re specifically looking for it. There are a few ways to address this problem. Getting a mold-resistant type of insulation can certainly help, but it doesn’t solve the underlying cause of the problem. Where there’s mold, there’s almost always an airflow issue, so you can add an air seal to the attic to protect the insulation, or you can use a spray foam, since that is a type of insulation that can also act as an air seal.
Insulation makes a good nesting place for pests. They might also make their homes in your attic, and you could find anything from bats to squirrels to rats nesting in the dark. Since people don’t often live in the attic, these creatures can find it an ideal nesting area. If you find signs of any pests, the first thing you should do is have them removed. After that, you need to take steps to keep them from coming back, and one of those steps is to take care of your attic. Seal off any cracks or other points of entry you find, and that will take care of a lot of the problems. You can also get insulation that is less appealing as a food source. Spray foam is helpful here, too, since critters are less likely to eat it, and it can also help seal off some of those cracks.
Airflow is important throughout the house, including the attic. You have vents in your attic helping move that air along, and sometimes, you might have insulation blocking that air flow. If this is the case, you might need to have the insulation repositioned. While this is done, you should also make sure there’s no mold in that insulation. You should also have your insulation moved if it was improperly distributed and doesn’t cover the whole area evenly. Even if your insulation was installed correctly when you first got it, insulation could shift and settle and lose its shape over time, making it much less effective. In that case, it may need to be replaced altogether. Although it seems like there can be a lot of problems with your attic insulation, the good news is that they are generally solvable, and in many cases, preventable. If you want to make sure your insulation is working as effectively as possible, contact a roofing professional today.