Insulating School on Vinalhaven, Maine
This school was having some major heat loss problems as well as ice damming. The cause was coming from poorly installed fiber glass insulation in the attic. The fiberglass was loosely placed on the attic floor. Whoever installed it tried to isolate the mechanicals by building a shell with fiberglass insulation. The problem is that fiberglass is not an air barrier. The warm moist air was escaping through the insulation and warming the underside of the roof deck which was creating ice dams. Also, the cold air from the attic was penetrating the fiberglass which cooled the heating ducts, thus making them less efficient.
Our solution was to spray the roof deck and bring the attic area into conditioned space. This allows the mechanicals to run in a conditioned environment, which improves efficiency. Also, the foam established an air barrier. This helps keep the warm air from escaping out through the roof deck. Thus, helping with the ice dam problems.