How To Choose The Right Attic Insulation For Your Home - Hamilton Roofing Company
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How To Choose The Right Attic Insulation For Your Home

A thermometer symbolizing temperature loss, representing the need to choose the right attic insulation for your home

How To Choose The Right Attic Insulation For Your Home

A thermometer symbolizing temperature loss, representing the need to choose the right attic insulation for your home
Dealing with temperature and energy loss in your house is an important task, and the best way to tackle it is to choose the right attic insulation in your home.

Maintaining the proper temperature in your home can be done in a couple of ways. In the same manner, the loss of temperature and overuse of energy also happens for multiple reasons. One of the number one suspects for this problem is attic insulation. To choose the right attic insulation for your home, it is important to understand a couple of things.

Are you moving to a new home?

A huge number of families move to a new home over the year. Purchasing a new place is not an easy task, so make sure to check if the insulation is done properly. Otherwise, you will have to pay a professional to remove whatever was done before. Then, they will have to install new insulation, which will create additional expenses.

So, before you get in touch with the Number 1 Movers Ontario calls home, make sure that the place you are moving into does not have any technical issues. If it’s good enough, you might even leave the insulation as is. If it still leaves much to be desired, though, read on for some invaluable tips.

R-Value of your home

Every insulation material has its thermal resistance to heat flow. That’s what the R-Value of your home represents. It is what will determine the type of insulation you will use. It is important to know that information before you look for roofing services.

The R-Value depends on the location of your home, and the best way to find out what it is would be to visit the website of the Department of Energy.

The desired R-Value for your attic

In general, the desired R-Value for your attic should be between R-30 and R-49. If you live in a cold climate area, it can even go up to R-60. Here’s an example.

Let’s say that the R-Value of insulation you picked is 4 per inch, and your home has a total value of R-40. In this case, you will need approximately 10 inches of insulation material. The math is simple, you just divide the R-Value of your home with the R-Value of the insulation material, and you get how many inches of insulation material you need.

A photo of an attic in the winter.
Choosing the right attic insulation is the best way to prepare for the winter.

Choosing the right type of insulation material for your attic

Once you find out what your R-Value is and how much insulation material you need, it is time to purchase it. However, there are many different insulation materials on the market. Some are very cheap, but not at all recommended. On the other hand, you have the expensive ones that do the job. It is important to find something that fits your budget and is good enough to keep your house protected. If you aren’t sure how to choose the right attic insulation for your home, here’s a quick rundown of some choices.

The insulation options we are going to look at today are:

  • blankets
  • cellulose
  • loose-fill
  • sprayed foam

Blanket insulation

Blanket insulation is the cheapest way of securing your attic. However, it is also the least effective. There are different types of materials, like fiberglass, plastic and natural fibers, mineral wool, etc. You can purchase them in rolls or batts, and it is the easiest choice for DIY attic insulation or attics with spaced beams and joists.

In order to retain the R-Value effectiveness, which is between R-3.1 to R-3.8, batts must be carefully trimmed. In my personal opinion, this is not the right type of insulation for the attic, but it can temporarily do the job until you install something more effective.

Cellulose

I wanted to put cellulose as a separate insulation material because it is one of my favorites. Here is a good example of what you should use to insulate your attic. Cellulose is made from recycled, previously ground-up paper. Furthermore, it has boric acid to increase fire resistance and pest control. The R-Value is around 3.5 per inch. Cellulose works in a specific way: it does not actually prevent airflow, but it stops moist air from moving through it. Consequently, it will prevent frost on your attic.

A protective mask for breathing.
When doing a DIY insulation of your attic, it is crucial to wear a protective mask, so you are always safe from dangerous fumes.

You can either hire a professional, or you can do this on your own. Have in mind that, if you do decide to set up everything by yourself, you will need a couple of bags. A beginner’s mistake is to buy too little and then try to spread it around with your hands. Not a good way to do it. The best is to use an insulation blower.

Loose-fill

We already covered cellulose as a loose-fill insulation material, but there are some other types you can use, like fiberglass, natural wool, etc. Again, I would not recommend fiberglass. It has an R-Value of approximately 2.5 per inch, and it can also be spread with an insulation blower. Even worse, it can pose issues for your lungs.

It is highly suggested to use a protective mask when installing loose-fill fiberglass on your own. One of its good features is that it can easily be spread over existing insulation. People tend to think that setting up insulation (or any roofing work in general) is pretty mundane, but it’s more dangerous than you might think. Approaching it with respect will make sure you stay safe thoughout.

Sprayed foam

Here is where we come to the high-end performance insulation materials. If you can choose the right attic insulation for your home without worrying about your budget, definitely go for this one. Sprayed foam can come it two shapes:

  • closed-cell
  • open-cell

Closed-cell sprayed foam has an R-Value of 6.5. The insulation thickness of the moisture barrier is around 2 inches.

Open-cell sprayed foam has an R-Value of 3.6 per inch. It is less dense than the closed-cell, and you can easily poke a hole with your finger in it. Nevertheless, it is perfect for covering all the little cracks and holes you have in your attic. The airflow is completely stopped, and there is no loss of temperature.

A photo showing foam.
Sprayed foam is the best way to insulate your attic, but it is also the most expensive one, and it requires a professional to do it properly.

Being effective as it is, sprayed foam is expensive, and not at all easy to set up by yourself. There are a lot of professional angles one must take when setting up this type of insulation. Because of the cost, it is highly recommended to get a free estimate before you hire any professionals.

That’s how to choose the right attic insulation for your homeI hope that this guide helped you learn how to choose the right attic insulation for your home. Preventing heat loss will not only keep you warm, but it will also help you save money on heating. This decision requires some serious forethought so don’t do anything without thinking it through first.

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