Case Studies

Attic Insulation Case Studies: Uneven Home Temperatures, Ann Arbor

Tuesday, September 14th, 2021 by Reece Barron

Challenge

  The homeowner explained to us that his floors would get cold in his tri-level home and that he was not able to keep the heat and or cool in the home to regulate a comfortable living temperature.  The home had two attics both of which had R-30 batt insulation and a non-vented crawl space that was not insulated.  The problem caused by not being able to keep heat and/or cool air in the home, just the same, in Michigan it is recommended that the attic floor contains between R-49 and R-60 insulation, and the subfloor in his crawl space was not insulated meaning the subfloor did not contain a thermal boundary between the ground floor and the subfloor.  The homeowner chose to have the problem fixed because he could see how not having a properly insulated attic and no insulation in his crawl space was causing discomfort in his living space and impacting his energy bills.  The biggest concern the homeowner had was making sure that his home was energy efficient and able to hold its temperature for longer periods of time before his HVAC would come back on.

Solution

  Our client chose our company because we were very thorough with the tour for two showing our customer what the causes of the problems were and how we would best rectify the problem.  Our solution for the main attic was to remove all of the insulation from the attic floor, air seal the attic floor, and then install all new dual wide baffles with freshly blown R-60 cellulose insulation.  For the top attic, it was too short to remove the insulation so instead, we did a cap off of cellulose insulation on top of his existing Batt insulation to get that attic to an R-60 value and to regain the R-value lost by using Batt insulation.  For the crawl space, we installed R-19 faced Batt insulation between the floor joists on the subfloor in his crawl space to act as a thermal boundary for his floors above.  When inspecting the main floor attic, Vermiculite was found under roughly 1/4 of the batt insulation on the floor.  We had to call an asbestos company who came out and had taken samples to the lab to test for asbestos.  The test came back negative so we were able to proceed.  The other challenge that we faced was the height of the crawl space made it, which made it very difficult to move around.  The crawl space was 3 feet tall from the ground to the subfloor.  We used a combination of products to insulate the home.  We used TruSoft Cellulose, Zypfoam, Durovent Baffles, Silverglo foam board

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