In short, NO. When aluminum reacts with oxygen in the air, it produces an organic aluminum-oxide barrier via a process called passivation. This layer protects the metal’s surface from oxidizing and therefore the product will resist corrosion. Additionally, this protective layer does nothing to diminish the foil’s ability to reflect radiant heat so you have a superior heat barrier that will stand the test of time.
Read more: Oxidation of Aluminum Foil Reflective Radiant Barrier Insulation
Additionally, we have several samples of product in testing that have been exposed outside to the elements, undisturbed for 4+ years and none have shown signs of corrosion or a decrease in reflectivity. If those are results from pieces outside and unprotected, you can be confident that inside an attic or a wall the conditions are even better. More info here: http://www.rimainternational.org/index.php/technical/tb-index/tb105/
This is probably the most misunderstood requirement for a radiant barrier to work. Watch this video, hopefully this will make it all clearer and easier to understand.
Every home is different, so while there are general recommendations for certain climates, sometimes one method is best for a particular home depending on what they have inside the attic space.
To determine which installation method would be best for your home, read the article on our website: What is The Best Radiant Barrier Install Method?
When you staple the foil below and across the rafters, it will eliminate the rafters from emitting heat as well as reflecting heat from the deck. Plus, it is a lot easier to install to the bottom of the rafters since you do not need to cut the foil or deal with thousands of nails sticking through. The bottom line is that installing it that way is more work to get less benefit: bad choice. Still not sure? Check out this study that was sponsored by the Department of Energy showing that foil stapled across the bottom of the rafters is the most effective way to block radiant heat in the attic.
Radiant barrier does not take the place of traditional insulation (fiberglass, cellulose, etc.). Traditional attic insulation has R-value; this works to slow conductive heat. Radiant barriers reflect radiant heat. You have both types of heat trying to enter your home on a hot, summer day. The sun heats up the roof and then the heat is transferred by radiant heat across the attic space until it hits the attic insulation. Then, the heat transfer method switches from radiant heat to conductive heat to move through the attic insulation and into your home.
This is why you need BOTH types of insulation. Traditional attic insulation and radiant barrier work together and each do their part. Radiant barrier is your first line of defense (against radiant heat) and traditional attic insulation (fiberglass, foam or cellulose) is the second line of defense against conductive heat gain.
Using radiant barrier foil in the crawlspace is only beneficial if you are losing heat in the wintertime through the floor of the house into this crawlspace; if the heat is radiating across the air gap from the flooring to the ground outside, then AtticFoil™ can help stop that heat loss. The foil should be stapled across the bottom of the joists; ideally you would have about a half inch to an inch of air between the insulation and the foil. Read: Installing Radiant Barrier in a Crawlspace
Bottom line: other than heat retention, there really is no added benefit to using a radiant barrier in a space that does not have a regular source of radiant heat.
A radiant barrier installed in the attic will help keep the radiant heat emitting from the home from hitting the roof. The result is a cooler roof deck, which will reduce ice damming. Many customers have seen a significant reduction in ice damming after installing AtticFoil™ radiant barrier. We also also suggest checking to make sure you have good attic ventilation, since cold air entering the attic will also help keep the roof cold.
More information on fire testing here.
We ship to Canada via FedEx International Economy. More info on this page: FedEx Shipping
Outside of Canada, we typically ship to freight forwarders in the USA who then arrange international shipping. If you are interested in an order or to find out if we ship to your area, please contact us by phone or by email.
If you can do it yourself, you’ll save quite a bit; another option is to try asking a handyman, an off-season or slow-on-work roofer, or even a couple of college kids – all of those routes can prove to be much more economical than using an installation company.
Overall, painted barriers are not effective because even in best-case testing conditions, they only achieve a reflectivity of 75%, whereas aluminum foil achieves a 97% reflectivity, assuming there is an air space on at least one side. So that being said, we don’t really promote them.
You can definitely add a foil barrier on the bottom of the rafters with no problem at all. The space will be vented, so the hot air will find a way out of the attic. Find more information on Radiant Barrier Foil compared To Radiant Barrier Paint.
If you are putting flooring down, you will need to install the foil OVER the flooring. Simply lay the foil directly over the plywood and staple it down – the foil is strong and durable and can handle light to moderate traffic.
The only thing you can NOT do is to put the foil on the plywood and then cover it with stuff. This will not work. Radiant heat only exists in an air space (or vacuum) so if you eliminate the air gap above the foil you are essentially eliminating the effectiveness of your reflector/barrier. To drive this point home, see the video on this page.
However, the main down side to using a product like radiant barrier decking is that it doesn’t take in to account thermal bypass on the rafters (meaning the heat is still moving through the rafter ends that are not covered with radiant barrier, and then radiating off the ends into the attic space). Using AtticFoil™ across the rafter bottoms does not allow for thermal bridging to occur, so you get complete protection from radiant heat gain through the roof, and overall, stapling foil to the bottom of your rafters yields the best results.
Looking to hire an installer to install your AtticFoil™? We offer some guidance on how to find help to get the foil installed:
As an alternative, you could try hiring a handyman or an off-season roofer to do the job; we’ve also heard of customers looking on Craigslist or searching Google for “Radiant Barrier Installers” and a zip code.
Complete product technical specifications here.