5 Roof Insulation Options For You

What you pay to your utility services is governed by two factors, one is the difference of temperature between outside weather and the room temperature that you like to maintain indoors in summers or winters and the second is the quality of insulation provided at home. Insulation is what helps to maintain that difference of temperature.

You have no control over the natural outside weather and the temperature there, but you certainly have a control over the quality of insulation provided to your rooms. Well, the best thing to do is to have a home constructed using the most energy efficient materials available, but that’s not always possible for most of us who live in houses that were built long ago. So you have to resort to some additional means to improve the present insulation of your home.

An important part of the house that could have improved insulation is the attic, the area just beneath the roof. Here are some of the practiced ways for improving upon the quality of insulation therein.

1. Leave it as per original manufacturer's specs:

This does not help reducing energy bills. That’s because there are no constant laws or guidelines concerning energy efficiency. Unless the builder of your house expressly billed your home as "energy efficient" at the time of selling it, you are sure to find it lacking in many ways.

2. Blankets and rolls:

The traditional way to keep your attic cool has been the use of blankets and rolls that are spread out and attached to the rafters. The most often used materials are fiberglass, mineral wool, natural fibers and plastics. Blankets and rolls make a good option as they provide good insulation to conductive heat, but are not really effective for blocking radiant heat.

3. Spray foam insulation:

As the name suggests, spray foam insulation is applied by spraying foam from a nozzle. The materials used for foam are cementitious, polyurethane, phenolic, and polyisocyanurate. The most important benefit of this insulating material is that it expands around every gap, and thus seals all air leakages in the attic, the primary source of energy loss in any home. Spray foam stabilizes indoor temperatures. This is rather an expensive treatment, though.

4. Radiant barrier foil:

This is a best choice for insulation. It is stapled to rafters or laid out over existing insulation. Radiant barrier foil would reflect 97% of radiant heat, retaining it during winters or keeping it out during summers. This is the most affordable energy improvement you can adopt for your home. The only limitation is it is unable to insulate conductive heat.

5. Radiant barrier paint:

This works the same way as radiant barrier foil, meaning it reflects radiant attic heat very effectively. However, it needs to be painted and can’t be rolled out or stapled. Moreover, it has to be applied by professionals for being effective. Additionally, it lacks the reflective ability of foil, limited to reflecting nearly 75% of radiant heat transfer as compared to 97% of foil.

The most practical way of improving energy efficiency of your home is to continue having your existing fiberglass insulation and provide an additional layer of radiant barrier foil. That keeps out 97% of radiant heat and insulates against conductive heat transfer. You could do it yourself, but for better results it may be worth hiring a professional from your area.


Spray Foam Roof Insulation

In case you are considering insulation of your roof with spray foam it will be good to understand what is insulation and what is spray foam.

For instance let’s say you have wood shingles on your roof. With passage of time, shingles develop minute cracks that you may not be able to see at times. Outside air enters you room thru these cracks and changes the temperature of your room. If the cracks are filled with some material, the outside air has no chance of entering your room to affect its temperature. One of the materials used for filing these cracks is foam.

But, what is spray foam? Spray polyurethane foam, or SPF, is simply insulating foam plastic. It is sprayed in liquid form, but on getting cured, expands many times its original size.

Two varieties of the product are available: High Density and Low Density. Now, you have to decide which one to use for insulating your roof.
It’s good to go for the high density. The high-density insulation gives you more value for your money as it has a higher R-value per inch. But, note that higher density foam is liable to get rigid. It becomes very stiff on getting fully cured.

DIY kits are available in case you like to carry the insulation on your own, but it is highly desirable getting it done from a professional, more so if it is going to be high density foam which expands and needs to be handled with caution lest it causes any damage.

One big advantage of using spray foam for insulating roof is that it is not prone to getting damaged by moisture, thus acting like an insulator as well a barrier for moisture. That means it traps more heat, as it has no escape route. The result--your power bills are reduced. On the negative side, it traps humidity also, and humidity can make you feel miserable.

Please understand that spray foam is an excellent insulating material but don’t think it can replace your ceiling. You need to have a ceiling that needs insulation with foam.

In case you decide to have the application of foam as a DIY project, here’s the most important precaution that you must not ignore. Before you start spraying, make sure there is no trapped moisture. So, the best part of the year for undertaking this project will be in summers when it hasn’t rained for a long time. That makes it certain there is no moisture entrapped in your ceiling.


