Question: Some parts of my attic are really hard to get to; will AtticFoil®? still be effective if I can't cover the entire attic?
The Cumulative Effect of Radiant Barrier
The answer is yes. Radiant barrier is like shade (shade from the heat, not so much the light) and foil insulation has a cumulative effect: the more coverage you get the better your overall results. Here's an example, if you were to park your car outside on a hot sunny day, you most likely would choose a spot that is shaded by a tree or some other object. Why is that? Because even if you only get partial shade for your car, your car still stays more comfortable that it would if you parked it in the direct sunlight. This shows you a practical example of how radiant barrier works off a cumulative effect; it simply means that any coverage is a step up from no coverage. As you increase coverage, you increase comfort and effectiveness.
The majority of our customers get somewhere between 70-90% of their attic covered. Our advice to you is to install as much as you can, as fast as you can and don't worry about the last little bit you can't get to.
Options for Dealing with Tricky Attic Spaces
Like we mentioned above, full coverage is not necessary to reap a benefit from a radiant barrier. Sometimes there are attics that are tricky, but full coverage can still be achieved with a little bit of improvisation. If one installation method doesn't work for your whole attic space, then you should consider using the hybrid method to install radiant barrier foil – this is a combination of the staple-up method and the over-insulation method on the attic floor. The hybrid allows you to use whichever method works for the attic space you have. You should start with any areas that are easily accessible and then move on to the more difficult/time consuming areas. This approach will allow you to reap the benefits of the radiant barrier right away, while you work to cover more areas.