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How to Check Your Attic Insulation Level

You know attic insulation is important for home comfort, energy efficiency and indoor air quality. But it isn’t enough to install insulation and call it good (or trust that previous owners did); you’ll need to make sure you have enough insulation and that it’s in good condition. To determine if your attic needs more insulation, look for these signs:

  • Moisture or mold in your attic
  • Roof damage (if it wasn’t addressed promptly, your insulation could be compromised)
  • Rising energy bills, even though your HVAC is working well
  • Uncomfortable inside temperatures when the thermostat is set properly
  • Drafts in the home, especially those that come from upper floors
  • Rodents or bugs (they often enter a home through the attic)

If you’ve noticed any of these signs (or you just want to double-check your insulation for your own peace of mind), there are two ways to determine how much insulation is in your attic.

  1. If your current insulation is in batt form, read the fine print on the outer label and find the insulation’s R-value (a measure of how effectively it resists heat transfer).
  2. If you have loose-fill, rolled or spray foam insulation, you’ll need a tape measure so you can measure the depth of insulation. R-value is measured by the inch, so multiply the depth of the insulation by the R-value of your insulation type. Loose-fill insulation’s R-value ranges from 2.2 to 3.8, depending on the material. Rolled insulation has an R-value between 2.9 and 3.8. Spray foam can range from 3.6 to 8.2, depending on the manufacturer and whether it’s closed-cell or open-cell.

If you know your insulation’s manufacturer, you can check with them to find a more precise R-value. Still not sure? The pros at IBP Nashville can help you determine what type of insulation you have and what R-value it’s giving you.

Do I Have Enough Insulation?

Once you’ve figured out what R-value you have, you’ll need to determine if that’s enough. You can refer to this R-value guide to double-check what the proper R-value is for your home. The local climate plays a large part in determining the R-value you need. In Middle Tennessee, it’s recommended to have an R-value between R-38 and R-60 in an attic.

It’s also important to keep in mind that insulation can become damaged over time, lowering its R-value from what it initially was when it was installed. Moisture is the most frequent culprit, so if you suspect there’s been a water leak in your attic, consult a pro to see if the insulation is still effective.

If it turns out you don’t have enough insulation in your attic, turn to Installed Building Products of Nashville. Having a professional check is always the best way to be sure. We’ll check your installation and provide you with the best suggestion based on what we find. If you need more insulation, we’ll gladly install new insulation for you. We sell and install spray foam, fiberglass batt and fiberglass blown-in insulation for attics. We’ll help you decide which form of insulation is best for your home and its needs and come up with a cost-effective plan for you.

To set up a professional service to have your attic insulation checked, contact IBP Nashville today. Reach out online or call us at (615) 649-5481.

Products We Install
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Fiberglass Insulation

Our insulation team adds energy efficiency, comfort & value to homes & buildings.

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Spray Foam Insulation

IBP of Nashville is proud to be a leading installer of spray foam insulation.

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