Attic Insulation - Crucial Home Heating System

Insulation of your attic offers the easiest and economical way of reducing your heating bills. Of course, there are many options these days and one often hears of new energy-efficient furnaces. But, for any reason if you are not planning to replace your heating system or find the eco-friendly appliances a bit too expensive, insulation makes a very good choice.

As we all know that air on getting heated rises above the floor towards the ceiling, unless there is some preventive arrangement at the top, the hot air would leak out from there. It’s not hot air that is leaking out, but the money you spend on heating air that is continuously being thrown out of the room. So, providing insulation retains the hot air within the room, thereby reducing the load on your heating arrangement and hence saving your money. There are different materials and ways of providing insulation, but three of the more popular ones are mentioned here.

Fiberglass Batt Insulation

Most of the householders associate fiberglass batts with insulation. These are long strips in pink or yellow color. Batt insulation is quite convenient to install and one can have it with different “R” values. Further, you may have it with or without vapor barrier backings. Ideally, it’s suitable for places that have no wires or pipes or such protrusions, but people prefer to use it for homes for the sheer convenience of installation. To accommodate the said protrusions, you necessarily have to make holes or slits around them and that makes the insulation far from perfect. Such improper installations fail to provide the desired level of insulation and you may continue to have leakages of hot air.

Cellulose Blown Insulation

Though cheaper than fiberglass batts, cellulose insulation would generally call for the services of a professional installer, thereby adding to the final cost. Cellulose insulation is a loose fill material that is uniformly applied to the attic, leaving no gaps in its coating. A professionally executed job ensures that the insulation is applied uniformly and there are no holes for hot air to escape the attic. This type of insulation is classified as “green”, being made from recycled paper, and therefore finds favor with people who are conscious of environments. Though treated for retarding fires, it is prone to be infested by pests and mold. So, you’ll need to check on that aspect.

Spray Foam Insulation

Not so long ago, this kind of insulation was exclusively meant for commercial applications, but for quite sometime now it is also being used for domestic applications. The unique characteristic of this material is that it expands many times of its original size, thus getting squeezed into every nook and corner to provide complete insulation. Spray foam has high R-values and gives draft free insulation. At times too good insulation that it provides may cause overheating of your shingles at the underside of your ceiling. The insulation must be entrusted to professionals who have the special tools and skills to ensure a uniform application, keeping the wastage of this expensive material to its bare minimum.

You may opt for any of the insulations: batt, cellulose, or spray foam to realize that a well executed insulation causes a substantial reduction of up to thirty percent in your heating costs. You are not helping yourself alone, but the environments too. Check with your local insulation installer the most suitable way of insulating your attic.


Roofing Insulation Types To Consider

Do you realize that the most weather-beaten part of your home is its roof that continues to bear all the burden of ever changing weather all thru year and year after year? That makes it difficult to find out the best insulation to be provided on the roof. It continues to bear hot sun for long hours, more so in summers. And, if you happen to be living in Utah, or California this heat can be worse. And, don’t forget the harshness of melting snow in winters.

If you are in the process of remodeling your home or making a new one, you can ill afford to be stingy in certain areas, and roof and walls are two such areas with roof being a major area. Going for the best quality of materials and products doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to spend lots of money. There are ways and means to get the desired items and affordable prices.

roofing insulation

Cellular glass insulation is categorized as commercial grade. It has been used as an insulating material for long. It was patronized as an insulating material in 1943 as it was realized to be extremely durable. Even today it is being used for the same reason. Unless you provide adequate and proper insulation on your roof, it will not be able to able to prevent the effects of outside weather to the interiors of your home. That means in summers, it will not be able to stop heat from entering inside while in winters it will not be able to contain the inside heat that you might be generating at an expense. That’s why the subject needs a serious consideration at your end, any insulation just won’t do. If you overlook this important aspect of your home, you might be exposing your family to some risk that can be easily avoided.

Quite a lot of people are getting conscious about environments and like to use “green” products. Here again you get a variety of materials. Cellular glass is crushed glass that has been mixed with special agents under very high temperatures. It is fire resistant, a characteristic feature that you may like to consider.

It is highly desirable to spare some of your time to study the available options for insulating your roof. At the end of it all, you will appreciate it was time well spent. And, the best time to go for providing an improved insulation is when you are going for a new roof or while constructing a new home.

An easier option will be to study online and know the different options available for roof-insulation. You get a fairly good idea of the prices and also learn the characteristics of different materials available for the purpose. The choice of material also depends on the geographical location, and the climatic conditions of your home, meaning that if a material is suitable for a particular part of the country it may not always suit rest of the country. You can learn all this online and do talk to a roofing expert of your area.