Attic Insulation – Calgary

Beyond Foam Insulation has been assisting our customers with their attics for well over a decade. One of the three foundational pillars that Beyond Foam builds its business upon is to “be relational”. As many companies grow, they began to lose the human element with both their clients and their team. Beyond Foam is family run and family focused. Our estimators, insulators and owners treat your house like it is their own. You would never take shortcuts or hide mistakes with your own home. Neither will we.

Attic Insulation and condensation issues are a real concern for Calgarians. With extreme swings in climate, many homeowners choose to stay proactive by having yearly attic inspections. Your attic quote from Beyond Foam is simple and transparent. We do not attempt to push or sign a contract on site. Our written estimate will be typed and sent to your email by the experienced estimator you meet on site. You will then receive a follow up email from Beyond Foam’s diligent office staff to confirm you received the quote and within 5 days your estimator will reach out to see if you have any questions. We challenge you to invite one of our amazing team members to your next insulation project, and see how we go Beyond!

What’s in your attic?
What are the different products and what are they best used for?

Fiberglass Loosefill Insulation
Fiberglass loosefill is the most common insulation used in Calgary attics. It is cost effective and easy to install. Fiberglass is produced by spinning molten glass into fine strands or fibers. The glass fibers are used to trap pockets of air, which becomes your insulation. The concept is similar to a thermos. For this system to work, it is imperative that the vapor barrier meets minimum code of 6 mil CGS poly. Without the poly vapor barrier holding back air and moisture, this system will fail. I you look into your attic, fiberglass insulation will usually be pink or white in color. Some older fiberglass insulation was brown.

Cellulose Loosefill Insulation
Cellulose would be the second most used insulation in Canada. Cellulose is similar to fiberglass in that it still uses the principle of trapped air as an insulator. Cellulose however is manufactured from recycled paper. Both types have a similar R-value, between 3.1 and 3.8 per inch. This will differ between manufacturers. Cellulose raised concerns during the 1980’s due to fire risk. Evidently paper burn very quickly and in the early stages of cellulose, there was nothing to stop the product from burning rapidly in a house fire. Today’s cellulose has been treated and the flammability concerns are gone. Cellulose is usually gray in color.

Wood Chips as Insulation
Wood shavings and wood chips were a popular insulation of the past. Wood chip insulation has a very low r-value rating. Many attic insulation companies will simply add new insulation over top of the woodchips. From an “r-value” perspective, this would appear to be a sensible solution. The problem actually lies in the fact that wood chips require an effective air and vapor barrier to work, the same as fiberglass and cellulose. Based on the age of the homes that will have wood chips as insulation, we know that the vapor barrier used during this time was very thin and home builders were not concerned with sealing the system well. While Beyond Foam is happy to add more insulation over wood chips if you wish, our experience and follow up has shown us that doubling or tripling the rvalue has very little affect if the vapor barrier is not working to keep air and moisture in the attic and out of your home. If you have wood chips in your attic, your best option is removal of the wood chips and using an attic hybrid system.

Attic Hybrid (Spray Foam & Fiberglass)
Beyond Foam has been using spray foam in attics and vaults since the beginning of the company and have great success stories and testimonials of many happy customers. Our closed cell spray foam meets building code as an air and vapor barrier. This becomes an excellent solution for homes that have older vapor barrier that is allowing cold, damp air to migrate into the home from the attic. Once the old insulation is removed, Beyond Foam will spray two inches of closed cell foam down unto the drywall. This creates an airtight seal around the attic envelope and seals over pot lights, fans and other penetrations. After the foam is installed, our fiberglass loosefill crew will add the fiberglass over top of the spray foam.

Vermiculite Insulation
Vermiculite is a mineral that was mined and heated to the point of exfoliation. The words vermiculite insulation is enough to cause prospective home buyers to turn in their tracks. This product is associated with health concerns. The truth is that 100 percent vermiculite is harmless. Unfortunately, much of the vermiculite we encounter has been tainted with other products like asbestos.

The following are a few common questions we get about attics

How thick should my attic insulation be?
For homes built prior to November 1 2017, the building code and the standard for attic insulation was R34. In terms of fiberglass or cellulose, the insulation in you attic should be at an average depth of 11 inches to 15 inches.

Can you spray foam over my old insulation that is in my attic?
No. The benefit of spraying a closed cell spray foam in the attic, comes from creating an airtight seal at the drywall line. Also the fibres of the loosefill would absorb the foam and would take much more raw product to cover the insulation. This would not be a good application and would also create a double vapor barrier which is prohibited by the city of Calgary.

Are attic inspections free from Beyond Foam?
Absolutely yes! You can call Beyond Foam at anytime to schedule a free attic inspection. We will check the type of insulation as well as the thickness in your attic. We will inspect the age of the vapor barrier, the amount of venting and the seal of your attic hatch.

What’s in your attic?
Beyond Foam is your Calgary & area attic insulation experts. We are here to help you with any attic issues you are having and can offer advice if you are building and want to know what insulation is right for your new home.