Roof Insulation Guide

Roof Insulation Guide


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 thats 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. Thats 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 cant 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.

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