Closed Attic Insulation Solutions
a plus, inc. has been providing spray foam insulation solutions for your home and commercial applications in the Metro Atlanta area for many years.
a plus, inc. always recommends that you follow the code for your city or county; the manufacturers' specifications for installation of the material; and above all, NEVER WAIVE YOUR RIGHTS to have things done correctly!
Depending on the State and County you live in, the requirements for R value in a closed attic system can vary but is normally R-19.
A closed attic system approach keeps the heat out of your home completely instead of letting it build up in your attic and then trying to keep it out of the living space.
In a typical closed attic approach, you close off the edges of the attic where air comes in from the soffit vents. If you have a ridge vent that would be closed off as well as any roof turbines or attic fans. These are places where heat can come in to the attic and that is what we want to avoid.
How much foam to spray and what R value you should install continues to be debated all the time. One of the main reasons is that with spray foam insulation, unlike fiberglass batts or blown cellulose, you are sealing the exterior surface of your home as well as insulating it.
Depending on certain conditions, spray foam insulation applied in attic may require a coating as an 'Ignition Barrier' or a 'Thermal Barrier'.
a plus, inc. will install one of the cards shown below, at the attic access to show which of the conditions the installation of foam is approved for at the time of installation.
NOTE: Please check with you local county or municipality for the exact code rules.
There are three sets of circumstances that govern whether or not the foam spray has to be coated or not. They are: 1 - No Storage or living, HVAC allowed and 30 SF of walkway to HVAC unit allowed; 2 - Storage but not living; 3 - Living space.
1 - No Storage - In the Metro Atlanta area, generally speaking, if you have limited access to the attic and are not using it for storage, there are certain foams available that can be applied without a coating.
NOTE: Make sure to ask your contractor for a copy of the testing that shows this approval for the foam they are installing.
2 - Storage - If the space is going to be used for storage, then an Ignition Barrier must be applied to the foam or it can be covered with drywall.
3 - Living Space - If the space is going to be used as living space, then a Thermal Barrier must be applied or the foam must be covered in drywall. Currently there are NO foams that are approved to be left exposed when used in a living space.
There are many manufacturers of spray foam insulation that make claims about their particular foam not requiring a coating. Currently, there are only a few foams that are approved to be left exposed in Non-Storage situations, and none that are approved to be left exposed in either of the other two cases, storage or living space.
Don't be fooled by a contractor that says they are applying the prescribed coating and all they are doing is spraying some paint over the foam. If a coating is the correct one, it will be a bit expensive. Remember, that you are the home owner, and you are your best advocate for making sure that things are done correctly.
Also, don't be lured into deciding that you do not want to have the correct coating applied as this could lead to costly and potentially deadly results. If for example you have a fire in that area, the first thing that the insurance company and the fire department are going to do is investigate the cause of the fire and any circumstances that may have fueled the fire. They will find that the spray foam was not correctly coated and could refuse to pay on the claim.